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"My life is separated into before and after. Before, I was a Senior Clinical Research Associate assisting in clinical trails with CAP working with Dana Farber, Tufts, Johns Hopkins, and others in Cancer research. Now I am a survivor and lucky to be alive". Read Kristin's story

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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 her for Brain Injury Commission Resolve flyer

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 kbuttiglieri@biama.org