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ACCOMPLISHMENTS

The Voice of Help, Hope, and Healing

More than 2.5 million people in the United States sustain traumatic brain injuries each year, and 1 million more experience strokes and other acquired brain injuries. Individuals with brain injury may experience memory loss, concentration or attention problems, slowed learning, and difficulty with planning, reasoning, or judgment. Emotional and behavioral consequences include depression, anxiety, impulsivity, aggression, and thoughts of suicide. Physical challenges include fatigue, headaches, difficulty with balance or motor skills, sensory losses, and seizures. Brain injury can also cause or accelerate a wide range of respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and neurological diseases. An estimated 9 million Americans live with brain injury-related disabilities.

In 2016, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) achieved these accomplishments:  

Increasing Access to Brain Injury Care

  • BIAA advocated for an increase in funding for traumatic brain injury (TBI) programs across the federal government through written testimony submitted to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
  • In collaboration with TBI stakeholders, BIAA created a TBI fact sheet for health insurance navigators. The fact sheet, published by the National Disability Navigator Resource Collaborative (NDNRC), is used to assist individuals in selecting and purchasing health insurance plans.
  • Dr. Gregory O’Shanick, medical director emeritus of the Brain Injury Association of America, testified in support of the Youth Sports Concussion Act (H.R. 4460) before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade.
  • The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, co-chaired by Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), held a landmark briefing, “Women and Traumatic Brain Injury: A Frontier Yet to be Explored.” The panel discussion was moderated by BIAA Business and Professional Council member Joanne Finegan, MSA, CTRS, FDRT.

Providing Information, Resources, and Support to the Community

BIAA’s National Brain Injury Information Center (NBIIC) helped 30,000 individuals with brain injury and their families find the information, resources, and support they need to cope with the life-changing, sometimes devastating, consequences of brain injury. For the first time in BIAA’s history, long-term issues were among the most frequent call topics of 2016. This development reinforces the idea that brain injury is a chronic condition, emphasizing the value in making information, resources, and support available throughout the lifespan.

To speak with a brain injury expert, contact NBIIC at 1-800-444-6443.

Influencing Awareness and Understanding of Brain Injury

  • BIAA joined Congressional Brain Injury Task Force Co-chairs Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.) in hosting Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill, March 16, 2016. The event was well attended and featured an awareness fair, a briefing entitled “Concussion – It’s Just Not a Concussion,” and a celebratory reception.
  • BIAA collaborated with Avanir Pharmaceuticals to premiere “Beyond Laughter and Tears,” a film chronicling the lives of six people dealing with Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA), a condition sometimes experienced by individuals with TBI.
  • BIAA and other patient advocacy organizations formed the Spasticity Alliance and created an online presence at www.spasticityallilance.org to inform and support individuals whose lives are affected by spasticity. The member organizations worked together to launch Spasticity Awareness Week, June 13-17, 2016, to increase awareness of spasticity.

Researching Rehabilitation and Access to Care for Brain Injury

  • BIAA continued its collaboration with the Brain Injury Research Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to develop and disseminate “Guidelines for the Rehabilitation and Disease Management of Adults with Moderate to Severe TBI.” The aim of this research project, funded by BIAA through generous donations, is to identify how much rehabilitation adult patients with moderate to severe deficits from TBI should receive, in what setting, and at what point after injury to achieve the best results.
  • Members of BIAA’s Business and Professional Council prepared a position paper on Brain Injury Rehabilitation Outcomes. The paper provides insight into the manner by which existing outcomes research should be evaluated and urges that care be taken in the design, interpretation, and reporting of future studies of brain injury rehabilitation outcomes.

Educating Professionals, Caregivers, and People with Brain Injuries

  • BIAA’s Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) processed more than 1,800 new applications from licensed professionals and direct service workers seeking the internationally-recognized CBIS credential. BIAA has certified more than 7,000 specialists in the U.S. and other countries.
  • BIAA published the Essential Brain Injury Guide, Edition 5.0. This text comprises 25 chapters written by more than 60 experts and provides vital information about brain injury, treatment, and rehabilitation.
  • The 2016 BIAA Brain Injury Business Practice College was held in New Orleans, Louisiana. Attendees learned about trends in the field, principles and practices of management in business strategy and performance, operations, employee performance, corporate culture, and diversity.
  • BIAA hosted 24 webinars for brain injury professionals, caregivers, and people living with brain injury. 

Supporting Community-based Partners

BIAA supports 28 state-based brain injury organizations that directly serve individuals with brain injury and their families.  In 2016, BIAA hosted the 21st Annual Affiliate Leadership 
Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida in November. 

The conference featured speakers showcasing innovative strategic planning and communication strategies for state affiliates. At the conference, BIAA presented Awards of Excellence to affiliates in California, Delaware, Kansas and Greater Kansas City, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

In 2015, BIAA collaborated with organizations in Texas, Missouri, Illinois, and Maine on Bowling for Brain InjurySM awareness events.During these events, individuals who wish to support their state and national brain injury associations raise funds through their networks and come together to celebrate their achievements at local bowling alleys.





 
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BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
1608 Spring Hill Road, Suite 110 • Vienna, VA 22182 • Phone: 703-761-0750 • Fax: 703-761-0755
National Brain Injury Information Center (Brain Injury Information Only) 1-800-444-6443

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