Episode 033 -- Meet OT Lauren Sheehan and the Neofect Rapael Smart Glove

Upcoming Events

This fall, the American Heart Association is running fundraisers around the country in the form of local Heart & Stroke Walks. To learn more or find an event in your area, visit HeartWalk.org. If your local one has already passed, you can start planning for 2019!

Monday, October 29, 2018, is World Stroke Day. What are you doing to recognize the event? I'd love to hear. Post a message on the Strokecast Facebook Page, send me an email,  or reach out to me on Twitter.

Today's Guest

I met Lauren Sheehan through Olivia, the awesome OT who co-starred with me in an ad for Swedish. Swedish had recently acquired a Rapael Smart Glove to work with patients and wanted to get my thoughts. I met Lauren a few weeks later to talk more about her work and the possibilities of Neofect's tool.

Neofect Rapael Smart Glove

Neofect did send me a unit to try out and provide feedback on. So far, it's promising. I'll provide a more thorough review once I really put it through its paces.

This week, I interview Lauren. We talk about why she got into OT, the idea of the "art" of life, and the nature of gamification in therapy.

One of the key takeaways from Lauren's story is how she came to work with Neofect -- building relationships and talking with folks. The more folks you can engage with on a regular basis -- online or in the real world -- the more opportunities that become available to you. Maintaining those relationships doesn't need to be about what they can do for you though; it's about keeping interesting people in your life. Because I maintained a good relationship with my inpatient therapy team, I met and got to work with Lauren, for example. That wasn't a plan. It was the out

growth of life.

Plus, staying engaged in a social life is good for brain health.

So who is Lauren Sheehan?

Lauren Sheehan Headshot

Lauren has been a practicing occupational therapist for over 10 years.  Her dream to join a technology company was realized when dreaming about the possibility of doing something “outside the box” after spending the last decade in outpatient neuro clinical practice and most recently in administration and management roles.  Lauren has served in various roles on her state occupational therapy associations and is a proponent of being an active member, particularly in advocating for occupational therapy through legislation and contact with elected officials.  She has enjoyed planning and organizing Washington state’s “Hike the Hill” event for the last three years.  She has also served as the AOTA Representative Assembly Member for the state of Washington.  Lauren believes that OT professionals are poised to be product designers, user experience experts and consultants as it relates to technology solutions that meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Neofect offers a 7-day trial of the Rapael Smart Glove. If you're interested in checking it out, visit Neofect.com. Insurance may or may not cover the device; that will vary by company, policy, and more. They have had good luck with the VA.

Neofect is also launching a Kickstarter for a new product on October 30, the day after World Stroke Day.

Neomano teaser image


Hack of the week: Wear an apron

I've started wearing a kitchen apron around the house because it has big pockets. Carrying stuff is a challenge these days. With hemiparesis, I lost access to the pockets on the left side of my body. Plus, my working hand needs to hold the cane, handrails, phone, or other stuff as I go room to room.

An apron with big front pockets is a great solution for hauling more stuff around with me.

And tying the apron strings is great OT.


Where do we go from here?

  • What do you think of gamification in therapy? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Check out Neofect's website to learn more about the Smart Glove and figure out if it's right for you.
  • To share this episode with your therapist, friend, or relative, tell them to go to http://strokecast.com/smartglove
  • Subscribe to Strokecast for free in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
  • Don't get best…get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 081 -- Be Alive and Meet 16-Year Old Entrepreneur Bilal Moin

2-Minute Tip: Be Alive


When giving a talk, focus less on scripted words, especially those scripted by someone else. Speak instead from you mind, from your heart, and from your soul. When you do that you can fully engage the ethos, pathos, and logos you need to make a compelling argument.


Post Tips Discussion: Meet Bilal Moin


Bilal Moin PhotoBilal Moin is a 16-year old student and entrepreneur from Mumbai. He is the founder and CEO of 2 companies, one called The MUNkey Business and another called Metamorphospace.


