Your Weekly Dose of #5ThoughtsFriday: A description of what we think is important at BIAMD
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#5Thoughts Friday

Here are the 5 things we thought were
worth sharing with you this week:
This summer, I had the pleasure of co-facilitating a support group on Monday nights for the Baltimore Job Hunters Support Group (BJHSG). The group was born in 2011 out of the Great Recession, when millions of people lost their jobs and many individuals experienced what is now referred to as long-term unemployment. The Monday group I co-facilitate is geared towards individuals affected by the extraordinary employment circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, I lead a 3-part psychoeducational series based around Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning™ to provide tools for structuring our lives in the context of quarantine.

The Miracle Morning™ is a personal development routine developed by writer Hal Elrod, who is a traumatic brain injury survivor. At the age of 20, he was hit head-on by a drunk driver at 70 miles per hour and his heart stopped for 6 minutes. When he awoke from a coma, he was told that he would never walk again. After undergoing intensive rehabilitation and therapies, he went on to run a 52-mile marathon and become a hall of fame business achiever before his 30th birthday. He went on to produce numerous self-development books, the most popular of which is The Miracle Morning™: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform You Life Before 8 AM. This book has been translated into 27 languages and The Miracle Morning™ is being practiced by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe. In 2016, he confronted life-threatening circumstances again when he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. After enduring rigorous cancer treatments, he is cancer-free and currently producing a documentary about The Miracle Morning™.

Hal asserts that by waking up each morning and practicing the Life S.A.V.E.R.S™, you will begin each day with an extraordinary level of discipline (the ability to get yourself to follow through with your commitments), clarity (the power you’ll generate from focusing on what’s most important to you), and personal development (the single most determining factor in your overall success, happiness, and quality of life). The Miracle Morning™ is about becoming the person you need to be to create the life you truly desire. 

CLICK HERE to read more about a tool we can all use as we continue to shelter in place during the pandemic.
Group Check-In Chat
from Noon to 1pm.

Please CLICK HERE to sign up using our online registration.

Once we receive your registration, we will send you the link.

We hope to "see" you there!
We are witnessing mandated social isolation and social distancing on an epic scale. As part of BIAMD's interest in serving Maryland's Brain Injury Community, we are starting what we call "Check-In Chats".

We would like to "check in" with anyone looking to share their experiences and challenges with either an individual or in a social group setting.

Even though we can't meet in person, there are many ways open to us, and, if you are interested, we would like to hear from you about your needs and how we can help you feel more connected.

Photo by Specna Arms on Unsplash
“Operator Syndrome,” especially blast TBI (bTBI) and PTSD, are destroying the lives of special operators at an alarming rate. For the purposes of this paper, operators are Green Berets, SEALs, MARSOC Raiders, Combat Controllers, Pararescue, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians, Special Mission Units or those that may accompany special operations forces regularly in training or on missions. The USSOCOM must continue to aggressively address bTBI. The authors acknowledge that the Nation and the command have invested heavily in developing strategies to address this issue; however, thus far, the efforts seem disjointed and have failed to mitigate the impact on special operators. These well-intentioned programs, policies, and research efforts are not making it to the team rooms or the ready rooms of our Ranger Platoons, Green Beret “A-Teams,” SEAL Platoons, Marine Special Operations Teams or other special mission units. There is no time to waste—senior leaders, policy makers and researchers must translate the current knowledge into actionable programs. There is no doubt that if provided the right tools, equipment and education, the senior non-commissioned officers will undoubtedly alter training protocols, inform their teammates and force positive change.

This paper has two primary objectives. First, it will support the argument that blast related TBI is uniquely different from the more recognized brain injury known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) injury associated with impact trauma and therefore requires a different approach to both diagnosis and treatment. Second, it will provide recommendations for mitigating the effects of bTBI on the readiness and long-term health of special operators. 

Key recommendations will include identifying blast pressure thresholds, developing imaging technology, and blood markers to diagnose bTBI. It calls for the DoD to institute and sustain “baseline” health surveillance to detect patterns of injury and health distress early, promote awareness for the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine Brain Donation Awareness Program, and to establish an active Cross-Functional Brain Consortium. An additional recommendation will include changes to training plans that continue to prepare operators for combat but reduce their exposure to blast trauma. 

