BIANYS ADVOCACY UPDATE 6/14

The Senate is planning to vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act before leaving for the 4th of July, which gives us just a couple of weeks to stop them. All efforts right now are critical! If a bill passes the Senate, Republicans’ dangerous idea of health care reform and their efforts to decimate Medicaid will become a reality. 

The US Senate needs to hear from the Disability Community about the dangers of cutting $800 billion from Medicaid.

ACTION ALERT
We need YOU to call the Senate HELP Committee and Senate Finance Committee.

Call 202-224-5375 for the HELP
Call 202-224-4515 for the Finance Committee

Message
“My name is (your full name). I am disabled and I rely on Medicaid to live independently in my community. Legislation being considered by the Senate that would potentially cut $800 billion from Medicaid must be fully considered prior to being brought to the Senate floor.  I am calling to urge your committee to hold a hearing on this bill rather than allow it to move to the floor without a full review by the committee.

It is imperative that you call now, and then do it again tomorrow, and every day after that while this legislation is still active! The entire Disability Community is depending on you to make these calls and stop this legislation from moving forward.

BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE ANNOUNCES CONCUSSION INITIATIVE FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF THE BERLIN CONSENSUS STATEMENT ON CONCUSSION IN SPORT

 

Concussion Initiative Committee committed to bringing the best of their knowledge across multiple disciplines to create a model that can be replicated nationwide

ALBANY, NY: June 13, 2017 – The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) announced today a Concussion Initiative comprised of leading medical professionals in the various fields of concussion across New York State.  The announcement comes following the statement release of new guidelines, written by an international panel of concussion experts and recently published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The Concussion Initiative Advisory Committee was developed by the organization with an interdisciplinary approach to achieve the following goals: evaluate existing pertinent legislation, identify gaps, and advocate for stronger regulations to ensure successful outcomes; identify and implement protocols to ensure a successful Return to Life strategy for concussion survivors; and lastly to  implement a statewide educational standard for education and health professionals that can be used to serve all New Yorkers.

The committee, which is led by co-chairs Commissioner of Department of Mental Health for Westchester County Dr. Mark Herceg and Pediatric Psychologist Dr. Andrew Hess consists of 22 members.  The committee is comprised of professionals and specialists in the fields of concussion research, brain injury rehabilitation, community resources, education, athletics as well as state agencies. The committee also includes Dr. John Leddy, a professor of orthopedics at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo, and co-author of the new consensus document.

“We are excited to announce this initiative,” said Dr. Andrew Hess, BIANYS Board Member and Co-Chair for the Concussion Initiative. “This group of professionals has been working behind the scenes for nearly a year and our announcement of this is timely with the recent statement release following the 5th International Conference on Concussion in Berlin.  The committee is committed to getting the word out about these guidelines and to put New York State on the forefront of what we hope will become a results-driven model focused on concussion prevention and management across all ages and stages of life.”

The efforts of the Concussion Initiative are supported by the recently released Consensus Statement on Concussion in Sport. The Statement provides insight into changes in best practices of concussion management, with highlights of the statement including:

  • A focus on the use of symptom-limited activity versus full rest for those who sustain concussion
  • Clear guidelines on establishing a return-to-school protocol and ensure that it is completed before return-to-play is considered with a focus on mental exertion as well as physical symptoms of concussion
  • Rehabilitation, specifically the need for referrals to specialized programs if there is a slow or complicated recovery
  • A strong statement on the importance of helmet use in skiing and snowboarding, as well as other sports

A complete list of committee members and their respective institutions can be found on the here.

For more information on BIANYS, please visit www.bianys.org.

 

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BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE INVITES PUBLIC TO ANNUAL MEETING TO BE HELD AT THE 35TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN JUNE

 

SARATOGA, N.Y.: May 23, 2017 –  The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) announced today they will be holding their annual meeting at the upcoming “One Voice for Brain Injury” Annual Conference on June 16 at 8 a.m. at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga, N.Y.

