Annual Assembly


Meet Team Physiatry's Plenary Speakers 

No other PM&R conference brings together high-profile thought leaders who’ve made significant and enduring contributions in both their respective fields and throughout the world. Listen as our experts share their insights. Don’t forget about your peer presenters on Saturday! Listen to our PhyzTalks finalists, who will leave a lasting impression well after the conference ends!

Dr. Gittler and Bolte Taylor

Presidential Address and Plenary Keynote—Michelle S. Gittler, MD, FAAPMR and Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD

Thursday, November 12 at 7 pm (CT)

AAPM&R President Michelle S. Gittler, MD, FAAPMR, will officially launch #AAPMR20 and welcome attendees. Then Dr. Gittler and Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD, a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist, will participate in a fire-side chat about Dr. Taylor’s inspiring journey.

In 1996, a blood vessel exploded in the left half of her brain. Over the course of 4 hours, Dr. Taylor watched her mind completely deteriorate, until she could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of her life. It took 8 years for her to completely recover all function.

In 2008, Dr. Taylor gave the first TED talk that ever went viral, she was the premier guest on Oprah’s Soul Series, and she was named one as of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008. In 2020, Dr. Taylor will publish book #2 about insights into whole brain living, and she is committed to educating the public about neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain to recover from stroke or brain trauma.  

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PhyzTalks Finalists

Saturday, November 14 at 10 am (CT)

Spend your morning listening to the outstanding top submissions from our “Call for PhyzTalks”. PhyzTalks are TED™-style talks, which feature stories that are compelling and impactful to physiatrists. Get a sneak peek at their topics!

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52nd Walter J. Zeiter Lecture and Awards Video Presentation—Will Waller

Sunday, November 15 at 3 pm (CT)

Will Waller is the CEO of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). After a 20-year career in human resources at three Global, Fortune 150 companies, he has performed a variety of global business partner roles, as well as led large scale change initiatives.

In 1992, a bullet pierced Will’s spine and kidney in a gang-related shooting. He suffered a mixed conus cauda equina injury to his lower back, which left him with some sensation feeling and slight movement, as well as other functionality. As a result, Will has chronic leg pain, and eventually, his kidney had to be removed. In helping him through his physical and emotional challenges, one of his doctors at the Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital eventually persuaded him to apply to junior college.

He eventually joined the Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers and performed at the highest level for team USA, having won two Paralympic Bronze Medals and two World Championships. The NWBA leadership role has allowed Will to leverage his blend of business and sporting.

Prior to Will's presentation will be our AAPM&R Awards Video Presentation! Our 2020 award winners will be recognized for their significant contributions to both the specialty and to people with disabilities.

All times are (CT), or Central Standard Time, UTC -6.

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