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Joanne Susi

"I was suddenly unable to do the things I once injoyed, struggling to come to terms with my injury, frustrated and angry”

Bob's life changed completely in 2013 when he fell two stories while shrink wrapping a boat at the marina where he worked. With the help of his family and BIA-MA,he has found ways to enjoy most of the things he used to, just a little differently. Click here to support BIA-MA efforts in creating better futures for those affected by brain injury.

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Brain Injury Commission

In January of 2017, Senator Harriette Chandler and Representative Kimberly Ferguson filed a Resolve to Re-establish the Brain Injury Commission (S.1168/H.1956). 

The Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Commission was established in an outside section of the FY’ 11 Budget.  Beginning in January of 2011, the Brain Injury Commission met monthly to address serious gaps in services for individuals living with brain injury in Massachusetts.  In December of 2011, the Commission issued a report overviewing its major findings and gaps in services.  Many of the recommendations have been met.

The Re-established Commission will now review data concerning the epidemiology of brain injury and the needs of individuals with brain injury and their families in the commonwealth.  The Commission will make findings regarding the status of rehabilitative residential and integrated community-based support services for persons with acquired brain injury and persons with traumatic brain injury.  Finally, The Commission will make recommendations regarding the improvement of such services.

Click here for Brain Injury Commission Resolve flyer

Brain Injury Commission Included in FY ’19 Budget
On Thursday, May 10th, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means included in an Outside Section of the Fiscal Year ‘19 Budget language to Reestablish the Brain Injury Commission.  The Senate passed the budget on May 24th.

The Conference Committee worked out the differences between the House and Senate budgets and included the Senate’s Outside Section to Reestablish the Brain Injury Commission.  Gov. Charlie Baker signed the budget on July 26th. 

The Commission will begin meeting this fall.

Hearing for Resolve to Re-establish the Brain Injury Commission

On July 25th, the Joint Committee on Public Health held a hearing on the Resolve to Re-establish the Brain Injury Commission. 

Executive Director Nicole Godaire testified and explained to the Committee the history of the Brain Injury Commission and the reason to re-establish it. 

One of the major recommendations from the Commission Report, was for the state to do an epidemiology study on acquired brain injury.   In October 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health along with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) completed the epidemiology study.  The findings of the study are critical to informing the development of long-term community-based support services for people with ABI in the state.

Another recommendation was for the completion of the brain injury needs assessment.  The goal of the needs assessment is to provide MRC with meaningful and actionable recommendations aimed at improving service supports for an individual with a brain injury in the state.  MRC hired Public Consulting Group to perform the needs assessment and is now waiting for its final approval.

The Re-established Commission will review the data concerning the epidemiology of brain injury and the needs of individuals with acquired brain injury in the Commonwealth.  The Commission will then make findings and then recommendations for improvements regarding the status of rehabilitative residential and integrated community-based support services.

Ms. Godaire asserted that the Commonwealth is at a critical point in further providing for the needs of the brain injury community under a new administration and new leadership at MRC.  She concluded that it was vital to examine the needs for acute care, post-acute care and community-based care.  

For more information about Advocacy at BIA-MA, contact Kelly Buttiglieri at 508-475-0032 or