Press Release: BIANYS Panel Discussion: How Many Concussions Are Too Many?

Join us on September 14 at 6 pm for the live recording of this webinar which will then be released on National Concussion Day, September 17

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Albany, NY – In recognition of National Concussion Awareness Day, the Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) Concussion Initiative is thrilled to host the panel discussion, How Many Concussions Are Too Many?

Moderated by Benita Zahn, DPS, MS, CHWC, former Albany NBC affiliate news anchor and current Health and Wellness Coach with Capital Cardiology in the Capital District, panelists will include:

  • Aimee Brunelle, MS, ATC, Athletic Trainer, South Colonie Central School District
  • Harry Carson, Former NFL New York Giant, Football Hall of Famer and Concussion Advocate
  • Shae Datta, MD, NYU Langone Hospital – Long Island
  • Zac Hamilton, Former NCAA D1 Hockey Goalie at Colgate University, where he sustained a concussion, Medical Student and Headway Foundation Volunteer

Every year, about 4,000 New York children age 19 and younger are treated at hospitals for sports-related traumatic brain injuries. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way the brain normally works.

“We are thrilled to have such an esteemed panel come together to discuss the important topic of ‘How Many Concussions Are Too Many?’. This distinguished panel will bring their experiences and expertise to this important conversation, providing insight and thoughtful examination of a subject they are all familiar with from different perspectives. BIANYS thrives to continue these dialogues and contribute to educating the public about concussion management and awareness,” said Dina Pagnotta, Co-Chair of the BIANYS Concussion Initiative.

BIANYS launched the Concussion Initiative Advisory Committee in 2017 as an interdisciplinary approach to issues related to concussion. Members include 40+ health care, education and advocacy professionals from across the state, all of whom share the goal of improving concussion education and care for all New Yorkers.

Join us on September 14 at 6 pm for the live recording, which will then be released on National Concussion Day, September 17. To learn more and to register, please visit bianys.org.

#NationalConcussionAwarenessDay
#ConcussionAwarenessNYS

For more information contact:
Christina LeBeau
Director of Advocacy and Engagement
clebeau@bianys.org
518-459-7911

Press Release: Funding for Concussion Management Education Proves Successful

New York State Health Foundation Grant to educate school faculty and staff, parents, students on Return to Learn protocols after concussion has come to a close

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Albany, NY – The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) is excited to announce that the grant, Improving Concussion Management for New York State Students, received from the New York State Health Foundation (NYSHealth) was successful.

This project addressed gaps in concussion management by training educators, parents and students around New York State on Return to Learn protocols. These trainings enhanced teachers’ abilities to identify students who have sustained a concussion and to provide the needed academic accommodations and services to ensure full recovery. Even though the pandemic hit in the middle of this grant, our staff converted quickly to all virtual presentations and we were able to train over 2000 school personnel.

“It was an amazing experience to work with educators throughout the state on this important project. Many attendees expressed the benefits of the information they garnered from the training and how helpful this will be to assist students that have sustained a concussion. Many also gained a new appreciation for what it is like to suffer from a concussion and the challenges that can occur during recovery. BIANYS appreciates the support from the NYSHF to make this training available statewide,” expressed Michelle Kellen, Professional Development Manager at BIANYS.

Even though the grant has come to an end, the BIANYS staff will continue to advocate for the passage of the Concussion Management Awareness Improvement Act (A2564/S1074) until it is passed by the New York State Legislature. This legislation will require additional education in concussion management, require academic Return to Learn and Return to Play policies, require a Concussion Management Team, report the number of concussions that occur each year, recommend Athletic Trainers available to students and for the legislation to apply to non-public schools and competitive/travel youth sports.

BIANYS stands ready to provide information on concussion and on best practices for Return to Learn and Return to Play. We must do all we can to keep New York’s students safe when they play sports and help them be as successful as possible in the classroom and to prevent concussions and other brain injuries wherever we can. We once again thank the New York State Health Foundation for this opportunity.

For more information contact:
Christina LeBeau
Director of Advocacy and Engagement
clebeau@bianys.org
518-459-7911

Press Release: March On for Brain Injury Virtual Walk New York City Honoree

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Albany, NY — For the second year in a row, supporters from across New York State and the country are participating in March On for Brain Injury on Saturday, September 18 virtually.
Although we miss being in person, going virtual allows anyone and everyone from New York State and beyond to participate. March On for Brain Injury is an annual event hosted by the
Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS). All proceeds from March On go directly to BIANYS programs and services. In pre-COVID-19 times, hundreds of walkers gathered for a day
of unity, fun and activities in four locations: Long Island, New York City, Syracuse and Rochester.