The Munkey Business is a partnership between avid Model UN competitors (MUN’ers), experienced delegates and aspiring students with one simple goal: making MUNs simpler for all. The organization offers one of India's most expansive Model United Nations training and support program for aspiring delegates by providing online training sessions, research documents and oratory training. The MUNkey Business also pioneered conference promotion packages in India, providing advertisements services to reputed conferences at the University and School level, as well as private MUN bodies, both in India and abroad.


MetamorphoSpace is a sustainable, affordable and ever-transforming retail spaces for small businesses in developing cities. A novel solution to expensive real estate in overcrowded urban environments, our sustainable metamorphosing work-spaces for tertiary enterprises help small businesses flourish in developing cities, and aims to transform urban real estate distribution as we know it.


Bilal is a student of economics and history, and is well versed with the financial, political and business fields. He is also a published author, poet and national debater.


One of the things we talk about is the nature of language. It's something I ask about a lot, especially with my guests who are poly-lingual. After all, our words are the core part of our public presentations. One thing that came up in or conversation was the idea of mixing languages while speaking. In this case, we specifically talked about speaking in English and incorporating Hindi words or speaking in Hindi and incorporating English words. Bilal cited the work of Shashi Tharoor. You can see Dr. Tharoor speak here:







Call To Action


  • Share your thoughts on my conversation with Bilal below
  • Connect with Bilal on LinkedIn or check out The MUNKey Business
  • Subscribe for free to 2-Minute Talk Tips so you never miss an episode
  • Don't get best…get better

Check out this episode!


Episode 032 -- Meet Tom Hannon

I had an interesting chat with Entrepreneur and stroke survivor Tom Hannon. Tom had his stroke about two years ago due to a vertebral artery dissection and has made a remarkable recovery. His background as a triathlete certainly helped from both a physical and a mental perspective. He lives on Cape Cod, outside of Boston in the US.

One of the first things you'll notice is that he has a New England accent. Of course that also brings out my New York accent. It's funny out that comes out when I talk with some else who speak with a similar accent.


Tom Hannon Profile PictureTom Hannon is a serial entrepreneur who has started, bought and sold 12+ businesses during his 30+ career. Most of those businesses focused on magazines, advertising and magazine distribution.  

He also helps entrepreneurs learn to effectively sell their businesses when the time is right. You can visit Win Your Exit for more details on that program.

He is also a sales and marketing educator who with his wife Linda has now launched a financial educate class called, 6 Steps to Mastering Your Money and Creating a Path to Financial Freedom on www.realfamilyfinance.com. Tom is also an avid baseball fan who owned a historical baseball website and once built a replica of the Brooklyn Dodgers former home, Ebbets Field.
He was also an avid triathlete and while training for the epic Ironman triathlon, he suffered a verbal artery dissection, which caused 6 mini strokes. So he can now add stroke survivor onto his resume. He lives on Cape Cod with his wife Linda.   

Tom has taken approaches to his recovery that go beyond traditional medicine. He shifted to a plant-based diet. He's gone for myofascia treatments. He uses biofeedback that reads his brain waves. What I like about Tom's approach to things like this is that he doesn't insist this is a cure-all for stroke conditions. These are things he has used in his own recovery, with which he's gotten good results. And that's how he tells the story.

We also talk about the importance of goal setting and knowing what you are working towards. This is a common theme among many of the survivors and medical professionals I talk with on the show. It's also something I talk about extensively over at 2-Minute Talk Tips.

So…there's a lot of stuff here.

Hack of the Week

Tom's hack is to listen to your body. It's something he didn't do pre-stroke, but is helpful as he continues his recovery. If you focus on what your body is telling you, you'll be in a better position to know when:

  • You're pushing too hard
  • You're not pushing hard enough
  • You need to drink more water
  • You need to get more sleep
  • …and so much more

But you have to listen.


Tom Hanon on LinkedIn


Tom on Twitter


Tom on Facebook


Tom on Email


Tom's Consulting and Training Program


Tom and Linda's Financial Education Program


My Stoke of Insight by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor


Healing Into Possibility by Alison Shapiro


Myofascial Therapy



Where do we go from here?

