Life Rebalanced Live

VeDA's Annual

Virtual Conference

March 6-10, 2023


Registration Closed


About Life Rebalanced Live

The Vestibular Disorders Association concluded its third annual Life Rebalance Live virtual vestibular conference on March 10, 2023. Vestibular disorders cause a variety of disorienting and debilitating symptoms such as loss of coordination, vertigo, and dizziness, leaving desperate and confused patients searching for answers.

Patients heard from several different experts on topics relevant to the vestibular disorders community, all from the comfort of their homes. Patients also had the ability to ask specific questions directly to the speakers.

Conference Schedule

February 27 - March 3, 2023
9:00a-2:00p PST/12:00p-5:00p EST/ 5:00pm-10:00pm GMT
Technical Support

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All Day
Social Hour

Connect with the vestibular community by engaging in icebreakers and chatting in the community discussion boards

March 6, 2023: The Vestibular Journey
9:00a-10:00a PST/12:00p-1:00p EST/ 5:00pm-6:00pm GMT
Fireside Chat

With Habib Rizk, MD, MSc

10:00a-11:00a PST/1:00p-2:00p EST/ 6:00pm-7:00pm GMT
Patient Panel

With Kevin Thomas (Vestibular Migraine), Rishi Bhosale (Vestibular Neuritis), and Rachelle Alford (Mal de Debarquement Syndrome)

March 7, 2023: The Path to Diagnosis & Initiating Treatment
9:00a-10:00a PST/12:00p-1:00p EST/ 5:00pm-6:00pm GMT
Fireside Chat

With Ali Shabahang Saber Tehrani, MD and Timothy E. Hullar, MD

10:00a-11:00a PST/1:00p-2:00p EST/ 6:00pm-7:00pm GMT
Patient Panel

With Sarah Kirwan (Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence) and Yannis Benaniba (Mal de Debarquement Syndrome)

March 8, 2023: Treatment & Rehabilitation for Vestibular Disorders
9:00a-10:00a PST/12:00p-1:00p EST/ 5:00pm-6:00pm GMT
Fireside Chat

With Susan Whitney, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA

10:00a-11:00a PST/1:00p-2:00p EST/ 6:00pm-7:00pm GMT
Patient Panel

With Lisa Thompson (Ménière's Disease) and Casey Dill (Vestibular Migraine and Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness)

March 9, 2023: Understanding Central Vestibular Disorders
9:00a-10:00a PST/12:00p-1:00p EST/ 5:00pm-6:00pm GMT
Fireside Chat

With Laura Morris, PT, NCS

10:00a-11:00a PST/1:00p-2:00p EST/ 6:00pm-7:00pm GMT
Patient Panel

With Pooja Rawal (Vestibular Migraine and Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness) and Jen Warner (Vestibular Migraine, Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)

March 10, 2023: Coping with Vestibular Dysfunction
9:00a-10:00a PST/12:00p-1:00p EST/ 5:00pm-6:00pm GMT
Fireside Chat

With Emily Kostelnik, PhD and Lisa Farrell PT, PhD, ATC

10:00a-11:00a PST/1:00p-2:00p EST/ 6:00pm-7:00pm GMT
Patient Panel

With Sheryl Zolotorofe (Ménière's Disease) and Kristi Strong (Vestibular Migraine)


Drs. Danielle Tolman and Abbie Ross facilitate the "fireside chat" discussions with our healthcare experts, and vestibular patient, Laura Cala, moderates the patient panels.

Danielle Tate Headshot_cropped

Danielle Tolman, DPT
Balancing Act Rehabilitation

Dr. Danielle Tate, PT, DPT is a physical therapist who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of patients with vestibular and balance dysfunction. She obtained her BS in Healthcare Management as well as her DPT from Misericordia University Physical Therapy Department in Dallas, PA. Dr. Tate had the opportunity to complete a 10 week clinical rotation with a vestibular specialist at the Otolaryngology, Vestibular, and Balance Center at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA where she became a true “Vestibuloholic”. A few short years later, she developed the educational version of a 3D printed model of the Vestibular Organ for both patient and clinician education. In order to share her educational model, she founded Vestibular Today, a website dedicated to sharing interesting patient cases, educational videos, and vestibular-related research she learns about as she moves forward in her career.

