Speaker Information

The Speaker application deadline has passed. We are currently in the process of reviewing all proposals. Thank you to everyone who took the time and effort to submit a proposal. This year the selection process is extremely competitive as we have received more outstanding proposals than we have conference time to accommodate. Notice of proposal status will be provided via email by Friday, February 26th.

Thank you again to everyone who submitted a proposal.


Here are a few teasers for topics we do have on the list already.

Did You Look?  Healthy skin starts with you!

Families, teens and adults living with Spina Bifida contend with hazards caused by insensate skin. Jennifer Wilhelmy, a Nurse Practitioner at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul, Minnesota, is an expert in wound care management and will provide tips and tricks to prevent and manage pressure ulcers, moisture associated skin breakdown, burns and other skin conditions. Attendees will also learn the key strategies to protect and maintain healthy skin.

The bladder: how it works and how to make it behave

Individuals of all ages who live with Spina Bifida often ask about urologic management strategies. Hadley Wood, MD with Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio is an expert in the urologic care and management among adolescents and adults living with Spina Bifida. She will review basic bladder physiology and explain what makes the bladder of individuals living with Spina Bifida unique. Additionally, Dr. Wood will inform attendees about how techniques such as urodynamics, imaging, and bloodwork can help individuals and clinicians monitor bladder function to prevent damaging secondary effects to the kidneys, and how medical providers can respond to the physical signs and symptoms of a changing bladder environment.

Facing The Challenges of Employment From Someone Who Is Living It.

Jamie Aguirre, a 38 year-old with Spina Bifida who works for Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas, will lead an interactive panel and audience discussion that will help audience members identify careers that are best suited for their individual circumstances, determine the skills that will elevate them above other job candidates, and help them succeed in their job despite prevailing misconceptions about employees with disabilities. well as help them develop resources & use them before, during, and after current employment. Mr. Aguirre holds a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from the University of New Mexico in Athletic Training.

Aging with Grace

Denise Maples

Adults with Spina Bifida who have parents that are growing older and increasingly less able to help them care for their needs can face drastic changes in their living and Spina Bifida health care management circumstances. Denise Maples, a social worker with over 20 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities and herself an adult with Spina Bifida, will help adults with Spina Bifida begin or continue a discussion about securing their future when their parents and other aging loved ones are no longer able to support them.