CLICK HERE to find out yet another reason to find diplomatic rather than lethal solutions.
Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash
Last year, the FDA granted authorization for commercial use of the first tool that provides an objective diagnosis of concussions. Called EyeBox, it was developed by sisters Uzma and Rosina Samadani. Uzma was the chief of neurosurgery at Manhattan Veterans Administration Hospital when her research suggested a connection between brain injuries and restricted eye movement. What if, she wondered, computer-aided eye tracking could diagnose brain trauma? “If you can measure something, you can treat it,” she says. She founded Oculogica, and Rosina, who has a PhD in biomed­ical engineering, signed on to run it. By the end of 2019, some two dozen EyeBoxes were in use at medical centers, sports clinics, and other facilities. In January, the American Medical Association opened the door for insurers to cover EyeBox diagnoses, paving the way for expanded adoption.

CLICK HERE for more on the Samandini sister's new step forward in concussion detection.
Neurosurgeon and researcher Uzma Samadani, M.D., Ph.D., is the co-founder of Oculogica®. C:

CLICK HERE or on the arrow on the left to watch her share her journey of discovery on the TEDMED stage.

CLICK HERE for more information about the the services, resources, and connections you can make with through the Maryland Coalition of Families.

ONLINE Brain Injury Support Groups

Severe Brain Injury Caregiver Group
Zoom Room Internet Conference
2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, 7:30 p – 8:45p
Tom Gallup 301-502-8420

BIAMD Check In Chats
Every Friday at Noon
To register for a Check-In-Chat please visit

Young Stroke Group
The first and third Fridays of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.
​For individuals in their 20’s to 60’s, Contact: Susan Emery

Rockville Brain Injury Support Group
2nd Thursday, 6:30p – 7:30p
Tom Wilkinson 240-493-8472
Anne Arundel County Brain Injury Support Group
3rd Tuesday, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Debbie Cottrill (410) 320-8948 

Brain Injury Support Group
1st Monday, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Candice Rebuck (410) 448-6303

Caregivers Support Group
4th Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Gwen Alexander (410) 448-6311

Stroke Support Group
Meets monthly 10:00 a.m. – Noon
Brandy Breaux (410) 448-6821
Call for the monthly calendar
Online stroke support and information resources
The John “Jack” Godfrey Brain Injury Support Group
2nd Tuesday, 6:00p – 7:00p 
Dawn Moreland (301) 618-2364 
Brentrell Spencer (301) 618-2134
BIADC Support Group
3rd Wednesday, 5:30p – 7:30p
Gemma Rosas (NRH) (202)-877-1192
Joan Joyce (NRH) (202) 877-1420
Feature Event : Sept. 22 and 23, 2020

Workgroup Sessions : Sept. 24, 25, 28, & 29, 2020

Podcasts Available : Beginning Sept. 22, 2020

Post-Intensive Workshop : Sept. 29, 2020


This event will include a combination of live and recorded sessions in a variety of formats and an exhibit hall for event sponsors and attendees to network and collaborate. 

Rate (Covers the entire event.)

$250 for Members
$300 for Non Members
CEUs applied for APA, SW, and CRC. 

All events are virtual.

CLICK HERE for the Agenda (Tentative.)

CLICK HERE to Register
2) What We are Reading This Week
Hal Elrod is on a mission to Elevate the Consciousness of Humanity, One Person at a Time. As the author of one of the highest rated books on Amazon, "The Miracle Morning" (which has been translated into 37 languages, has over 3,000 five-star reviews and has impacted the lives of over 2,000,000 people in more than 70 countries)... he is doing exactly that.

What's incredible is that Hal literally died at age 20. His car was hit head-on by a drunk driver at 70 miles per hour, his heart stopped beating for 6 minutes, he broke 11 bones and woke up after being in a coma for 6 days to be told by his doctors that he would probably never walk again.

Not only did Hal walk, he ran a 52-mile ultra-marathon and went on to became a hall of fame business achiever, international keynote speaker, author, and grateful husband & father-all before he turned 30.

CLICK HERE for more on this book.
1) Quote We Are Contemplating...

"Often, it isn't the mountains ahead of you that wear you out, it's the little pebble in your shoe."

Have you ever clicked on the pictures posted at the end of every #5ThoughtsFridays? Try it. You might learn something fun!
Photo by Mareks Steins on Unsplash


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This blog is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement of treatments, individuals, or programs which appear herein. Any external links on the website are provided for the visitor’s convenience; once you click on any of these links you are leaving BIAMD's #5ThoughtsFriday blog post. BIAMD has no control over and is not responsible for the nature, content, and availability of those sites. 

 Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful weekend.