She brings her passion for raising awareness about vestibular dysfunction and imbalance out into the community by giving free presentations at senior centers and for local organizations. She has created and presented in-services for audiological practices and Doctor of Physical Therapy Students about simple bedside testing/screening and treatment. She has completed and successfully passed the Vestibular Competency Course presented by Duke University School of Medicine & the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) in Atlanta, Georgia. She is proud to be an active Board Member of the Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) where she also serves on the Legislative Advocacy Committee, the Medical Advocacy Committee, the Virtual Conference Committee, and the Professional Development Committee. 

Abbie Ross, PT, DPT, NCS

Abbie Ross, PT, DPT, NCS
Balancing Act Rehabilitation

Dr. Abbie Ross is a physical therapist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of patients with vestibular and balance dysfunction. She is a board-certified neurologic clinical specialist, which includes the rehabilitation management of vestibular disorders, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and more. Dr. Ross operates a primarily virtual vestibular rehabilitation clinic called Balancing Act Rehabilitation PLLC. In addition, she co-produces a podcast focused on vestibular dysfunction called Talk Dizzy to Me, along with our other conference host, Dr. Danielle Tate. She is also a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and vestibular rehabilitation special interest group, as well as a professional member and committee member of the Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA).

Laura Cala

Laura Cala
Vestibular Migraine Patient

Laura was diagnosed with Vestibular Migraine in 2019. Before her life with Vestibular Migraine, Laura was always on the go, a busy corporate Accountant, studying her Master in Business Management, a Dancer and Dance Teacher.

4 years later; the vestibular blur is behind her. Life looks different now, no longer the crazy corporate accountant, Laura works remotely from her partner’s farm in regional Western Australia in a community engagement role. Laura is back to being busy; in different committees and community groups and is back to teaching dance to local country kids. Today Laura does things on her terms. Having a vestibular disorder changed her life, but it changed for the better!

Expert Speakers


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Habib Rizk, MD, MSc

Habib G. Rizk, M.D. grew up in Beirut-Lebanon. He attended the French Faculty of Medicine-Saint Joseph University in Beirut and pursued an Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery residency at Hôtel-Dieu de France Hospital followed by a one-year Otologic Medicine and Surgery Fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Teixido. Dr. Rizk then completed a two-year Neurotology fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina. In 2015 he joined the MUSC Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery as the Director of the Vestibular Program and established a Multidisciplinary Dizziness Evaluation and Management Program in Charleston. The program evaluates several thousand patients per year and is heavily involved in research with multiple active clinical trials that are currently ongoing in various otologic and vestibular disorders.

Dr. Rizk is currently on the board of directors and the Vice President of the Vestibular Disorders Association. He is a member of the American Balance Society as well as a member of the Bárány Society. He is also part of the Otology/Neurotology Education Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery. (8)

Ali Shabahang Saber Tehrani, MD

Dr. Saber Tehrani is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is board-certified in the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Saber Tehrani has unique subspecialty training in vascular neurology, neuro-ophthalmology, and vestibular neurology. 

Dr. Saber Tehrani’s research efforts are focused on posterior circulation stroke diagnosis and outcomes, and how such strokes can affect vision and balance. He is using novel ways to objectively measure abnormal eye movements indicative of stroke. (9)

Timothy E Hullar MD

Tim Hullar studied biology at Stanford University.  After graduation, he completed a Fulbright Scholarship in Cologne, Germany and taught high school biology at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA.  He recognized that he couldn’t answer many of his students’ questions about the human body, so he somewhat overcompensated by choosing to go to medical school.  He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1996 and completed a residency and fellowship in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Johns Hopkins in 2003.  He was Director of Otology, Neurotology, and Skull Base Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis and subsequently at Oregon Health and Science University after moving with his family to the Pacific Northwest in 2014.  He currently works as a full-time otologist and federally-funded researcher at the Portland, Oregon Veterans Administration Health Care System.  He loves hiking, camping, boating, and his family.

