The School of Health and Medical Sciences presents its inaugural Interprofessional Perspectives Speaker Series.
"Eric LeGrand's New Team"
Featuring the former NCAA Division I football player and his personal story of triumph over adversity, plus the healthcare professionals who are helping him move forward in his quest to walk again.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Tickets are free. Register today using the form on the right »
Special Guests from the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation:
- Sandra "Buffy" Wojciehowski, PT, DPT '07 / Physical Therapist
Alumna of the School of Health and Medical Sciences
- Gabriella Stiefbold, OT, ATP / Occupational Therapist
The charismatic Eric LeGrand is a motivating source of inspiration to all who interact with him. Hear firsthand why "bELieve" is the philosophy that encourages him to power through his intense rehabilitation therapies, and how faith rouses his spirit to make an impact in others' lives.
School of Health and Medical Sciences alumna and physical therapist Sandra "Buffy" Wojciehowski and occupational therapist Gabriella Stiefbold, healthcare professionals who have worked closely with LeGrand, will provide an insider's perspective on what they add to—and immeasurably gain from—LeGrand's quest to walk again.
"Eric LeGrand's New Team" is the inaugural event of the School of Health and Medical Sciences' Interprofessional Perspectives Speaker Series. The School emphasizes the importance of interprofessional education (IPE), which brings together students, faculty, clinical partners and alumni from the fields of athletic training, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant and speech-language pathology in order to learn about, learn from, and learn with each other. This interprofessional approach to health sciences education leads to effective collaboration among practitioners and, ultimately, improved health outcomes for our patients and communities.
About Eric LeGrand
From heartache to triumph, it is clear that Eric LeGrand does not let obstacles derail him. The 22-year-old was a football player for Rutgers University. He has been in the national spotlight since October 2010, his junior year, when he suffered a paralyzing spinal-cord injury after making a hard tackle during the fourth quarter of a tied game. Since that day nearly three years ago, LeGrand has remained paralyzed below his shoulders.
LeGrand's determined approach to his rehabilitation — and insistence that he will walk again — is inspiring. His "bELieve" motto is the rally cry of his supporters nationwide, and during a phone interview with the Associated Press he once said: "How can I get down when I am motivating all these people in the world."
Because of his optimism, LeGrand has become a national icon and recipient of distinguished awards including the ESPY's Jimmy V Perseverance Award and induction to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2011, and his memoir, Believe: My Faith and the Tackle that Changed My Life, was published in 2012 by William Morrow.
Making a difference in the lives of others is of paramount importance to LeGrand and his family. He recently founded Team LeGrand in collaboration with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to help individuals living with spinal-cord injury and their families by supporting quality-of-life initiatives and emerging therapies.
School of Health and Medical Sciences alumna Sandra “Buffy” Wojciehowski, PT, DPT, is a Physical Therapy Clinical Specialist at Kessler. She has focused her career on caring for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries.
As a leader of the Kessler outpatient department, Wojciehowski has presented at two national conferences. She is also working on a grant with Ekso Bionics, which developed an exoskeleton that enables individuals with lower extremity paralysis to stand up and walk over ground. Wojciehowski has been the clinical supervisor of the locomotor training program at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network since 2009, and she is a recent graduate of the Canine Companions for Independence program.
Wojciehowski received both her B.S. and D.P.T. degrees from Seton Hall University, where she was a goalkeeper on the women's soccer team.
Gabriella Stiefbold, OT, ATP, is an Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist in the Outpatient Spinal-Cord Injury department at Kessler. She has spent her 17-year career working with individuals with spinal-cord injuries, specializing in wheelchair seating, home modifications and assistive technology.
Stiefbold’s national and international lectures about spinal-cord injury include presentations for the Academy of SCI Professionals, Contemporary Forums and the American Spinal Cord Injury Association.
A certified Assistive Technology Professional since 2000, she is a member of the American Spinal Cory Injury Association and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America.
Stiefbold graduated from Kean University with a B.S. in occupational therapy.