  • What do you think of Tome story? Let us know in the comments below.
  • To connect with Tom and explore the resources we talked about, check out the links above.
  • Share this episode with someone else today. Just give them the link strokecast.com/Tom
  • Don't get best…get better

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 080 -- Thread a Story Through your Talk and Meet Diana Wink


2-Minute Tip: Thread a story through your talk


Figure out how to tell a story in your talk. Story telling is a powerful tool and is a great way to engage your audience from the moment you step in front of the crowd. Don't stop at opening with the story, though. Weave that same story through your talk and keep coming back to it, either to reference it or to advance it. It provides a simple, entertaining way for your audience to remain engaged while you speak and to better understand the context of the various points in your talk.


Post Tip Discussion: Meet Diana Wink


Diana Wink HeadshotDiana is an author and a coach who writes dystopian novels set in Scotland from her base in Germany while helping folks around the world learn the crafts of story telling and creativity. She studied film making in school, but ultimately made her initial career in writing due to the economics of the fields. Ultimately those 2 media are just different takes on her core passion -- story telling. 


There are  lots of compelling lessons in this episodes both big and small. Three of them are:



  1. Creativity and story telling are crafts, not talents.
  2. When speaking to another culture, try to connect with the stories they grew up with.
  3. Make your stories personal and detailed.


Diana Wink is a mountain child from the depths of middle Asia, striving to kidnap her readers into make-believe worlds, blend the borders between past and future, and master her own curiosity. In her spare time, she directs movies and rewatches Christopher Nolan films, empowers creatives to tell stories themselves and explores theaters, cities and wilderness with her bearded dancer husband. They have their base in Germany, but who knows where they are currently to be found?


Diana's first novel in the Prometheus Rising Trilogy is available on Amazon and in most other places that you find books.

Prometheus Rising Cover


You can download a free copy of the novella Shanakee's tale -- the prequel to the Prometheus Rising Trilogy from Diana's website here.

Shanakee's Tale Cover





Call To Action


Check out this episode!


Episode 031 -- Meet Physical Therapist Dr. Brandon Smith DPT, MPH

Dr. Brandon Smith and I had an interesting discussion about his experience as a physical therapist.

Though Brandon's background is mostly in orthopedic manual therapy and therapeutic exercise at the elite levels, it also consist of public health, strength and nutrition certifications, time spent in Surgical ICU wound care, Cardiac ICU, Neurological ICU, Critical Care ICU, and has recently led him into geriatrics (all affiliated settings) and home care. He uses his eclectic background to provide a comprehensive and tailored approach to each patient/client. Whether that's in the home, telehealth, or remote performance and nutrition coaching.

Brandon Smith and Yong KimWhat's really interesting is that he got into PT to work with high-performance athletes and then discovered the work wasn't fulfilling enough. He made the switch to neuro patients and found the work much more rewarding.

To help teach more people outside the PT world about things happening within the PT world, he partnered with colleague and former class mate Yong Kim to launch the Physical Therapy Unleashed Podcast.


Strokecast is on Facebook. I use that page for less formal thoughts on stroke and recovery. I also post videos of demos and other topics. Just recently, I created a video talking about my experience with different AFOs.

Head on over to Facebook.com/strokecast to like the page and check out the videos.

Hack of the Week

Being a stroke survivor is complex. We have physical, medical, and daily living needs. There can also be special nutritional, social, or spiritual needs. Regardless of the need, we don't have to do it alone. There are professionals who can help.

If you have needs, or think you might, ask your doctor or other member of your medical team to point you in the direction of the appropriate professional. They're out there.


Physical Therapy Unleashed Podcast


Physical Therapy Unleashed on Facebook


Dr. Brandon Smith on Twitter


Dr. Brandon Smith on LinkedIn


Dr. Brandon Smith on Facebook


Dr. Brandon Smith Consulting


Yong Kim Wellness


Where do we go from here?