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Susan Whitney, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA
Physical Therapist

Susan L. Whitney, DPT, PhD, NCS, ATC, FAPTA received her PhD in motor development/motor learning from the University of Pittsburgh and her professional physical therapy education from Temple University.  She is a professor in the Departments of Physical Therapy and Otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh.   Dr. Whitney is supported by the Department of Defense to develop technology for persons with vestibular disorders and mild brain injury.  Dr. Whitney has authored or coauthored over 180 articles on Medline and is currently engaged in research related to mild brain injury and persons with balance and vestibular disorders. (14)

Laura Morris, PT, NCS
Physical Therapist

Laura Morris, PT, NCS is a physical therapist and lecturer with 25 years of experience in the management of adults with neurologic disorders. Her clinical work focuses on vestibular disorders and mild traumatic brain injury at Elmhurst Memorial Hospital in the Chicago area. She is the Director of Communications for the Academy of Neurologic PT of the APTA. She teaches continuing education in concussion and vestibular rehabilitation both nationally and internationally.

Her experience includes inpatient and outpatient care, clinical research and program development, including the launch of the fourth credentialed Neurologic PT Residency Program in Pittsburgh. Clinical practice also included vestibular and concussion rehabilitation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Mild Brain Injury Program in Baltimore, Maryland and neurologic private practice in Alexandria, Virginia. She was re-credentialed for her as a Neurologic Clinical Specialist in 2013.

She has been involved in the Academy of Neurologic PT and the Vestibular special interest group, primarily in positions involving website support. In 2005 she received the Award for Clinical Excellence in Neurology by the Neurology Section of the APTA, and in 2015 received the Service Award from the Vestibular Special Interest Group. Her contributions to the literature include book chapters and journal articles in the area of vestibular disorders and mild brain injury rehabilitation.

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Emily Kostelnik, PhD

Dr. Emily Kostelnik is a Clinical Health Psychologist and vestibular warrior. She combines her personal experience as a patient with her professional expertise to specialize in education and treatment of vestibular disorders from a behavioral health perspective. She founded Rooted Behavioral Education to provide behavioral health education to the international vestibular community and The Vestibular Psychologist to provide licensed mental health services to those living in select US states. She is honored to participate in this event! (18)

Lisa Farrell PT, PhD, ATC
Physical Therapist

Dr. Lisa Farrell is a licensed physical therapist, certified athletic trainer, and a certified meditation instructor. For over 20 years of her 30+ year physical therapy career, she has focused her practice on treating adults with vestibular and balance problems. She earned her Ph.D. in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami. At Nova Southeastern  University, she has been a regular guest lecturer in the Audiology Department as well as for the interdisciplinary medical team within the Sports Medicine clinic and served as adjunct faculty in the Physical Therapy Department for many years. She has also been a  long-time faculty member for the APTA’s Vestibular Rehabilitation: A Competency Based Course and served as a co-director of this program from 2013-2022. In 2017, Dr.  Farrell founded Symmetry Alliance, LLC, a consulting firm that provides program development and continuing education for rehabilitation professionals, so that she can contribute to helping communities improve their medical care for patients with vestibular pathology. Dr. Farrell has expanded her knowledge to be able to provide qualified training in meditation and mindfulness. She became a certified instructor through the McLean Meditation Institute© in 2020 after observing how her own daily meditation practice, as well as the lessons she provided her patients, provides numerous benefits. Dr. Farrell’s professional goal is to always strive to learn and grow so that she can provide the highest standard of teaching and care possible, and to the greatest extent possible, to pass on her knowledge to the next generation.

Patient Panelists (5)

Kevin Thomas
Vestibular Migraine

Kevin’s life changed completely in May of 2021, one month before his already planned resignation from his career as Head of Retail and Visitor Services with a cultural institution in San Antonio, Texas. He tendered his resignation after 6 years of nonstop travel, managing a team, writing budgets for two departments, and living with the physical and mental challenges of Ankylosing Spondylitis (Auto-Inflammatory Disease) and Classic migraines w/Aura. “In 6 years I’d never stopped to take a rest or recuperate from my AS diagnosis, which happened my 2nd year in management”.

One evening he stepped out to get some fresh air and noticed lights were too bright, he was seeing double, his ears hurt, and he was dizzy. The next morning upon getting out of bed, Kevin collapsed to the floor. This wasn’t the first time he’d experienced dizziness or vision problems, but the first time the symptoms wouldn’t go away. 