The organization will elect its officers and introduce the incoming Board Members for the 2017-18 BIANYS Board of Directors.  Installation will begin promptly at 8 a.m.

2017-2018 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Barry Dain
President

Cindy Dott **
1st Vice President

Robert C. Gundersen
Treasurer

Elizabeth Curtiss**
Judy DeIasi
Kenneth Goldblatt, Esq.
Andrew Hess, PhD
Mary Hibbard, PhD
Joyce Norman**
Kelly J. Mikullitz, Esq.
Kaiti Pierce
John Quinan
Laurie Rippon**
Andrew Siegel, Esq.
Mercedes C.D. Tartanian**
Angela Leigh Tucker

**Indicates District Board Members.  Each of these members is elected by BIANYS members to represent one of the six districts in New York State.

The organization will also recognize retiring Board Member Dr. Steven Flanagan, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Chair at Rusk Rehabilitation for his years of service on BIANYS Board of Directors.

The meeting is open to the public.  Individuals interested in attending the annual meeting must RSVP by Friday, June 9, 2017 to 518-459-7911.

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The 35th Annual “One Voice for Brain Injury” Conference June 15-16, 2017
This two-day conference, which is open to professionals, brain injury service providers and survivors will contain a variety of workshops including: professional presentations; panel discussions; spiritual demonstrations and delivery of personal testimonials from brain injury survivors and their family members. The conference will feature a keynote presentation from Dr. Joel Goodman, founder of The Humor Project in Saratoga Springs.

 

 

POPULAR PROFESSIONAL SYMPOSIUM GEARED AT INDIVIDUALS WORKING IN THE FIELD OF BRAIN INJURY RETURNS TO SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. IN JUNE

Professional Symposium to feature presentations from leading medical professionals across the state

Education Units (CEU’s) for Certified Brain Injury Specialists and other professionals as well as Contact Hours for Social Work will be provided to attendees

Live Stream available for interested organizations who are unable to attend the in-person presentations

SARATOGA, N.Y.: May 3, 2017 –  The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) announced today the lineup of their popular Professional Symposium slated to return to Saratoga Springs, N.Y. this June.

Professionals and specialists in the fields of brain injury medicine and rehabilitation will come together to learn about advances in treatment, network with other professionals in the field and gain access to cutting-edge research and information.

“We are thrilled about the schedule for this year’s Professional Symposium,” said Dr. Steven Flanagan, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and Chair at Rusk Rehabilitation. “We have leading medical professionals from across the state addressing various topics related to brain injury. Brain Injury is often a hidden injury profoundly affecting individuals’ physical and cognitive abilities.   It is extremely important for professionals working in this field to understand the complexity of the issues.”

This live in-person program will feature the following presentation topics: Brain Injury, Substance Abuse and PTSD; Physiology of Brain Injury; Equine Assisted Therapy and Brain Injury; Headaches after Brain Injury: Treatment Options; Exercise and Brain Injury; Sleep Disorders After TBI; and Physical Therapy Treatment Interventions Using New Technologies.

Conference and Training Details
Registration is now open for the Professional Symposium and the 35th Annual “One Voice for Brain Injury” Conference.  Both events will take place at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. beginning Wednesday, June 14 through Friday, June 16, 2017.

BIANYS Professional Symposium and Annual Conference is made possible with the longstanding support of: Burke Rehabilitation, Goldblatt & Associates, NYSARC Trust Services and O’Connell & Aronowitz.

Exhibitor booth and underwriter opportunities are still available by contacting Erica Rossin by phone at 518-459-7911 or via email at erossin@bianys.org

For more information or to register, visit www.bianys.org.

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The 35th Annual “One Voice for Brain Injury” Conference June 15-16, 2017
This two-day conference, which is open to professionals, brain injury service providers and survivors will contain a variety of workshops including: professional presentations; panel discussions; spiritual demonstrations and delivery of personal testimonials from brain injury survivors and their family members. The conference will feature a keynote presentation from Dr. Joel Goodman, founder of The Humor Project in Saratoga Springs.

