Brain Injury Conference

The 8th Black Hills Brain Injury Conference was held on May 8-9, 2014 at the Ramkota Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota. The conference began on Thursday, May 8th at 12PM. The conference will go into the evening that day and will resume on Friday morning, May 9th at 8:30AM. The conference will end at noon on Friday. CEUs will be available (8.0 for LPCs, 8.5 contact hours for Social Workers, and 8.0 for CRC). Click here for our Conference Brochure and ScheduleClick here for our conference registration form!

We are very pleased to announce that our keynote for the 8th Black Hills Brain Injury Conference will be champion snowboarder, Kevin Pearce!

Kevin Pearce

Kevin won three medals at the 2008 Winter X Games XII in Aspen, Colorado. He was also the first athlete in X Games history to compete in three medal events in one day. Kevin was injured in 2009 while training for the Olympics.

His injury and amazing recovery has led to him being an outspoken advocate of helmet safety.

The award-winning 2013 HBO documentary, "The Crash Reel" has become a widely viewed documentary that chronicles Kevin's incredible story. He also was recently featured in National Geographic's "Adventurers of the Year" 2014. 

Melissa Johnson is another great featured speaker! She will be sharing her family’s personal struggles with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and other war-related illnesses and injuries. Learn how this family has adapted to life after combat, including strategies and coping skills they have developed for survival of this “new normal.” Discover what it means to be living in recovery and how they have found beauty in the broken pieces as they, and thousands of other veteran families, have rebuilt their lives. She has been an advocate of awareness with the organization, Family Of a Vet.

Melissa Johnson and her husband, Staff Sergeant Sean Johnson

Dr. Kim Gorgens is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Professional Psychology at the University of Denver. Board-certified in Rehabilitation Psychology, Kim teaches courses in Psychophysiology and Clinical Neuropsychology at the doctoral level, as well as in the Forensic Psychology and International Disaster Psychology Master's Degree programs. She has been a faculty member at the University of Denver since 2001, and she also has a faculty appointment to the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.



Under her supervision, Kim’s students are involved in TBI-related research with the State of Colorado, the Colorado Traumatic Brain Injury Connections program, the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Denver VA Medical Center, Colorado Department of Corrections, Denver Juvenile Probation and the Denver County Jail.



As a neuropsychologist working in the field of brain injuries, Kim has seen firsthand the damage traumatic injuries can do. Through her expertise and involvement in Colorado’s Traumatic Brain Injury Trust Fund Board, and in the state’s Brain Injury Legislative Collaborative, Kim played an integral role in legislation to better manage concussions among school-aged kids.


Kim has received numerous awards over the years; she has given many lectures in her area of expertise, including being featured in a TED TALK in 2010, and she is often called upon by the national media to provide expert commentary.

Kim Gorgens, PhD

Allen Brown, M.D. is Consultant and Division Chair of Brain Rehabilitation in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. As Project Director of Mayo Clinic’s Traumatic Brain Injury Model System Center, funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research continuously since 1998, his research team has focused on population-based epidemiological analyses related to traumatic brain injury, and on improving outcomes for individuals after traumatic brain injury by testing novel interventions through community-based clinic trials.
Ron Sasso, M.S., L.P.C., C.B.I.S.T. received his M.S. in Counseling from South Dakota State University. Ron has worked with people with disabilities for over 19 years and since 2001 he has been the Director of The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center in Rapid City. He has presented on various brain injury topics at conferences including presenting at Mayo Clinic and a poster presentation at the IBIA Eighth World Congress on Brain Injury in Washington, D.C. He will be presenting on Brain Injury through the Lifespan, focusing on the unique long term challenges presented by a brain injury. He also will present on Awareness, Depression, and Catastrophic Reaction, addressing the emotional challenges faced after a brain injury.
Over the past 30 years, Bob Prentice has been positively impacting the lives of thousands of people through his motivational speaking, corporate training, and business consulting. A true entrepreneur, Bob has authored, produced and published hundreds of articles, a book, and numerous podcasts, that convey his message to the world.
Bob has delivered effective and empowering workshops on Customer Service, Leadership, Sales and Team Building to hundreds of companies, hospitals, schools and organizations all over the USA.

These are just a few of our featured presenters!