  • What do you think of Brandon's story? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Ask you physical therapist what their thoughts on Brandon's perspective are. Give them the link strokecast.com/brandon
  • Strokecast is on Facebook. Visit Facebook.com/strokecast to like the page and check out the videos
  • Seek out the appropriate professionals for your needs
  • Don't get best…get better

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 079 -- Know You Can Do It and Meet Dr. Denise Vaughan


2-Minute Tip -- Know You can do It


The first thing to know about a talk is that this IS something you can do. You can get out on stage. You can move around deliberately to make the points that you want to make. If you're not comfortable with eye contact, that's fine. You can come up with a solution.


But regardless of the challenges, go into it knowing that you can do this.


Post Tip Discussion -- Meet Denise Vaughan


Denise and I were both members of the Carroll College Talking Saints Speech and Debate team back in the early 90s. Being a part of that team was a powerful experience that had a major impact on the person I am today. The things I learned and skills I acquired as part of that experience are the ones that I still use today.


Denise Vaughan headshot

Denise and I recently met up in real life for the first time since college to catch up and talk about public speaking, speech and debate, and the power of rhetoric.


We recorded this episode at one of my favorite interview locations -- the Wayward Coffeehouse in Seattle.


Dr. Denise Vaughan has a BA from Carroll College and an MA and PhD from Washington State University. Today, she teaches courses in Debate, Oral Communication, and Debate and Policy Analysis at the University of Washington -- Bothell.  Denise is a firm believer in the ability of rhetoric to shape the world and empower students.  Through the use of a variety of outside sources and the interests of students themselves, she seeks to create connections between the world they study in the classroom and their interactions outside the classroom.  She sees the classroom as a collaborative experience where students and faculty interact with the material and educate one another.  Her courses focus on experiential learning and problem solving. Denise is also the Director of Forensics, at University of Washington Bothell, and coaches the award-winning, nationally ranked Speech and Debate team.





Call To Action


  • What are your thoughts on this episode? Let us know in the comments below.
  • You can connect with Denise via email or LinkedIn. You can find those links above.
  • Do you know a high school or college student thinking about speech and debate? Encourage them to try it at their school. The value is immense.
  • Share this episode with someone else by giving them the link http://2minutetalktips.com/denise
  • Don't get best…get better


Check out this episode!


Episode 030 -- Meet Nursepreneur Catie Harris


Catie Harris Headshot

Catie Harris has the unique distinction of being the first guest to appear on both Strokecast and 2-Minute Talk Tips. Actually this is the third episode we recorded, since I lost the first one through a silly mistake that I made. I'm glad we could make this happen.

We talk about how she got into neuro care and how she now runs her own business and helps other nurses make the transition from hospital work to the next phase of their careers.


Catie Harris, PhD, MBA, and Registered Nurse is the NursePreneur Mentor who has empowered hundreds of nurses to monetize their knowledge and skills in business, while inspiring them to change the way healthcare is perceived and delivered. She strives to undo the perception that nursing care is limited to the hospital setting.  Through her intensive mentorship program, Catie shows nurses how their nursing knowledge can transcend the hospital system into a profitable business.

Catie mentors through one-on-one coaching, live events and her signature yearlong mentoring program: the NursePreneur Business Academy which can be found at www.CatieHarris.com/training

Catie is an international speaker who has been featured in ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and Huffington Post. She has also share her innovative mentorship work on National and International Podcasts and TV including Be Efficient TV, Dubai One and Copy Chief with Kevin Rogers.

Catie is a serial NursePreneur and single mom living in Philadelphia with her son Matthew.


Catie Harris on the web


Training with Catie


Catie Harris on Twitter


Nurse Stories


NursePreneur Podcast


NursePreneurs on Facebook


Catie Harris on LinkedIn


Pill Bottle video


Catie on 2-Minute Talk Tips


Hack of the Week

Pill bottles can be tough to open with 2 functional hands and even tougher with only one functional hand. Fortunately, there are some options.

First, ask your pharmacy about non-childproof lids. They may be able to accommodate this request.

Secondly, some of the new designs allow you to flip the lid and use it as a basic screw on/screw off lid. This is what those bottles look like.

