The CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) annual International Medical Rehabilitation Conference, “Innovation—The Key to the 2009 Medical Rehabilitation Standards,” will be held April 19 and 20, in Tuscon, Az, at the at the Tucson Marriott University Park Hotel. Cherilyn G. Murer, JD, CRA, is the scheduled keynote speaker.

Murer is set to tell conference attendees how health care providers can thrive in challenging economic times. “In today’s tumultuous times, health care providers cannot afford to navigate the waters with pessimism or fear. They must chart a course driven by practicality and pragmatism,” says Murer, president and CEO of the Murer Consultants Inc, a legal-based health care management consulting firm in Joliet, Ill.

As part of her keynote address, Murer plans to focus on applying various business strategies and techniques in an unprecedented and unstable financial and political environment to thrive in tumultuous times. In addition, she will discuss the re-calibration of expectations, ethics, and practices within the health care delivery system.

Additional speakers planned to present are:

• Wanda Bennett, MS, OTR/L, who will present “Sharing Outcome and Performance Information with Stakeholders,” a discussion of strategies in building a culture that values outcomes and performance information. Bennett, who is with the Regional Rehabilitation Center of the University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, will also examine meaningful methods of sharing information with various stakeholder groups.

• Also on the topic of outcomes, Lorraine Riche, BMR, PT, Dip MDT, Inova Health System, will present “Sharing Outcomes: What Do They Want to Know and How Can I Tell Them?” Her lecture will cover ways to determine what information to share, uncomplicated media for sharing it, and small- and large-scale solutions for sharing data with examples.

• In “Medical Process for Injured Army National Guard Soldiers,” US Army National Guard Sergeant Major Allan L. Walz will highlight different types of military programs, paperwork, and evacuation processes that are available or required for injured, sick, or ill National Guard soldiers. He will include scenarios of injured soldiers being evacuated from the overseas theater to the US and the processes used to track the soldiers.

• Susan Bachner, MA, OTR/L, Susan Bachner Consulting LLC, will describe approaches to help sustain supportive environments in “Creating Supportive Environments: Accessibility, Usability, and Quality of Life.” Her presentation will discuss personalized medicine, individual needs within context, personalized discharges, and evaluation outcomes.

• In “Disaster Planning and Preparedness,” Elaine Rohlik, MSW, WakeMed Rehabilitation, will use an example of her organization’s initiatives in disaster planning and preparedness at the community, organizational, and client levels.

• Cathy Ellis, PT, from the National Rehabilitation Hospital, will continue the disaster planning discussion with a review of using the CARF standards to prepare for a natural or manmade disaster. Ellis is chairperson of the CARF board of directors.

• Hilary Siebens, MD, Siebens Patient Care Communications, will address “Portable Profiles and Communication with Patients.” The term portable profile was developed by CARF to encourage better provider-patient communication. Siebens’s lecture will review factors that interfere with good communication in clinical settings and present successful elements of information sharing with patients. In discussing the advantages and disadvantages of both electronic and print media, she will give examples of beneficial changes in practice and barriers that were overcome in service providers’ efforts to meet CARF’s portable profile standard.

• In “Health Literacy: Definition and Controversies,” Michael S. Wolf, PhD, MPH, from the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, will focus on the associations of health literacy with health outcomes, deconstructing health literacy, and interventions.

• Also with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Anne Deutsch, PhD, RN, will address “Public Reporting of Quality Information by Rehabilitation Programs,” including an evaluation of quality information reported by rehabilitation programs and possible improvement of the information’s presentation.

Conference hours are from 8 am to 3 pm both days. Registration for the 2-day conference is $455. To register online, click on the Medical Rehabilitation seminars link at, or e-mail [email protected]. To learn more about accreditation, e-mail [email protected].