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.

 

ACTION ALERT: Call Now to Stop Medicaid Cuts and Health Care Repeal

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 is moving quickly to push the bill through Committee and vote by the end of March.  The Senate is planning to vote on the House bill before the mid-April recess.

People’s health, services and lives are at stake! BIANYS needs advocates to reach out to their Senators and Representatives and tell them to stop the repeal of the ACA and the cuts to Medicaid.  Advocates need to explain why the ACA and Medicaid are essential to people with disabilities and their families.

Message 1: Do NOT cut and cap Medicaid!
Medicaid is a jointly funded program with matching state and federal funds. Under a Medicaid per capita cap, the federal government would set a limit on how much to reimburse states based on enrollment in the Medicaid program. Unlike current law, funding would not be based on the actual cost of providing services. Much like the proposed block grants, the intent of the per capita caps is to restructure the program and save the federal government money. Inevitably there will be cuts in funding in the states.  The negative impacts to Medicaid recipients could include:

  • Losing home and community-based services and supports. Waiting lists would quickly grow.
  • Losing other critical services such as personal care, mental health, prescription drugs, and rehabilitative services. If funds become scarcer, states may decide to stop providing these services altogether.
  • Being forced into unnecessary institutionalization. States could return to the days of “warehousing” people with disabilities in institutions.
  • Shifting the costs to individuals or family members to make up for the federal cuts. The costs of providing health care and long term services and supports will not go away, but will be shifted to individuals, parents, states, and providers.

For additional information, see CCD’s fact sheet about Medicaid.

Message 2: Do not repeal the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with disabilities!
The ACA is the most significant law for people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act:

  • Because of the ACA, health insurers can’t deny health insurance or charge higher premiums if you have a disability or chronic condition.
  • Because of the ACA, there aren’t arbitrary financial limits to how much health care you can get in a year or in your lifetime.
  • Because of the ACA, more people with disabilities and chronic health conditions were able to access health care due to the Medicaid expansion.

For additional information, see CCD’s fact sheet about the ACA.

Take Action:
Contact your Federal Legislators Tell them changes to the Affordable Care Act and threats to Medicaid will hurt people with disabilities. Click here for tools to use when contacting your Federal legislators.

Contact our Governor today, remind him what cuts to the Medicaid would mean for the state budget and why they matter to you. Click here to send a message to the Governor.

What to Say:

  • I am your constituent.
  • I am a person with a disability or I am a family member of someone with a disability or I am a professional in the disability field.
  • Do NOT repeal the ACA without a replacement that maintains or improves coverage and protections.
  • Do NOT allow restructuring and cuts to Medicaid to be part of an ACA replacement.
  • The ACA and Medicaid helps me/my family member to have health care and community based services.

MORE THAN 200 ATTEND ANNUAL BRAIN INJURY ADVOCACY DAY IN ALBANY, ORGANIZED BY THE BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE

ALBANY, NY: March 7, 2017 – More than 200 advocates from around New York State gathered in Albany yesterday for the Annual Brain Injury Advocacy Day, organized by the Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS).

Every year, serious falls, assaults, car accidents and other incidents such as stroke result in brain injury for thousands of New Yorkers. Brain injury profoundly effects individuals’ physical and cognitive abilities and makes it extremely difficult or impossible for individuals to live full productive lives. Brain injury can impact family dynamics, community activities, employment and social life. Behavioral changes that may occur as a result of brain injury can also have a significant impact on the ability to interact with others and conform to the rules and structure of society.

Proposed changes to health care and threats of cuts to Medicaid and Medicare on the Federal level and the restructuring of Medicaid programs on the State level will negatively impact thousands of brain injury survivors in New York State especially the vulnerable populations currently on the TBI and NHTD Medicaid Waivers. Survivors, family members and caregivers gathered together and worked to help legislators understand how changes to health care programs will significantly reduce the level and quality of care if current services are not protected.

“March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and the Brain Injury Association was honored to once again organize a day of advocacy where hundreds joined us in Albany to be the voice for thousands of New Yorkers who are in need of these vital services,” said Eileen Reardon, Executive Director for BIANYS. “We are facing a critical period of time during which thousands will be transitioned into a managed care program in April 2018 and it is more important than ever to let our legislators know that they need to work hard to protect services for one of the most vulnerable populations in the state.”

Advocates spent the day sharing their personal stories about brain injury and asking NYS Legislators to support the BIANYS Continuum of Care Program which would successfully impact individuals affected by brain injury for decades to come.

As part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, the organization is also continuing their Blue Jeans for Brain Injury Campaign.  For the past two years, BIANYS has partnered with dozens of organizations across the state to generate funding to provide programs and services for individuals and their families affected by brain injuries. Organizations are once again invited to host their individual fundraising efforts which will help BIANYS to continue to provide advocacy; resources; information and supportive services.  Hundreds of people attending Advocacy Day also wore blue jeans in solidarity.

To learn more about BIANYS or register as a site to host a Blue Jeans for Brain Injury event, please call (518) 459-7911 or visit www.bianys.org.

BRAIN INJURY ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK STATE KICKS OFF BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTH IN MARCH WITH ANNUAL ADVOCACY DAY ON MARCH 6

Hundreds of individuals, caregivers and family members affected by brain injury are scheduled to participate in BIANYS Annual Brain Injury Advocacy Day

ALBANY, NY: March 1, 2017 – The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) will kick off Brain Injury Awareness Month on Monday, March 6 in Albany as hundreds of individuals from around New York State gather for their Annual Brain Injury Advocacy Day.