Diagnosed with Vestibular Migraines and PPPD, Kevin is still adjusting to this new life with what he calls “one of Everything” 1 physical disease, 1 neurological disease, and recently diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder, 1 mental disease. He finds strength in sharing experiences with VeDA Ambassadors and others living the vestibular life. 

Instagram: @deeptexasfire210 (6)

Rishi Bhosale
Vestibular Neuritis

Rishi is from New York and works as a Vice President at Morgan Stanley. 

He loves to lead an active and social lifestyle which helps him destress and increase his network professionally and personally.

He is a vestibular disorder sufferer affected by vestibular neuritis which damaged his right ear balance nerve in March 2020, which he states as “the most difficult moment of my life.” But, he has come around strong by being active doing yoga, running, hiking, and playing his favorite sport, cricket. He is 80% back to normal life and encourages everyone not to be disheartened, because if he can do it, so can you!! (7)

Rachelle Alford

Rachelle is a married mother of 3 boys residing in Florida. She was once a nurse but is now medically retired. In January of 2019 she acquired Mal de Debarquement (MdDS) after going on a 3-day cruise. She has now also acquired Vestibular Migraines as a consequence of the MdDS. She has spent the last 4 years of her life on the most intense journey of healing and rebuilding her life to find the joy and purpose she thought she had lost forever. After many months of vestibular rehabilitation, a trip to NYC for OKN type investigational treatment, she has found a life fulfilled, although MUCH different than she had ever imagined. She found much refuge in God and dance. She returned to her dance roots (she thought she had left far behind her) at the suggestion of her Physical Therapist, and has been rehabilitating herself on the dance floor ever since. She now volunteers at a local dance studio a few hours a week and loves helping others find their inner voices through movement. (10)

Sarah E Kirwan

Sarah is the founder and CEO of Eye Level Communications, a disability- and woman-owned small business helping companies incorporate disability inclusion with confidence. She is a seasoned public policy and public administration professional with 25 years of experience in the nonprofit and government sectors, advising leadership and collaborating across disciplines to advance culture in line with shared values and strategic plans. Sarah has held multiple executive positions, including Assistant Hospital Administrator and Public Information Officer for Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a world-renowned physical rehabilitation hospital in Los Angeles, California. As a result of her work in Congress on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Sarah was tapped to lead the implementation of new ACA hospital policies. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from California State University, Los Angeles, with a Master of Science degree in Public Administration. (2)

Yannis Benaniba

Yannis is a french vestibular patient. His story begins after a long-haul flight to Japan in September 2019. He then encounters these strange sensations that never leave him since that day. As there are no or few resources on vestibular disorders "dans la langue de Molière", he decided with a group of people to create ADeV (the French VeDA).

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Lisa Thompson
Ménière's Disease

Lisa's first vertigo attack was in 2004. Her doctor at the time considered it an allergic reaction. Her next attack did not occur again until 2019 and began to happen more frequently. The whooshing sounds in her left ear, eventually turned to ringing.  In 2020, she realized she could barely hear the music in her left ear after her right earbud fell out.  Finally, when a significant vertigo attack kept her from a reunion with a visiting friend, she decided to seek medical help. Lisa was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease in March, 2021.  It’s been an interesting, growing journey for she. She's learned how blessed she is to be surrounded by supportive family, friends, and coworkers. She's met a wonderful community of “vesties” who’ve helped her through some scary times.  She's taken steps to improve her own physical, spiritual, and mental health over the last 2 years.  She notices feeling good, and doesn’t take it for granted anymore.  Her hope is, by sharing her experiences, someone else will feel less afraid, less alone, more supported and understood. Social Media: #mydizzylife21; @mydizzylife (3)

Casey Dill
Vestibular Migraine, PPPD

Casey's struggle with dizziness and balance began in April of 2010, when she was 14 years old, after experiencing a panic attack during an earthquake. She's never felt quite right, physically, after that day. When her symptoms did not resolve on their own after a few months, she began seeing doctors, had multiple brain scans, and various testing, all of which came out normal. She was diagnosed with anxiety, put on medication, and sent on her way. Her dizziness continued over the years, sending her to many specialists and trying anything they suggested. In 2020 Casey began to experience migraine headaches, making life even more difficult. After being diagnosed with Vestibular Migraine and trying Vestibular Rehab Therapy (VRT), her symptoms worsened. She lost a new job and had to move home with her parents. In 2021, after being wrongly diagnosed with MdDS, she was finally diagnosed with PPPD by a neurologist who specializes in vestibular disorders. She's tried anxiety meds, VRT, CBT, migraine meds, botox, and Gammacore. Now as she learns to adapt to my condition, it is her hope to continue healing and eventually go back to a more independent life. (15)

