Stroke Support Group

Beth organizes and hosts regular online meetings for survivors of stroke and other brain injuries. The format includes open dialog, readings focused on strength and recovery, and conversations with expert speakers and authors.

Upcoming Meetings:

September 7, 2023: Dr. Richard Tedeschi Post Traumatic Growth

Dr. Tedeschi, a Licensed Psychologist specializing in bereavement and trauma, is Professor Emeritus of Psychological Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and core faculty for the Health Psychology Ph.D. program. He is currently Distinguished Chair of the Boulder Crest Institute for Posttraumatic Growth, part of the Boulder Crest Foundation in Bluemont VA. He has published several books on posttraumatic growth, an area of research that he developed that examines personal transformations in the aftermath of traumatic life events.

Beth is excited to welcome Dr. Tedeschi as a guest speaker. The meeting will be held via Zoom at noon Eastern Time. Thursday, Septemeber 7. Contact Beth for the meeting link.


Past meeting topics and speakers have included:

Krish Kresge, Health Through Movement

Krish is a Feldenkrais® practitioner (1998) who works with people of all ages and backgrounds, using movement as a primary tool for improving coordination, balance, self-awareness, posture and voice. Krish is also an actor, producer and director. She is passionate about using her diverse skills and background to help people thrive, find their innate dignity and radiant selves.

Krish has been teaching the Feldenkrais Method® and the Anat Baniel Neuromovement® Method across the world for over 24 years. In addition to working with performing artists, athletes and business executives alike, Krish specializes in working with individuals with stroke and other disabilities. She co-edited a book about the Feldenkrais Method, Learning Through Movement, published by Handspring Publishing (UK) in 2020.

Krish spoke about her work, answered questions and led us through several actual exercises in which all participated in whatever way best matched their abilities.


Lauren Sheehan, Recovery with Kandu Health

Lauren Sheehan, OTD, OTR/L, is Director, Clinical Services at Kandu Health. Kandu Health serves people returning home from the hospital after a stroke. They offer remote clinical support through a proprietary app and a team of Kandu Navigators. Lauren has dedicated her entire career to helping stroke survivors live to their greatest potential. She has a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University and has spent the last five years focusing on building innovative stroke technologies to enhance survivors’ rehabilitation experience. Lauren has served as an adjunct professor and lecturer of occupational therapy at a variety of institutions, and she is passionate about empowering stroke survivors to take charge of their life after stroke.


Group Viewing of Jill Bolte-Taylor’s TED Talk: My Stroke of Insight

In December, the group gathered virtually for a shared viewing of Jill Bolte-Taylor’s amazing TED talk, My Stoke of Insight.

Meredith Drake, Physical Therapy and Stroke

Meredith Drake is a physical therapist at Johns Hopkins, with specific interests in Neurology and clinical education. She has a clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, completed a post-graduate internship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and a Neurology Residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital/University of Delaware.

Beth was excited to welcome Meredith as a guest speaker.


Debra Battistella, Brain Injury Recovery

Debra Battistella, MS, OTR/L has worked most of her OT career in physical medicine practice. During that phase, she realized that many practitioner and client needs go unnoticed and often, unmet. Deciding to take her OT practice beyond clinic walls, Debra began creatively serving the OT community through online programs that save clinicians time and support client recovery.

She ties in her passion for the brain and neuroplasticity through “The OT’s Guide to Mirror Therapy” program and the “Noggins And Neurons: Brain Injury Recovery Simplified” podcast. Debra is also full-time faculty and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at SUNY Erie Community College where she also provides college-based OT services that focus on student, faculty and staff emotional well-being at the group and population levels through campus-based fieldwork


Rupa Valdez, Phd, Living with a Disability in Our Society

Dr. Rupa Valdez, PhD spoke from her experience and research.

Dr. Rupa Valdez is an associate professor at the University of Virginia with joint appointments in the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is also a core faculty member of Global Studies and the Disability Studies Initiative. Dr. Valdez merges the disciplines of human factors engineering, health informatics, and cultural anthropology to understand and support the ways in which people manage health at home and in the community. She recently testified before Congress on the topic of health equity for the disability community and received the Jack A. Kraft Innovator Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) for her pioneering work in creating and developing the subdiscipline of patient ergonomics.

She is also the founder and president of Blue Trunk Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to making it easier for people with chronic health conditions, disabilities, and age-related conditions to travel. Dr. Valdez herself lives with multiple chronic health conditions and disabilities, which have and continue to influence her work and advocacy.

Jeanmarie Badar, Phd, Topic: On Providing Support

Beth’s friend and colleague, educator Jeanmarie Badar, PhD shared her experience and insight on providing support.

Jeanmarie earned her doctorate at the University of Virginia School of Education and has experience instructing and supporting adults and students, as well as experience in educational research.

Beth was excited to welcome Jeanmarie as the guest speaker at the April 7, 2022 meeting of the Stroke Support Group. The meeting was held via Zoom at 12 PM Eastern Time.


Barbara Lipska, Author, The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind

“In January 2015, Barbara Lipska – a leading expert on the neuroscience of mental illness – was diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to her brain. Within months, her frontal lobe, the seat of cognition, began shutting down. She descended into madness, exhibiting dementia- and schizophrenia-like symptoms that terrified her family and coworkers. But miraculously, just as her doctors figured out what was happening, the immunotherapy they had prescribed began to work. Just eight weeks after her nightmare began, Lipska returned to normal. With one difference: she remembered her brush with madness with exquisite clarity.”

“In The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind, Lipska describes her extraordinary ordeal and its lessons about the mind and brain.”  ©2018 Barbara K. Lipska and Elaine McArdle (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Book

Beth was excited to welcome Barbara as the guest speaker at the February 10, 2022 meeting of the Stroke Support Group. The meeting was held via Zoom at 12 PM Eastern Time.


Ted Baxter, Author, Relentless

In April 2005, at the peak of a successful twenty-two-year career in finance, Ted Baxter experienced a massive ischemic stroke.  Today, he volunteers his experience and expertise as a stroke survivor and advocate.

In his book, Relentless, Ted describes his journey of recovery. As his website notes:  “He’s walking again. He’s talking again. He moves through life almost as easily as he did before the stroke, only now, his life is better. He’s learned that having a successful career is maybe not the most important thing. He’s learned to appreciate life more and that he wants to help people, and that’s what he does. He gives back.”

Beth was excited to welcome Ted as the guest speaker at the January 25, 2022 meeting of the Stroke Support Group. The meeting was held via Zoom at 12 PM Eastern Time.


Stay in Touch

Get the latest updates and news from Beth.