Bouncing Forward – Virtual Conference

How do we live, work, and workout in our new world?

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Resilience can help us overcome hardship in our personal lives, our work lives, and with all of our challenges. We hear people talk about resilience as ‘perseverance’ or ‘bouncing back, and that it’s something you’re either born with or you’re not. Resilience habits are actually something you can learn and that you can purposefully practice. They are built over time as the experiences we have interact with our unique, individual makeup and outlook. That’s why we all respond to stress and adversity — like that from the COVID 19 pandemic — in different ways.

This conference will help to develop an understanding about resilience, through knowledge and stories from subject matter experts, along with insights that will help you practice and apply resilience strategies in your personal and professional lives.

Keynote sessions and breakout discussions will touch on five key aspects of resilience that you can apply:

    • Support: Being able to talk through challenges and concerns with others to hear different perspectives, to learn insights needed to overcome challenges, and willingly offering support to others when you sense a need.
    • Confidence: Knowing your strengths to draw on in difficult times and acknowledging your weaknesses
    • Striving: Combining flexibility of thought with perseverance.
    • Recovery: After times of challenge or when going through change, we know how important it is to re-energize. In fact, we often recommend it for others without prioritizing it for ourselves. We tell ourselves that we can keep going and pile on more, but sheer perseverance and grit ends in exhaustion.
    • Adapting: Ensuring that we do not repeat the same thing over within a changing context and expect the same results.

Up to 4.5 Continuing Education Units available for Occupational Therapists.

Register now

Conference Details:

Schedule / Agenda (all times EST)

9:00 AM – 9:10 AM: Welcome and introduction

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM: Morning keynote with Q & A

10:00 AM – 10:35 AM: Morning Workshop 1 – Devann and Sam

10:35 AM – 11:10 AM: Morning Workshop 2 – Dr. Hissong

11:10 AM – 11:45 AM: Morning Workshop 3 – Dr. Bentz


11:45 AM – 12:15 PM: Lunch break


12:15 PM – 1:00: Afternoon Keynote with Q & A 

1:00 PM – 1:35 PM: Afternoon Workshop 1 – Panel

1:35 PM – 2:10 PM: Afternoon Workshop 2 – Jo, Avelino, & Jaclyn

2:10 PM – 2:45 PM: Afternoon Workshop 3 – Dr. Jackavick, Margaret, and James

2:45 PM – 2:50 PM: Concluding remarks

Morning Keynote with Q & A: Maximizing Resilience for Life’s Success

Presenter: Jessica Pryce-Jones, Adjunct Faculty at Cass Business School, University of London, Director, Bricks and Mortar (Development) Ltd, and Founder of iOpener Institute for People and Performance,

Author, consultant, and leadership coach Jessica Pryce-Jones will bring her personal experience and professional insights to help participants understand resilience in both work and personal context, why resilience matters, and how we can practice and apply methods to achieve resilience on a day-to-day basis. Jessica’s discussion is based on her research and teaching at the Cass Business School at the University of London, along with her consulting work as Founder of the iOpener Institute for People and Performance. Participants will also learn through the stories Jessica relates from interviews with people all walks of life and the working world.

AM Workshop 1. Where Gratitude Meets Opportunity


  • Sam Scaffidi, founder, Project Sweat and Senior Instructor at SoulCycle in New York City
  • Devann Murphy, childhood cancer survivor and winner of the Boston Marathon Hand Cycle Division and two-time winner of the New York City Marathon Hand Cycle Division

Sam Scaffidi and Devann Murphy will share their experiences in fitness (and in life) of finding gratitude for what they have and are capable of and using it for good. They will discuss gratitude and community as motivators, finding and using your strengths for the benefit of others, and how living a life of gratitude breeds opportunity.

AM Workshop 2. Mindful Practices

Presenter: Dr. Angela Hissong, Professor-in-Charge & Teaching Professor, Associate Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, Penn State, Mont Alto Campus

This session will focus on infusing mindful practices into daily living.  Evidence and lived experience demonstrates that mindful practices bring inner peace, creativity, inspiration, harmonious relationships, fulfillment, better health, along with enhanced self-awareness.  During this session you will explore several mindful practices with Angie as a means to enhance the flow and joy along your journey.

AM Workshop 3. How to Improve Emotional Regulation and Increase Attention with Yoga

Presenter: Dr. Elizabeth Bentz, Department Chair – Occupational Therapy, Alvernia University

      1. Awareness – Getting grounded, understanding where the body is in space
      2. Breathe – Using good breathing techniques to initiate the parasympathetic nervous system
      3. Movement – Proper body mechanics for stretching and sensory regulation
      4. Attention – Focusing on positive energy
      5. Restore – Maintain a relaxed body throughout the day

Afternoon Keynote with Q & A: Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome: Redefining Resilience and Inspiring a More Motivated Community

Presenter: Chris Kaag, IM ABLE Foundation Founder and CEO

We all have bumps along the way. Don’t let them be your crutch; make them your stepping stones. I was a 21-year-old US Marine diagnosed with adrenomyeloneuropathy, a degenerative nerve disorder. Facing challenging times and obstacles, I have turned it into something positive and fulfilling. As we face the challenges of today, I will share my motto of Improvise, figuring out a different way to do things, Adapt, implement that change into your daily life, and Overcome, moving on with your life with no excuses.

PM Workshop 1. Redefining Possible: Thriving Beyond a Life-Changing Event


  • Panel of adaptive athletes led by Dean Smith, Executive MBA Faculty, Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
  • Beth Kase
  • Cody Wills
  • Kirstie Ennis
  • Brian Owens
  • Johnisha Wright
  • Devann Murphy

Each of the panelists had a life-changing event. Beth became a quadruple amputee at 50, Cody was paralyzed in a motocross accident in his teens, Kirstie lost her leg in a helicopter crash while serving as a US Marine, Brian was paralyzed when he was shot in the chest, Johnisha was also paralyzed when she was shot in the chest and has since had to have a leg amputated, and Devann had cancer at 11 years old. All of them have refused to let that event define who they are and what they can accomplish. Hear stories of triumph over challenge and learn about the unique mindset they have that drives them to accomplish their goals.

PM Workshop 2. Adapting Workouts for Athletes of All Abilities


  • Johanna Rice, IM ABLE Foundation’s Adaptive Fitness Certified Trainer and Masters Level Occupational Therapy Student and Ben Clause, Occupational Therapist for Reading Hospital’s Acute Rehab Center
  • Jaclyn Nagle
  • Avelino Rochino.

IM ABLE’s “no excuses, just move” mantra is linked to accessing movement and exercise goals regardless of ability level. Learn how the use of modification and adaptation in exercise can help individuals with disabilities reach their full athletic potential and lead to healthier lifestyles.

PM Workshop 3. The Next Step in NeuroRehabilitation: The Ekso NR as a tool for rehabilitation from post-acute care and beyond


  • Allison Jakavick, DPT and Ekso Clinical Specialist Reading Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Services and Ekso Certified Advanced Clinician
  • Margaret McIntosh: Paralympic equestrian
  • James Seifrit: former cross country running and avid cat lover

In this workshop, Dr. Jakavick will review aspects of the Esko device and its use in the recovery process. This will include patient testimonials and a Q&A panel at the end to review the experience with, and benefits from, utilizing Ekso during the rehab process and after discharge from traditional physical therapy.