Pooja Rawal
Vestibular Migraine, PPPD

Pooja has been living with chronic vestibular migraine for seven years. First suffering from symptoms in 2015, she did not actively seek care until 2017 when her symptoms began to interfere with daily life. It took over 18 months to reach a diagnosis. After finding a neurologist who worked with her preferences, she has found a treatment plan that has reduced her migraine days from nearly every day to 5-7 days a month. Pooja now spends her days balancing life as a wife to her incredibly supportive husband of 6 years, and as a mother to her vivacious 2-year-old daughter, all while working as a full-time attorney. She wants those who are at the beginning of their journey to know that it will get better, and with the right care team by your side, you will be able to have fulfilling days again. (16)

Jen Warner
Vestibular Migraine, BPPV

Jennifer (Jen) Warner LCSW, LICSW is an Illinois, Washington, Oregon, and New York State licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist with advanced training and certification in trauma-informed care and the treatment of trauma, as well as holistic health and nutrition. She currently specializes in working with individuals living with traumatic stress related to complex chronic illness including but not limited to vestibular disorders, migraine, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and dysautonomia/POTS. As a person who also lives with these conditions, Jen is committed to growing understanding of chronic illness as a trauma and the need for implementing trauma-informed care within organizations that serve this population and their caregivers. Jen currently lives in Chicago with her wife where she maintains a private psychotherapy and consulting practice and continues to see clients remotely across the country. 

Podcast Cover

Sheryl Zolotorofe
Ménière's Disease, SSCD

Sheryl is originally from New York, and currently living in the South Florida area. She had the opportunity to work as a paralegal with the attorney for the New York Teamsters. For the past 31 years, she has been an educator as well as a curriculum specialist. Her best job has been mom to three adult children, and 6 Greyhounds.

Sheryl's enjoyed playing the violin for most of her life, and spending her spare time supporting community charities as well as political candidates. In 2019, she was diagnosed with Menieres Disease and Superior Canal Dehiscence. She's currently working on her greatest passion…finding my “fearless” again. (19)

Kristi Strong
Vestibular Migraine

Kristi Strong is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist, and author, who’s suffered from chronic vestibular migraine disorder since 2017. She was officially diagnosed after a year and a half of testing in the fall of 2018, and began her journey of symptom management through holistic lifestyle changes, supplements, and a medication regime. Kristi enjoys reading, traveling, writing, cooking The Dizzy Cook’s recipes, and spending quality time with her friends, family, husband, and her adorable dog.

Feedback from previous years

"I am very thankful to this conference. It is such a blessing and privilege to have this information to guide me through my ordeal. You have helped me not feel so alone and "weird" because I have this invisible disease. Thank so much from the bottom of my heart to everyone who put this amazing conference together. All your hard work and caring has helped me and everyone who struggles with vestibular dysfunction."

friends joining hands

Feedback from previous years

"Thank you for this  wonderful conference! It was so informative. Now I know what my difficulties are & who my people are. It's such a great relief."

friends joining hands
"Support" on a tablet

Feedback from previous years

"I LOVED this conference! I’m grateful that it was virtual and recorded so I could still watch it when my vestibular issues weren't acting up. Thank you for this wonderful resource!"

"Support" on a tablet
Training session

Feedback from previous years

"Thank you for making the conference available to all and making the cost for the webinars affordable. The information and the ability to connect with so many people who are struggling like I am is invaluable."

Training session


Previous Year's Recordings

If you missed VeDA's previous Virtual Conferences you can still watch the sessions by purchasing the recordings. Your purchase gets you lifetime access to the full conference to watch at your leisure and rewatch as many times as you want while providing support for the free articles and resources that are available from VeDA to vestibular patients all over the world.


Thank you to the conference sponsor


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