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Kristin Olliney and Isabella

"She’s come really far … but she has a long journey ahead of her, but we’ll take that together, too."

In 2010, Kristin Olliney and her daughter Isabella's lives were changed forever when Isabella came down with sudden acute encephalitis, which caused brain damage. Despite the number of challenges they face every day, Isabella and her mother face them head on and work on her rehabilitation every day.

Click here to read Kristin's & Isabella's and other stories.


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statehouseGaps in Brain Injury Services Identified in Statewide Commission Report

Gaps in services for survivors of brain injury in Massachusetts were identified in a report released by a statewide Brain Injury Commission. Under the bipartisan leadership of Senator Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester) and Representative Kimberly Ferguson (R-Holden), the Commission has met monthly in Boston since January 2011 and held public meetings in Worcester and Pittsfield. Members of the commission include representatives from healthcare, state government, and the private sector.

The final report, which was written in collaboration with the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA), was presented to the Governor Patrick and JudyAnn Bigby, MD, Secretary of the Executive Office of Human Services,

“This the first time individuals from the public and private sectors have come together in Massachusetts to identify the needs of brain injury survivors,” says Arlene Korab, Former Executive Director of BIA-MA. “Gaps have been identified and recommendations made. Now, we need to take steps to implement change.”

Observed gaps in services include: case management services, day programs, social/recreation services, post-acute rehabilitation services, MassHealth PCA services, technical assistance, transportation, and other services needs. 

Read the full Brain Injury Commission Report...

BIA-MA'S Legislative Successes

  • Hutchinson v. Patrick Class Action Settlement (2008)

  • Supported passage of Shaken Baby Syndrome Law

  • Instrumental in passage of secondary Seat Belt Law

  • Established HITS, the Head Injury Treatment Services Trust Fund, financed by surcharges on drunk driving and speeding

  • Instrumental in the establishment of the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP), which funds community-based and other support services for persons with traumatic brain injury.

For more information about BIA-MA's Advocacy efforts, contact us at 508-475-0032 or