Each year BIANYS’ March On honors outstanding individuals for their courage and contributions to New York’s brain injury community. The 2021 honoree from New York City is the Jack
Clopeck, currently residing in Brooklyn. Jack sustained a hemorrhagic stroke, caused by an AVM. A brain bleed on the left side of his head.

“I have a brain injury. To the world, I may look fine, but my injury impacts me every day in the way I think, communicate and go about my day. As the New York City March On for Brain Injury
Honoree, I want to take this platform to tell other survivors that you are not alone. BIANYS and I are here for you. I’m hoping my story is heard and inspires any survivor out there to remain
persistent, to remain strong, practice patience and to truly advocate for themselves. I want to educate others to be kind and understand what a brain injury means,” said Jack.

The online program will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 18, and will feature honorees, BIANYS leadership and information on March On sponsors. Anyone can participate by making a
donation at https://www.classy.org/give/342742/#!/donation/checkout, taking video and/or pictures of their walks and posting them to social media using the #MarchOn2021 and
#WhatsYourWalk tags. These posts will be part of the program on September 18 and will be shared by BIANYS.

For more on Jack’s story please visit: https://www.classy.org/event/march-on-for-brain-injurynew-york-city/e342742

For more information contact:
Christina LeBeau
Director of Advocacy and Engagement
clebeau@bianys.org
518-459-7911

Press Release: March On for Brain Injury Virtual Walk Hudson Valley Honoree

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Albany, NY — For the second year in a row, supporters from across New York State and the country are participating in March On for Brain Injury on Saturday, September 18 virtually.
Although we miss being in person, going virtual allows anyone and everyone from New York State and beyond to participate. March On for Brain Injury is an annual event hosted by the
Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS). All proceeds from March On go directly to BIANYS programs and services. In pre-COVID-19 times, hundreds of walkers gathered for a day
of unity, fun and activities in four locations: Long Island, New York City, Syracuse and Rochester.

Each year BIANYS’ March On honors outstanding individuals for their courage and contributions to New York’s brain injury community. The 2021 honoree from the Hudson Valley Region is
Londina Cruz. Londina’s parked car was rear-ended by a drunk driver and her life changed.

“I turned fear into strength and refused to let my TBI define or defeat me. I have shattered my own limiting beliefs and the opinions of others. I am thriving and focus myself on positive thinking and encouraging a healthy surrounding. That is why I am honored to be the Hudson Valley March On Honoree so that my story can inspire other individuals with a brain injury to
strive who they want to be.” Stated Londina.

The online program will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 18, and will feature honorees, BIANYS leadership and information on March On sponsors. Anyone can participate by making a
donation at https://www.classy.org/give/338858/#!/donation/checkout, taking video and/or pictures of their walks and posting them to social media using the #MarchOn2021 and
#WhatsYourWalk tags. These posts will be part of the program on September 18 and will be shared by BIANYS.

For more on Londina’s story please visit: https://www.classy.org/event/march-on-for-braininjury-hudson-valley/e338858

For more information contact:
Christina LeBeau
Director of Advocacy and Engagement
clebeau@bianys.org
518-459-7911

Press Release: March On for Brain Injury Virtual Walk Long Island Honoree

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Albany, NY – For the second year in a row, supporters from across New York State and the country are participating in March On for Brain Injury on Saturday, September 18 virtually.
Although we miss being in person, going virtual allows anyone and everyone from New York State and beyond to participate. March On for Brain Injury is an annual event hosted by the
Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS). All proceeds from March On go directly to BIANYS programs and services. In pre-COVID-19 times, hundreds of walkers gathered for a day
of unity, fun and activities in four locations: Long Island, New York City, Syracuse and Rochester.

Each year BIANYS’ March On honors outstanding individuals for their courage and contributions to New York’s brain injury community. The 2021 honoree from Long Island is the late Vinny
Scheppa. Christine Scheppa, Vinny’s mom, has accepted this position for Vinny who passed away in February of this year.

“Telling Vinny’s story will allow me to raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries within our communities and share the challenges that brain injury survivors, their families and caregivers
face,” said Christine Scheppa. She continued, “It is with great passion that I advocate on Vinny’s behalf and other brain injury survivors so that they can continue to heal, thrive, and live
meaningful lives.”

