Blog PostsJun 27, 2024

2024 Spina Bifida Clinical Care Meeting

2024 Spina Bifida Clinical Care Meeting

The 2024 Spina Bifida Clinical Care Meeting planned with and hosted by Shriners Children’s Northern California, Sacramento, included the involvement of 150 members of the Spina Bifida community, clinicians, parents, adults, and researchers. The information shared was relevant to Spina Bifida clinical care and provided opportunities for improvement in care locally.

Groups of clinic coordinators, therapists, adults, and SBA chapter executive directors had the opportunity to meet and plan for future engagement. There is no better opportunity for those who care for people living with Spina Bifida to come together and share successes and challenges in the delivery of that care.


Four awards were given out at the 2024 Spina Bifida Clinical Care Meeting. One person received the Judy Thibadeau Award, one person won the Tim Brei Award and two people received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Judy Thibadeau Award is presented to a nurse who has made outstanding and significant accomplishments to improve the lives of people with Spina Bifida. The 2024 Judy Thibadeau Award was presented posthumously to Lori Howell, DNP, MS, RN.

The Tim Brei, MD Award is presented to an outstanding physician or doctorate level clinician. It is designed to showcase and acknowledge outstanding achievements by a clinician caring for individuals with Spina Bifida. The Award is presented to an individual who has had a significant and lasting impact on Spina Bifida health care practices. The 2024 Tim Brei Award was presented to Richard Adams, MD.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to the individual or individuals who over the course of a lifetime have strived to meet the mission of SBA – to build a better and brighter future for all those impacted by SB. Through their distinguished service, they have worked to improve the lives of people with Spina Bifida. The 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Mark Dias, MD, FAANS and Kathy Sawin, PhD, CPNP-PC, FAAN.


Session Highlights

How Can Spina Bifida Clinics Contribute to Healthy Skin and Prevent Breakdown and Sepsis – Skin-related issues have a significant impact on health, activities of daily living, and quality of life among people with Spina Bifida. This session presented approaches Spina Bifida clinicians based on clinical experiences to promote healthy skin in clinics including use of SBA’s “Did You Look?” resource, issues with orthotics and wheelchairs, and how to document/code effectively for equipment. The session was presented by Holly Kirkland-Kyhn PhD, FNP, GNP, CWCN, FAANP; Faith Stevens, PT, DPT, PCS; Jennifer Wilhelmy, ANP; and Michael Wadekamper, CPO.

Mindset Matters– People of all ages have different beliefs, or mindsets, about their health. Some see health as a fixed entity which is determined by genes while others consider health to be changeable and subject to improvement according to behaviors. Holding a growth mindset about health has been linked to more adaptive responses to illness in children as well as adults. This session explored how a growth mindset can help children and parents cope with chronic health conditions. This session was presented by Claudia Mueller, MD, PhD.


Passing the Spina Bifida Clinical Care Meeting Baton

Maya Evans, MD of Shriners Children’s Northern California passed the Spina Bifida Clinical Care Meeting baton to members of the Spina Bifida clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who will be the host of the 2025 Clinical Care Meeting June 6-7, 2025.


Thank you to all of our sponsors and exhibitors who made this event possible.