About the Brain Injury Association of New York State
The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) is a statewide non-profit membership organization that advocates on behalf of individuals with brain injuries and their families, and promotes prevention.  Established in 1982, BIANYS provides education, advocacy and community support services that lead to improved outcome for children and adults with brain injuries.

BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE NAMES NEW FACTS COORDINATOR FOR WESTERN N.Y.

 

WESTERN, N.Y.: May 3, 2016 – The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS), a statewide non-profit membership organization that advocates on behalf of individuals with brain injuries and their families has added Wendy Verrall, to its FACTS Coordinator team.  Verrall will serve the agency’s Western N.Y. territory.

“We are excited to welcome Wendy to our team and are confident that she will excel in her new role,” said Eileen Reardon, Executive Director of BIANYS.  “Her experience and commitment to serving others will further support the quality of services we provide in the Western N.Y. territory.”

Verrall brings a strong background and knowledge in Health and Wellness programming most recently working as a Medicaid Coordinator and Financial advocate for individuals on Medicaid Programs.  Verrall has also worked with various populations including at risk children and youth.

“I’m honored to join the Brain Injury Association of New York State on their mission to support individuals across New York State,” said Wendy Verrall. “This is a great opportunity to improve the quality of life and well-being of important members of our community. I look forward to serving my territory and to help increase Brain Injury awareness across the state.”

Verrall received her Bachelor’s degree Health and Wellness from the State University of New York College at Buffalo in 2015 and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree online in Public Health from Southern New Hampshire University. She will be serving the following counties in her position: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming.

For more information about the BIANYS or the FACTS Program, please call (518) 459-7911 or visit www.bianys.org.

Call Congress Now! #RejectRepeal

A new amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is winning the support of the House Freedom Caucus making it more likely that a vote by the House of Representatives could happen as early as this weekend. Action is needed immediately to stop the AHCA from being approved by the House of Representatives. This is the bill that proposes to gut the Medicaid program through per capita caps and block grants and repeal many provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are critical to individual with brain injuries.


ACTION ALERT: Make a call today. Republicans need to keep hearing from people now to #RejectRepeal

English: 866-426-2631
Spanish: 877-736-7831


Key Messages:

  • Do NOT support the American Health Care Act.
  • Do NOT allow Medicaid to be gutted. Caps and block grants would decimate the program on which people with disabilities and seniors rely for critical health care and community services.
  • Do NOT allow states to opt out of requiring health plans to cover basic health care and keep it affordable for people with pre-existing conditions, including individuals with brain injury and all people with disabilities.

BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE ANNUAL ART SHOW RETURNS TO ALBANY TODAY

Annual art show features the artistic talents of individuals with brain injury from Monday, April 24 through Friday, April 28, in the South  Concourse of the Empire State Plaza.

The show features large-scale Unmasking Brain Injury Display

 ALBANY, NY: April 24, 2017 – The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) announced today the return of their annual art show in Albany. For the 24th consecutive year, BIANYS will showcase the artistic talents of nearly 50 individuals with brain injury from Monday, April 24 through Friday, April 28, in the South Concourse of the Empire State Plaza.

An estimated 2.8 million Americans currently live with disabilities resulting from brain injury.  Brain injury profoundly effects individuals’ physical and cognitive abilities and makes it extremely difficult or impossible for individuals to live full productive lives. For many, artistic expression is a way back; a way to reclaim their lives and sense of self-worth following their injury.

“The Brain Injury Association of New York State is honored to once again provide a creative outlet where dozens of individuals have the opportunity to showcase their work,” said Eileen Reardon, Executive Director for BIANYS. “Annually, the art show illustrates the strength, perseverance and talent of individuals impacted by brain injury and their individual journey of recovery. The art show provides a glimpse of these personal stories and is an inspiration for everyone who experiences it.”

The exhibit encompasses a wide variety of art displays and features a large-scale Unmasking Brain Injury display.  Unmasking Brain Injury art is uniquely designed by individuals with brain injuries and promotes awareness of the prevalence of brain injury and gives survivors a voice and the means to educate others of what it’s like to live with a brain injury.

