Vestibular Patient Conference - 2019

Posted by Cynthia Ryan

Listen to recordings of conference speakers on such topics as BPPV, Meniere's, vestibular rehabilitation and complementary and alternative treatments.

The Vestibular Disorders Conference at the University of Minnesota was a patient-centered conference with the purpose to educate, listen, and empower people with the complexities and difficulties of hearing loss, dizziness, and tinnitus. The second Annual Conference was held on September 28, 2019 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota Campus and featured speakers from around the country.  The focus this year was on dizziness and with timely information from experts in Vestibular Rehabilitation, T'ai Chi for Improving Balance, Best Practices for Meniere's Patients, an examination of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, help for the Caregivers, and Diagnosis and Treatment of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.

Listen to recordings

From conference host, Dr. Jim Hainlen:

“Until it went wrong... we didn't know something so tiny in our ears could change so much in our lives.  Until it went wrong... we didn't know it was going to happen to us.  Until it went wrong... we never understood that a vestibular disorder could cost us a career, friends (who thought we were malingering), the dignity of walking through a store and not falling down, and the long search for a doctor who would simply believe us.

“I invite you to listen to the audios of these sessions, take heart that there are others who are going through what you are, and resolve again to ask the right questions of professionals until you get answers that help you.  There are no big steps with vestibular disorders, there are only small steps that, over time, add up to improvement in your quality of living.  No one asked for these complex disorders, but information and community can help all of us.”

Meet Our Speakers

Bevan Yueh, M.D., MPH, is a head and neck surgeon and Professor and George L. Adams Chair for Otolaryngology at the University of Minnesota.  His clinical expertise includes a special focus on improving hearing health and improving patients’ quality of life after cancer treatment.  He is president of the Association of Academic Departments of Otolaryngology, the treasurer for the American Head & Neck Society, and a member of the executive editorial board of JAMA Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery.

Cynthia Ryan, MBA - Executive Director, Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA). Cynthia is a nonprofit leader who brings vestibular patients and healthcare professionals together to collaborate with the goal of reducing diagnosis times and improving treatment outcomes. Her mother, Eileene, struggles with Meniere’s disease, BPPV, and a host of other vision, hearing and balance-related issues.  Cynthia is passionate about empowering vestibular patients to become advocates for their own healthcare so they can discover a life rebalanced.

Holly Fisher, Ed.D., President, Vestibular Disorders Association, received her Doctorate in 2017 from the College of Education of Kansas State University.  Her primary area of research and study is continuing professional education, with a focus on the legal profession.  Dr. Fisher has worked for Accenture, the global management consulting firm, since 1991, focusing in the consumer package goods industry and specializing in workforce training, communications, and executive development.

Jay del Carmen, PT, is a physical therapist at the University of Minnesota Medical Center where he has specialized in neurological and vestibular rehabilitation for over 20 years. He has obtained advanced competency based certifications in vestibular rehabilitation from the American Physical Therapy Association. Jay currently splits time between inpatient and outpatient settings at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and University of Minnesota Clinics and Surgery Center.

Cheryl Powers is the Director and Founder of Great River Tai Chi in Minneapolis, MN.  She has taught tai chi for over thirty years, is editor and serves on the advisory board of the Taijiquan Journal, and has been a presenter at numerous national and international events.

Barbara Davis is an instructor at Great River Tai Chi in Minneapolis, MN. She trained in Taiwan under senior students of the famed Professor Cheng Man Ch’ing.

Yoon-Hee Cha, M.D. is a Board certified Neurologist with subspecialty training in Neurotology. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Minnesota where she runs a research program using functional neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation to study central neurological disorders such as mal de debarquement syndrome, vestibular migraine, gait and balance disorders, and cerebellar contributions to mood and anxiety disorders. She has performed research using fMRI, PET, EEG, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and transcranial electrical current stimulation. She received her education from Stanford University, Mayo Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the University of California San Francisco, and the University of California Los Angeles.

Kathleen Stross, PT, Ph.D., M.S. is the owner of In Harmony Physical Therapy in Houston, TX.  She provides treatment to clients seeking advanced neurological and vestibular therapies.  She is cofounder of Fit Fascia Solutions and My Holistic Health Plan which brings wellness and lifestyle solutions to people of all ages.  She provides one-on-one therapy to patients from her office in Texas and has added telehealth visits to her services.  She is a frequent guest on the ENT Show on Sirius/XM’s Doctor Radio, where she takes calls from listeners with questions related to dizziness, balance, and vestibular problems.


Welcome and Introduction

Welcome and Introduction: James Hainlen, Vestibular Conference Founder. 

Overview – Vestibular Disorders: Bevan Yueh, M.D., MPH, 

Keynote Address: How Do We Improve the Quality of Care for Vestibular Patients?: Cynthia Ryan, Executive Director, VeDA; Holly Fisher, EdD, President, VeDA

T’ai Chi

T’ai Chi, a Proven Method for Improving Balance, Stability, and Relaxation presented. By Cheryl Powers and Barbara Davis

Dizziness and Vestibular Rehab

Dizziness and Vestibular Rehabilitation. By Jay del Carmen

Caring for the Carer

Caring for the “Carer,” A session for family, partners, and friends: From Understanding to Compassion to Self-Care. By Cynthia Ryan, Executive Director, VeDA

Complimentary Alternative Medicine

Complimentary Alternative Medicine for Managing Symptoms and Promoting Wellness. By Kathleen Stross, P.T. M.S. Certified Health Coach


Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: Diagnosis and Treatment. By Yoon-Hee Cha, M.D.

View all Conference Audio Files

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