Every year, serious falls, assaults, car accidents and other incidents such as stroke result in brain injury for thousands of New Yorkers. Brain injury profoundly effects individuals’ physical and cognitive abilities and makes it extremely difficult or impossible for individuals to live full productive lives. Brain injury can impact family dynamics, community activities, employment and social life. Behavioral changes that may occur as a result of brain injury can also have a significant impact on the ability to interact with others and conform to the rules and structure of society.

On the Federal level, the President and members of Congress are moving quickly to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.  Major cuts and restructuring Medicaid and Medicare may not be far behind.  Cuts and restructuring of these programs will negatively impact thousands of brain injury survivors in New York State.  Simultaneously, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) also intends to transition the same vulnerable population currently on the TBI and NHTD Medicaid Waivers into managed care in April 2018. Individuals, family members and caregivers affected by brain injury will work to help legislators understand how changes to health care programs will significantly reduce the level and quality of care for individuals with brain injury if current services are not protected.

“The Brain Injury Association is honored to once again organize a day of advocacy where hundreds will join us in Albany to be the voice for thousands of New Yorkers who are in need of these vital services,” said Eileen Reardon, Executive Director for BIANYS. “We are facing a critical period with drastic changes at both the Federal and State levels that will impact services for brain injury survivors.  It is more important than ever to let our legislators know that they need to work hard to protect services for one of the most vulnerable populations in the state.”

As part of the agency’s ongoing advocacy efforts, they have been working for the past two years to successfully implement their Continuum of Care model which would successfully impact individuals affected by brain injury for decades to come.

As part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, the organization is also continuing their Blue Jeans for Brain Injury Campaign.  For the past two years, BIANYS has partnered with dozens of organizations across the state to generate funding to provide programs and services for individuals and their families affected by brain injuries. Organizations are once again invited to host their individual fundraising efforts which will help BIANYS to continue to provide advocacy; resources; information and supportive services.  Hundreds of people attending Advocacy Day on March 6 will also wear blue jeans in solidarity.

To register for in BIANYS Advocacy Day or to register as a site to host a Blue Jeans for Brain Injury event, please call (518) 459-7911 or visit www.bianys.org.

ACTION ALERT – Act Now to Prevent Gutting of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid

Act Now to Prevent Gutting of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid

The House of Representatives is expected to introduce a bill to cut Medicaid and the ACA Feb. 27 and to begin committee work immediately. The result would be two major blows to individuals with disabilities. Reach out to your Federal and state legislators and the Governor’s Office and tell them that repealing the ACA and replacing it with a plan that CUTS Medicaid is unacceptable. People’s health, services, and lives are at stake!  We need advocates to reach out to their Senators and Representatives to let them know why the ACA and Medicaid are essential to people with disabilities and their families.

Message #1: Do NOT per capita cap Medicaid!

Medicaid is a jointly funded program with matching state and federal funds. Under a Medicaid per capita cap, the federal government would set a limit on how much to reimburse states based on enrollment. Unlike current law, funding would not be based on the actual cost of providing services. Much like the proposed block grants, the intent of the per capita caps is to restructure the program, cut federal spending and drastically reduce money going to the states. Inevitably there will be cuts in funding and other negative impacts to Medicaid recipients could include:

  • Losing home and community-based services and supports. Waiting lists would quickly grow.
  • Losing other critical services such as personal care, mental health, prescription drugs, and rehabilitative services. If funds become scarcer, states may decide to stop providing these services altogether.
  • Being forced into unnecessary institutionalization. States could return to the days of “warehousing” people with disabilities in institutions.
  • Shifting the costs to individuals or family members to make up for the federal cuts. The costs of providing health care and long term services and supports will not go away, but will be shifted to individuals, parents, states, and providers.

For additional information, see the Arc’s fact sheet about Medicaid.

Message #2: Do not repeal the ACA’s protections for people with disabilities!
The ACA is the most significant law for people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act:

  • Because of the ACA, health insurers can’t deny health insurance if you have a disability or chronic condition.
  • Because of the ACA, there aren’t arbitrary financial limits to how much health care you can get in a year or in your lifetime.
  • Because of the ACA, more people with disabilities receive supports and live in the community, not institutions.

For additional information, see CCD’s fact sheet about the ACA.

 

Take Action!

Join us in Albany on Advocacy Day on March 6. Together we can show New York that brain injury is a significant health and social issue that deserves attention. Register Now.

Contact your Federal Legislators Tell them changes to the Affordable Care Act and threats to Medicaid will hurt people with disabilities. Click here for tools to use when contacting your Federal legislators.

 

 

Sarah Shadi, a Ph.D. student and #PWBI, is conducting a study on feelings of social isolation in people with brain injuries and asked BIANYS to share her message:

Hello my name is Sarah Shadi and I am a Ph.D. student in the APA-accredited clinical psychology program from Alliant International University’s, San Francisco campus. I am currently conducting research in an attempt to understand feelings of social isolation in people with brain injuries. As a brain injury survivor myself, and a member of the Brain Injury Association, I am interested in your feelings and experiences as a brain injury survivor.

Eligibility:
-You must be between the ages of 18-75.
-You must have a diagnosed brain injury that occurred two or more years ago.
-You must be able to read and write English.
-You must NOT have a current psychiatric diagnosis (e.g., depression, anxiety, or personality disorder).

If you meet eligibility criteria you will be asked to complete a brief survey that may take 30 minutes to an hour. In order to learn more about this study, or to participate in it, please click the link. The survey will remain open until the maximum of 250 responses are received.

If you have any questions about the current study, or if you would like to receive updates about the results of the study, please feel free to email me at SocialIsolationAlliant@gmail.com.

This research project has been approved by the Institutional Review Board for the Protection of Human Participants in Research at Alliant University. For questions, the Institutional Review Board can be contacted at alliant-irb@alliant.edu or at 858-635-4741.”