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About Unmasking Brain Injury
The mission of Unmasking Brain Injury is to promote awareness of the prevalence of brain injury; to give survivors a voice and the means to educate others of what it’s like to live with a brain injury; to show others that persons living with a disability due to their brain injury are like anyone else, deserving of dignity, respect, compassion and the opportunity to prove their value as citizens in their respective communities.

 

Action Needed TODAY: Ask the Assembly to fight for Waiver populations in the New York State Budget

Why is my advocacy needed now?

The Legislature and Executive will be agreeing on a State Budget this week.  Both the Senate and the Assembly have budget proposals related to the transition that recognize that the population is not ready to be transitioned and much more work needs to be done.  The fate of the transition will be determined today or tomorrow. 


We need YOUR help!  Contact Assembly leaders and ask them to protect TBI/NHTD Waiver population and delay the transition until 2020!

ACTION ALERT: Call today!   

  • Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie – 518-455-3791
  • Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle – 518-455-5373
  • Assemblyman Richard Gottfried – 518-455-4941

What’s the message

  • I am a person with a brain injury or I am a family member of someone with a brain injury or I am a professional in the brain injury field.
  • Talk about your experience with the TBI/NHTD Waiver program, and your concerns about the lack of an adequate transition plan.  Be specific. The transition plan is outdated, the issues have not been resolved, the UAS is not an appropriate tool, Community First Choice Option may not even be an option.
  • Ask the Assemblymember to support the legislative budget proposal to protect these populations and to support delaying the transition for April 2020, which will provide additional time to ensure development of a thorough transition plan. This will also provide the time needed to understand how changes at the Federal level will impact one of New York’s most vulnerable population’s when they are transitioned into a new delivery system.

Action Alert! Protect Access to Care for Individuals with Brain Injury!

Protect Access to Care for Individuals with Brain Injury!  

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) is Bad Policy.   Call your Representative TODAY and say, “Vote NO on the AHCA!”

Call the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Member of Congress.  

Talking Points:

  • At a time when Americans are concerned about health care being too expensive, the AHCA raises premiums 20 percent, charges people over the age of 50 five times more than younger enrollees and increases out-of-pocket costs and deductibles while leaving 24 million more people uninsured.
  • The changes made yesterday to Essential Health Benefits make coverage worse for almost everybody.
  • It effectively eliminates annual out-of-pocket caps and reinstates annual and lifetime coverage limits.
  • It guts protections for preexisting conditions, because most insurance policies won’t include coverage for essential benefits, like rehabilitation, resulting in soaring costs for those who need them.
  • Medicaid cuts and changes to health insurance rules will dramatically limit access for individuals living with brain injury.

 

ACTION ALERT: Call Congress Now and tell them not to cut Medicaid

Congress is on the fast track to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to make drastic cuts to the Medicaid program. The level of cuts over time would decimate the Medicaid program.When will this happen? IT IS HAPPENING NOW. The House of Representatives will vote on this TOMORROW! People’s health, services and lives are at stake!

Call your Congress Member Now!

Please use this toll free call-in number

866-426-2631

When you call you will hear a brief overview of the issues and will be asked to enter your zip code before being transferred to your members of Congress. Please ask to speak to the health staffer.

Talking points to use during your call

No repeal of the ACA without simultaneous replacement
If Congress votes to repeal the ACA, a replacement package that provides equivalent or improved access to affordable, quality health coverage must be included in the same legislation.

 

No cuts to Medicaid or restructuring of the Medicaid program
Seniors and people with disabilities rely on the Medicaid program.  It is the primary public source of funding for long-term services and supports. Program cuts, along with block grant or per capita cap proposals would hurt people who have no alternative means of paying for essential services.

Preserve Medicare for current and future seniors and people with disabilities
Medicare is a huge success story, with strong support from all Americans. Premium support and other restructuring proposals to shift more costs onto beneficiaries would make health care far less affordable and accessible to seniors and people with disabilities.