Concussion Symposium

December 30th, 2017 in News

Saturday February 3, 2018 from 1-5pm

University of Waterloo
AHS 1689 Lecture Theatre

Cost: FREE but you MUST REGISTER.  Space is limited.
Click Here to Register



Session 1: Canadian Concussion Perspectives

Parachute Canada’s Concussion Protocol Harmonization Project  –  Dr. Alison MacPherson
The Healing Ability of Support and Education – Ben Fanelli
Panel Q&A


Session 2: Concussion – Diagnosis and Management

Concussion 101: The Basics – Dr. Laura Purcell
Physiotherapy Management of Concussion – Kristy Commerford, PT
Concussion and the Eyes– Dr. Kristine Dalton
Feeling Your Way Through Concussion – Dr. John McCuaig
Panel Q&A



Session 3: Return to School/Sport

Life after Concussion: Return to School & Sport – Dr. Laura Purcell
WRDSB Concussion Management Procedures & Protocol – Andy Lavell, WRDSB
Exercise in Concussion Rehab– Meaghan Adams, PT
The View from the Sidelines – Rob Burns, CAT(C)
Panel Q&A




The Healing Ability of Support and Education

Ben Fanelli experienced a severe traumatic brain injury when playing hockey in the Ontario Hockey League. He is going to share his story on how he recovered and returned to play again. Due to his astounding recovery, Ben believes it is his duty to make an impact in the concussion recovery field and other fields where people are in need of hope and motivation. Ben is making this impact through the EMPWR foundation and through HeroicMinds.



Parachute Canada’s Concussion Protocol Harmonization Project

Dr. Alison Macpherson is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University and an adjunct senior scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.  She was the co-principal investigator on the CIHR Team in Child and Youth Injury Prevention, and holds a CIHR Chair in Child Health Services and Policy Research.  Her research is related to keeping kids active, healthy, and safe, and focuses on the prevention of childhood injuries generally, and the evaluation of policies designed to reduce injuries specifically.


Concussion 101: The Basics
Life after Concussion: Return to School & Sport

Dr. Purcell is a pediatric sport medicine physician working at Grand River Sports Medicine Centre in Kitchener.  She completed her medical degree at McMaster University, her pediatric residency at Dalhousie University, and her sport medicine fellowship at Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic in London.  She has been practising sport medicine for 15 years.  She has been involved with the 3rd, 4th and 5th International Consensus Conferences on Concussion in Sport and with the development and revision of the ChildSCAT assessment tool.   She has authored 3 position statements on concussion in children for the Canadian Paediatric Society, as well as several peer-reviewed articles on concussion in children.  She has provided many presentations on concussion in pediatric patients at the local, provincial, national and international levels.


The View from the Sidelines: Initial Concussion Management

Rob Burns is the Head Athletic Therapist at the University of Waterloo. In that role he trains and coordinates all of the volunteer student trainers who work with the 32 teams and over 600 varsity athletes. He manages the on-field and clinical care of the varsity teams, hires and oversees the various consulting health care practitioners who care for those student-athletes. Rob is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology focusing primarily on sport injury related courses. Rob is in his 19th season at UW as the Head Athletic Therapist.

He is a Certified Athletic Therapist and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Rob has a B.A. (Honours), Physical Education from Western University, a Diploma in Sports Injury Management from Sheridan College and a Master of Science- Exercise Science and Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania. In 2008 he completed the Certificate in University Teaching at the University of Waterloo.

Rob has had experience working with a vast array of sports at all levels. He has been a sponsored therapist at the Canada Summer Games- 2009 in PEI, London 2001, where he had the chance to work with a variety of sports including rugby, baseball, soccer, wrestling and track. He was the Chief Therapist at the 2002 Ontario Summer Games in Kitchener-Waterloo. In his current role he works with all varsity teams including such sports as soccer, rugby and field hockey. He has volunteered as a therapist at professional events such as the Manulife LPGA event in Waterloo in 2012, Nationwide Tour Golf in 2005 in Cambridge, International Skating Union Grand Prix Final event in Kitchener in 2001. He has coordinated host event coverage for a variety of OUA and CIS championships including rugby, hockey, squash, field hockey and figure skating.


WRDSB Concussion Management Procedure and Protocol

Andy Lavell, is currently an Elementary Vice Principal with the Waterloo Region District School Board. Previously, he was a Secondary Vice Principal for 6 years.  Andy is a member of WCSSAA Executive and he was a Department Head of Physical Education for 8 years and a Physical Education teacher for 4 years.  He has coached high school football and rugby for 12 years.  Andy was the WRDSB Lead in developing the Concussion Managament Administrative Procedure and Staff Protocol.


Concussion and the Eyes

Kristine Dalton, OD, PhD, MCOptom, FAAO, FBCLA joined the School of Optometry & Vision Science (University of Waterloo) 2013.  She has established the Vision & Motor Performance Lab (2013) and the Sports Vision Clinic (2014).  She has also helped to establish the Brain Injury Clinic, which opened September 2016.  Kristine is a graduate of the Doctor of Optometry program (Waterloo), has an MSc (Dry Eye; Waterloo), a Cornea and Contact Lens Residency (Waterloo), and a PhD in sports vision (Vision Strategy in Golf; Aston University, UK).  She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and a Fellow of the British Contact Lens Association.


Feeling Your Way Through Concussion: Managing Emotional Aspects

Dr. John McCuaig is a sports medicine doctor who works out of Grand River Sports Medicine as well as the University of Waterloo. He completed his medical school training at Western University, residency training in Family Medicine at the McMaster University KW campus, and Sport & Exercise Medicine Fellowship program at Fowler Kennedy in London. He works with many concussion patients of all ages, both athletes and non-athletes, often with a focused perspective on navigating the emotional struggles involved in the experience of concussion.


Exercise in Concussion Rehab: Managing Symptoms and Returning to Sport

Meaghan Adams is a neuroscientist as well as a physiotherapist at GRSM. She graduated from Queen’s University, and went on to complete Fowler-Kennedy’s Sport Physiotherapy Fellowship before earning her Certificate in Sport Physiotherapy from Sport Physiotherapy Canada. She maintains a clinical practice treating patients of all ages with concussions, vestibular dysfunction, and sp&orts injuries, and has worked with Hockey Canada, Sledge Hockey Canada, and Skate Canada, as well as local sporting organizations.


The Physiotherapy Management of Concussions: What to Expect During Your Rehab Journey

Kristy Commerford is a Registered Physiotherapist and Clinical Manager at the GRSM Downtown location. After graduation from the Master of Physiotherapy Program at Western University, Kristy completed the Sport Physiotherapy Fellowship at the Fowler-Kennedy Sports Medicine Clinic. Kristy has a special interest in working with young athletes involved in sport with a focus on refining mobility, strength and balance.