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Brain Injury Help Line: 1-800-242-0030


calendar Click on the calendar to find scheduled support groups, workshops, and events. For more detailed information on BIA-MA upcoming events, go to our News and Events web page.

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Ryan Farrell

"My recovery continues each day"
Ryan was performing with her cheering squad when a flyer on top of her stunt group fell and landed on her. A short time later, she collapsed and did not regain consciousness. She had sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI), along with a collapsed lung and fractured vertebrae in her neck. Read Ryan's story

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Current Advocacy Efforts

There are two current advocacy efforts BIA-MA needs help with:

  1. Effort to increase the FY'17 MRC SHIP Budget Ask (line item 4120-6000)
  2. Effort to support the Cognitive-Rehabilitation Bill

Effort to increase the FY'17 MRC SHIP Budget Ask (line item 4120-6000)

FY'17 AskIn the Fall of 2015, Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) and Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) will begin a collaborative, grass roots advocacy campaign seeking funding for the FY’17 Budget for Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP).

In the past, BIA-MA began significantly advocating for the annual MRC SHIP Budget Ask (funded by Line Item 4120-6000) once the Governor has released the budget. This year, however, in order to provide the brain injury community with early and up-to-date information to advocate for the FY’17 Budget Ask, our grass roots campaign will start in the Fall of 2015 - the earliest and most inclusive start ever!

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC) SHIP program provides a broad range of community-based services that support individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and their families. The SHIP program is part of the community Living Division at MRC. Services for eligible applicants include: Service coordination, regional service centers, residential services, case management, individual skills training, companion services, consultation for families, substance abuse services, and social and recreational programs. For more information visit http://www.mass.gov/mrc.

There are currently 4,318 individuals who have suffered a TBI and are eligible for SHIP services through MRC. In order to aid these individuals, the state would need to increase SHIP funding by an additional $24.9 million over the FY’16 budget of $15.8 million. Many of these individuals have waited for services for a number of years.

In order to work toward this goal, BIA-MA will be orchestrating this grass roots advocacy campaign. We will ask those interested to educate their elected officials through a large number of emails and/or phone calls at different points in the campaign. Elected legislators typically:

  • Base most of their decisions on what they hear from their constituents
  • Care about what their constituents think, especially those who communicate their views
  • Need the votes of their constituents to get re-elected

The target audience will vary depending on timing. The key players include:FY'17 Ask

  • Executive branch:
    Governor Charlie Baker
    Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristin LePore
    Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders
    MRC Commissioner Nicky Osborne

  • Legislative branch:
    Senate President Stanley Rosenberg
    Senate Ways and Means Chair Karen Spilka
    Speaker of the House of Representatives Robert DeLeo
    House Ways and Means Chair Brian Dempsey

  • Your individual State Senator and Representative
    Find your legislators at: https://malegislature.gov/People/FindMyLegislator

Click here to view the MRC FY'16 MA Budget Ask Flyer

Click here to Find my Legislator. 

For more information about BIA-MA's Advocacy efforts, contact us at 508-475-0032 or advocacy@biama.org