Join us on September 14 at Seneca Park in the Longhouse Shelter, as we celebrate leadership and honor brain injury survivor’s whose stories of determination and perseverance have inspired us all.

March On for Brain Injury supports the vital programs and services that the Brain Injury Association of New York State provides to those impacted by brain injury across the state.

Meet the 2024 March On for Brain Injury Rochester Honorees.

For anyone that meets Maureen (Mo) and Eric O’Brien, you immediately see the love, care, and respect that they have for each other, and you soon learn that they are survivors. Mo and Eric met in high school, though it wasn’t until their later years that they would be united. Early in their relationship, they faced the toughest challenges with their lives.

Eric sustained multiple concussions that went untreated throughout his youth and young adulthood. In June 2021, Eric was recovering from a brain surgery that removed a colloid cyst. One month later Mo found him unresponsive and seizing. For the next 18 days, Eric was in a coma for the next 18 days, where he was not expected to recover or come home, yet he survived.

Three years later, Mo and Eric continue on their journey of patience, perseverance, learning and relearning as their “new selves” (brain injury does not just affect the patient, but also the spouse, family, and entire support system).

They may not have chosen brain injury but it has certainly challenged and developed them both in surprising ways! Mo and Eric are extremely grateful to have found the Brain Injury Association of New York State, whom they refer to as “our people”.

Committed partners in everything, including advocacy, Mo and Eric enjoy supporting, educating, and advocating for themselves and others. They participate in BIANYS activities, always lending a voice. Beyond thrilled to be serving as the 2024 March On for Brain Injury Rochester Honorees, they will continue to shine a light on and support the brain injury community.

The 2024 March On for Brain Injury Medical Honoree, Dr. Brian Im completed his physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at NYU School of Medicine/Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine and subsequently did a fellowship in brain injury rehabilitation medicine at UMDNJ/Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. Upon finishing his fellowship, Dr. Im returned to Bellevue Hospital specifically with an interest to improve the brain injury rehabilitation program for the underserved public city hospital population.  During his five years at Bellevue, Dr. Im became the director of the brain injury rehabilitation program.

Currently, Dr. Im is director of brain injury rehabilitation at Rusk Rehabilitation where he continues to treat inpatients. He is also co-director of the TBI model systems project at Rusk Rehabilitation and Bellevue Hospital, co-director of the NYU Concussion Center, and the fellowship director for the NYU Rusk Rehabilitation brain injury medicine fellowship.

Incredibly supportive of the work of the Brain Injury Association of New York State and a member of the association’s board, Dr. Im works to help spread awareness and raise valuable funds to support the programs and services that BIANYS provides to the brain injury community, a community that he proudly supports.

University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) is the 2024 March On for Brain Injury Statewide Program Honoree. The Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation unit at Strong Memorial Hospital meets the complex needs of adult and pediatric patients recovering from traumatic brain injury. Led by board-certified and fellowship-trained physician with expertise in brain injury rehabilitation medicine, the multidisciplinary care team is comprised of rehabilitation nurses, physical and occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, recreational therapists, care managers, dietitians, and psychologists. The focus is restoring independence by improving problems with cognition, balance, strength, motor control, vision, swallowing, and other deficits that adversely affect patients’ daily lives.

As western New York’s largest and the Rochester region’s only Level 1 trauma facility, Strong Memorial Hospital is a destination for patients from across upstate NY who require advanced levels of trauma care. The new 11 bed Acute Brain Injury Neuro-Rehabilitation Unit further strengthens UR Medicine’s comprehensive system of acute care and recovery for moderate to severe brain injury, which also includes the UR Medicine Comprehensive Stroke Center, the Mobile Stroke Unit, Neuromedicine ICU, and the Kessler Burn and Trauma Center. The new unit supplements the existing 20-bed Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit at Strong Memorial Hospital, increasing total acute inpatient rehabilitation beds at the hospital to 31.

“The unit is physically designed to appropriately manage patients with cognitive and behavioral deficits and accounts for the clinical, physical, cognitive, communication, and nutritional conditions necessary to create an optimal environment for the brain to heal,” said Heather Ma, MD, a brain injury rehabilitation medicine specialist and assistant professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Ma is division chief of UR Medicine’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation Medicine service line and is medical director and division chief of Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Medicine. “The staff are uniquely qualified to guide recovery, help patients improve or maintain function, and improve overall health and quality of life after an acute brain injury.”

URMC is a longtime resource and supporter of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, URMC continues to push forward to support and help heal brain injury survivors. Their programs and services are making a tremendous impact.

Are YOU ready to March On for Brain Injury?


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