iSociety: Rochelle Rose

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Since 2009, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital has presented its annual Empowerment through Medical Rehabilitation Educational Series with an esteemed speaker. This year, Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research and author of Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change Your Life, gave an hour-plus lecture on Monday to several hundred attendees at the Fess Parker Resort Hotel.

Later, a more exclusive dinner and panel discussion followed in the Reagan Room.

Dr. Merzenich is the co-founder and chief scientific officer of Posit Science, which markets and distributes Brain HQ, brain training software that applies principles of brain plasticity to assist with cognitive improvement. His presentation covered exercises to help rejuvenate under-developed or degraded cognitive abilities and tips to get started on a better, safer path to brain health.

Merzenich has presented at TED, and his work has been featured on four PBS specials and most recently on the Science Channel show Hack My Brain. His lecture on Monday was titled “A New Path to Brain Health.”

Later, the panel included Craig Bennett, cognitive neuroscience researcher; Robert Harbaugh, M.D., neurologist/dementia care; Betsy Spaulding, traumatic brain injury survivor, and former patient at CRH/Keck Center; and Karen Walker, speech and language pathologist/cognitive rehabilitation.

The event was a benefit for the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, a nonprofit organization, a separate philanthropic foundation, directed by an independent board of directors that devotes its energies toward charitable giving.

The purpose of the CRHF Empowerment through Medical Rehabilitation Educational Series is to share important information with the community about current topics and research and to advance understanding of medical rehabilitation.

Empowerment Committee members include chair Lailan McGrath, Kimberly Alfano, Ph.D, Sharon Basham, M.D., Denise Dowd, Tariz Kadri, publicist Laura Kath, Tom Reeeg, Robin Sonner, ED, Melinda Staveley, Karen Walker, Bill Werts, Maggie Wordell and Maria Zate.

Board members were also supportive, many of them having served for decades previously, including chair Paul Graziano, immediate past chair Jim Whilt, Herbert Tews, Lailan McGrath, Karen Hickman, Melinda Staveley, Tyson Blades, Ashley Parker Snider and Bill Wertz.

Generous sponsors included the Woods-Claeyssens Foundation, Central Coast Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Medical Group, Tariq and Maxine Kadri, and Melinda Staveley.

For more information, click here or call 805.687.7444.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.