Brain injury leadership academy

Our History


It all began with a leadership culture established in the Greenville Health System (GHS) by Michael C. Riordan, then President & CEO.  GHS, now part of Prisma Health, is the largest healthcare system in South Carolina and growing. It comprises 7 campuses, over 12,000 employees, a medical school in partnership with the University of South Carolina, over 1000 employed physicians, along with growing research efforts and capabilities. Using  The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership (Dethmer, Chapman and Warner Klemp), a system-wide effort at establishing a culture of authentic teams and leadership came into focus.

Conscious Leadership and Conscious Professionalism are based on a mindfulness platform that invites insights to one’s internal thoughts, emotions and even physical sensations. The parallel to some of the very core issues that arise in brain injury rehabilitation were quickly recognized. We noted that for decades rehab teams have been addressing issues with impaired insight and acquired changes in emotional intelligence. We also noted that the principles of Conscious Professionalism were consistent with our existing team culture of peer feedback, open communication, and self growth. The alignment of these factors lead the leadership of the Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital’s Brain Injury and Young Stroke Program to commit to the formal inclusion of Conscious Professionalism into our overall team and personal development models. Based on the clinical, professional, and interdisciplinary success of the model of conscious professionalism, the Brain Injury Leadership Academy was established and the first national forum was held in Greenville South Carolina in October 2017 with small group learning and projects through September 2018. Members of the inaugural class of the Brain Injury Leadership Academy explored applications of Conscious Professionalism at the level of personal growth, team development, and various other specific leadership challenges around the country. The application of Conscious Professionalism has become a foundational support for our goal of developing “the conscious therapist“- leadership and frontline rehabilitation providers who are able to simultaneously demonstrate moment by moment awareness as they address the professional challenges inherent in neurorehabilitation.




In this podcast, Jim Dethmer and Diana Chapman, Co-Founders of The Conscious Leadership Group, interview Mike Riordan, former President and CEO of Greenville Health System.


Clinical Director, Outpatient Brain Injury and Young Stroke Programs, Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital

Chief, Division of Behavioral, Social and Population Health Sciences
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

“Working through the commitment to Candor (Commitment #4) helped me recognize that I could share my truth in a way that did not come from a place of defensiveness or aggression. This has allowed me to receive feedback from others in a way that I had never been able to do before. We even find the patient's undergoing recovery from brain trauma can still grasp and benefit from the above/below the line model.”


Inaugural Class, October 2017

The inaugural class of the Brain Injury Leadership Academy included 20 professionals in various roles in neurorehabilitation from the US and Canada.  Participants’ leadership roles within their organizations range from staff level service providers to Director level roles with backgrounds in Neuropsychology, Nursing, Speech Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Recreational Therapy, and Counseling. 

The two and a half day workshop, Brain Injury Leadership Development:  Foundation and Application, launched in Fall 2017.  The workshop continued their journey into becoming Conscious Leaders throughout the year with ongoing mentoring sessions, assignments, self-reflections and additional opportunities to apply these principles into practice at their workplaces.

Participant Thoughts: