Brain Injury Association of America Co-Founder Dr. Martin Spivack Passes Away at 94
November 28, 2023
The Brain Injury Association of America is deeply saddened to announce that Martin “Marty” Spivack, M.D., Ph.D., passed away peacefully on Nov. 22, 2023, at the age of 94. Alongside his wife Marilyn Price Spivack, Dr. Spivack co-founded the Brain Injury Association of America (formerly the National Head Injury Foundation) in 1980, when the couple invited a group of family members and professionals into their home to discuss the need to form an organization that would effect change for individuals with brain injury.
“We are grateful to the Spivacks for their decades of dedication and championing awareness and care for people with brain injury, and for laying the groundwork that has inspired so many others who have followed in their footsteps,” said Rick Willis, President and CEO, BIAA.
Under the Spivacks’ leadership, BIAA spearheaded many important initiatives that advanced the conversation around brain injury, including generating awareness about and sharing the National Head and Spinal Cord Injury Survey, one of the first sets of statistics compiled related to brain injury; co-creation of the first standards of acute care rehabilitation for persons with brain injury; establishment of the Federal Interagency Head Injury Task Force; and countless advocacy efforts at the federal level that resulted in millions of dollars of funding for brain injury research. In the early days of BIAA, the first brain injury phone line (now the National Brain Injury Information Center) was established in the Spivack home to help provide a larger number of people access to the information and resources they had gathered. To this day, NBIIC provides support, information, and resources for individuals and families that experience the life-changing effects of brain injury.
Dr. Spivack was born in New York City on Aug. 31, 1929. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1950, and his master’s degree, medical doctorate, and Ph.D. from Boston University. In addition to his work in the brain injury community, Dr. Spivack was commissioned as a lieutenant when he enlisted in the army in 1955, where he conducted microbiological research and treated patients at Walter Reed Hospital. Dr. Spivack also served as the Chief of Infectious Diseases and the Director of Research at the Boston VA Hospital, where he developed the HIV/AIDS and infection control programs.
About the Brain Injury Association of America:
The Brain Injury Association of America is the country’s oldest and largest nationwide brain injury advocacy organization. Our mission is to advance awareness, research, treatment, and education and to improve the quality of life for all people affected by brain injury. We are dedicated to increasing access to quality health care and raising awareness and understanding of brain injury.