Anne Forrest, Ph.D., has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading patient advocates for people with traumatic brain injury. She lives with persistent symptoms from a mild TBI that she received during a June 1997 car accident and continues to recover. She lives in Austin, Texas with her family after living in Arlington, Virginia for 10 years. In the Washington D.C. area, she volunteered at the Brain Injury Association of America and gave speeches through them and through the Speakers Bureau at Brain Injury Services of Northern Virginia.
Anne was an original member of the Brain Injury Advisory Council formed by Susan Connors in 2008 with 5 national leaders. She spoke at the 2011 Brain Injury Awareness Day Congressional Briefing sponsored by the Brain Injury Task Force and got a standing ovation. She has advocated to members of Congress for re-authorization of the TBI Act, and to bring new members on to the bi-partisan Congressional Brain Injury Task Force led by Rep. Bill Pascrell and Rep. Rooney. She has also advocated for research funding as well as badly needed services and employment supports for people with brain injury as well as education and supports for those who love them.
For several years now, she has been the Chair of the Brain Injury Advisory Council, a collaboration of a group of survivors and the Brain Injury Association of America. The group of 7-9 active National Leaders meets monthly by phone to plan and discuss their work to educate, advocate and raise awareness about brain injury recovery at the National Level on issues such as Brain Injury Awareness Day in March and learn from each other about their work States. Anne will be speaking in San Antonio in August 3 at the Fast(er) Track for a Health Brain sponsored by the Texas Office of Acquired Brain Injury. She presented an oral presentation at the “4th Federal Interagency Conference on Traumatic Brain Injury on a decade of lived experience and accomplishments of the Council in June 2018.
Anne’s inspiring recovery story has been well-documented by the Media. She has worked hard to make her story useful to help others with TBI. The article “I want my Brain Back’: …One woman’s story of perseverance reveals some of the mysteries of the brain” published in The Washingtonian Magazine is being used as an educational resource at rehabilitation hospitals in Virginia and Canada for survivors with Post-Concussive Syndrome. The Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation Brain Blogger recommends the article saying “This is a wonderful article about a woman’s recovery from brain injury. It’s more than just a human interest story, it’s helpful.”
Her story has also been told by The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal as well as PT Magazine, the Huff Post, Austin.com, and the State of Texas Office of Acquired Brain Injury as part of their Navigating the Brain Maze series.
Anne also speaks at brain injury conferences, to survivors and their families, to professionals, and to university classes and rehabilitation hospitals. After hearing Anne speak, Dr Claudia Osborn, author of Over My Head: A Doctor’s Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out said “[Anne’s] story is the best [I] have heard and [I] have heard thousand’s of survivor’s stories.” Anne’s audiences are Medical Doctors and Rehabilitation Specialists including neurologists, neuropsychologists, physical therapists, social workers, case managers; and students of these disciplines as well as lawyers and researchers. Dr. Forrest has given presentations in Washington, D.C., Williamsburg and Northern Virginia, Philadelphia and Austin and Central Texas. She has also spoken internationally in Toronto and London, Canada.
Additionally, Anne has worked with professionals, clinicians and researchers on several projects:
She worked with case managers at Brain Injury Services of Northern Virginia to develop a 10-session educational seminar series to provide information about self-care and recovery tailored specifically for people with mild brain injuries who often have difficulty getting appropriate services. Survivors have said that the program alone helps them educate themselves and their families about the injury.
She was an Expert Consensus Group Member for the development of Guidelines for the Management of Persistent Sypmtoms following mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion and for the revision of the Guidelines in 2013. This work is sponsored by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation. New guidelines are out!
She represented the Brain Injury Association of America on the Advisory Committee for the development of a classification system for improving rehabilitation. Researchers and Clinicians at Mt Sinai Hospital and Kessler are the investigators on the grant led by Dr Marcel Dijkers. The Project is called the Rehabilitation Treatment Taxonomy.