You can also see a video demo in this Facebook Live video.


[caption id="attachment_403" align="aligncenter" width="203"]Prescription Bottle in childproof mode This is how the pharmacy typically hands you the bottle.[/caption][caption id="attachment_402" align="aligncenter" width="171"]Prescription pill bottle with lid upside down This is what you can do with many lids. It has threads on top so you can turn it over and bypass child proof systems.[/caption]

Here is the video demonstration.



Where do we go from here?

  • What has been your experience working with neuro nurses? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Check out CatieHarris.com to learn more about Catie and her programs.
  • To hear Catie talk more about public speaking, check out the other conversation we had over at 2-Minute Talk Tips.
  • If you're a nurse looking for the next phase of your career, check out Catie's NursePreneur Business Academy.
  • Take the easy way out with alternative ways to open your pill bottles.
  • Don't get best...get better.

Here is the latest episode of The Strokecast


Episode 078 -- Focus on Feeling and Meet Hilary Billings

[bctt tweet="'I'm all about trying to live my life to the fullest. You only get one, right? So, do all the things.' -- @hilary_Billings #publicspeaking" username="CurrentlyBill"]


2-Minute Tip: Focus on how you make your audience feel


[bctt tweet="'I'm all about trying to live my life to the fullest. You only get one, right? So, do all the things.' -- @hilary_Billings #publicspeaking" username="CurrentlyBill"]


Hilary tells us about her experience interviewing mega-star interviewer, host, and generally larger-than-life character Ryan Seacrest. It's intimidating to talk to someone that big for the first time. An experience like that can overwhelm the content of the actual conversation. But when she described her experience, the main thing Ryan did was help her feel at ease. He was nice, accommodating, and respectful of an up-and-coming interviewer.


Focus on the feeling you want your audience to take away from the talk you are giving because that's what will stick with them. Tell a story,. Share an emotion, and respect your audience. They'll remember that long after they forgotten any slide, factoid, or statistic.


Post Tip Discussion


Hilary Billings Headshot

I first met Hilary Billings several years ago at the Toshiba booth during the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas. I ran partner training and evangelism programs for the company year round. Hilary was brought in to talk to press and customers during the show. And the company would continue to bring her back year after year.


During breaks and between customers, a bunch of us would chat about the business and the paths that brought us to that show floor. In the ensuing years, it was always great to catch up with Hilary learn about her latest adventures as a speaker, blogger, on camera personality, and, oh yeah, beauty queen.


During today's chat we talk about her journey and how speaking plays a part in it. We talk about the importance of High School Speech and Debate. And about the importance of pursuing your passions through adversity to live the life you want to live.



[bctt tweet="'In some weird way, pageants still provided a microphone for women and an opportunity for them to share what was important to them and give back to their community.' -- @hilary_Billings #publicspeaking" username="CurrentlyBill"]


Hilary guides her life around 4 core values that she shares right up front:

  1. Embrace adversity
  2. Experience everyday adventures
  3. Find humor in everyday situations
  4. Build Community


Hilary Billings is a burn survivor turned Miss Nevada United States 2013. She is accomplished in journalism, on-camera hosting, and public speaking. She's contributed hundreds of articles to national outlets including USA Today, Huffington Post, has been featured on Extra! Entertainment Television and worked for E! News. She's now the face for Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship for their in-room streaming entertainment, and had a co-starring role in the final season of Nashville.

Most recently she's been responsible for creating viral social media content and is about to launch her newest venture, a podcast series focused on self-growth called The Iceberg Effect. She also travels and speaks to Universities and corporations about embracing adversity and seeking out everyday adventures.






Call to Action


  • What does this conversation make you think about? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Connect with Hilary on Instagram or Facebook.
  • Do you know someone else who might find this conversation interesting? Send them this link: http://2minutetalktips.com/hilary.
  • Be on the lookout for The Ice Berg Effect -- Hilary's new podcast.
  • Focus on how you can make your audience feel in your next talk.
  • Don't get best...get better.


Check out this episode!