The online program will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 18, and will feature honorees, BIANYS leadership and information on March On sponsors. Anyone can participate by making a
donation at https://www.classy.org/give/337065/#!/donation/checkout, taking video and/or pictures of their walks and posting them to social media using the #MarchOn2021 and
#WhatsYourWalk tags. These posts will be part of the program on September 18 and will be shared by BIANYS.

For more on Vinny’s story please visit: https://www.classy.org/event/march-on-for-braininjury-long-island/e342741

For more information contact:
Christina LeBeau
Director of Advocacy and Engagement
clebeau@bianys.org
518-459-7911

BIANYS Moving their Albany Offices

Albany, NY – The Brain Injury Association of New York State will move their offices from 4 Pine West Plaza to 5 Pine West Plaza on June 29, 2021.

After the COVID-19 pause, the Association decided to downsize offices and transition employees to remote. This move will allow for cost savings, which will be invested back into BIANYS’ programs and services.

For more information, please reach out to info@bianys.org or 518-459-7911.

Address information:

Brain Injury Association of New York State
5 Pine West Plaza, Suite 506
Albany, NY 12205
info@bianys.org
www.bianys.org
Main: 518-459-7911
Helpline: 1-800-444-6443
Fax: 518-482-5285

BIANYS 2021 ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND MEDICAL SYMPOSIUM

The Brain Injury Association of New York State’s Annual Conference and Medical Symposium will be virtual for 2021!

The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) is thrilled to host our Annual Conference and Medical Symposium virtually again for 2021! We can not wait to be back together again in person for 2022. Until then we want to be sure to have a safe environment for all to enjoy on June 9, 10 and 11.

June 9 and 10 will feature our Annual Conference, providing learning opportunities for all: brain injury survivors, caregivers, brain injury service providers and professionals.  James B. Durham, III, TBI Survivor and Founder of TBI One Love will serve as keynote speaker. There will be presentations, panel discussions and more. This event will be hosted on the Pheedloop platform and is presented by Goldblatt & Associates, PC.

We invite you to get a first look at industry trends and information to support and serve New York’s brain injury community.

The Medical Symposium, held on June 11, will focus on brain injury rehabilitation in 2021 and what it looks like in this new landscape. Join our expert presenters to learn about COVID and its impacts on brain injury and treatments. This exciting day of learning is geared toward professionals in the brain injury community and those seeking a deeper understanding of what brain injury survivors face today.

“We have all learned so much in the last year about how to be sure we at BIANYS are there for our brain injury community. We are improving our knowledge daily and learning how to do things differently and better. This year we will bring you our Annual Conference and Medical Symposium virtually once again. We are so excited about the improvements on the platform and the incredible presenters, sponsors, and exhibitors that have helped make this virtual conference amazing,” said Eileen Reardon, BIANYS Executive Director. “We hope that next year we will once again all be together to celebrate the brain injury community.”

Thanks to the generous support and commitment of our sponsors, BIANYS can continue hosting this important conference for our brain injury survivors, their families, caregivers and professionals.

Those interested in participating in the Annual Conference and Medical Symposium can visit here for more information.

Contact information:

Brain Injury Association of New York State
4 Pine West Plaza, Suite 402
Albany, NY 12205
info@bianys.org
www.bianys.org
Main: 518-459-7911
Helpline: 1-800-444-6443
Fax: 518-482-5285

BIANYS Press Release: BIANYS Applauds New York State Legislature & Governor for the Inclusion of Language to Keep the TBI & NHTD Waivers Out of Medicaid Managed Care

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The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) applauds members of the New York State Legislature for including language in their budget bills to protect the individuals who depend on the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Nursing Home Transition and Diversion (NHTD) Waiver Programs. The budget bill that was signed by Governor Cuomo prevents waivered New Yorkers from being placed into the managed care programs until 2026.

Individuals on the New York State TBI Waiver are individuals of high need and require multiple individualized and specialized services. Barry Dain, President of BIANYS said that “for nearly 25 years the New York State TBI Waiver program has maintained a palette of support for a unique group of individuals that has paved a path towards independent living and choice.” The waiver enables individuals to live and thrive in the least restrictive environment and was created as an alternative to nursing home placements. The services consist of medical, behavioral, cognitive and social needs to remain safely in the community (which is a cost saving measure by keeping highly vulnerable individuals out of institutions). Managed care has demonstrated they do not have the capacity to effectively manage these individuals in the community as the services are beyond the scope of managed care. Moving individuals into managed care would create disruption and potential loss of services, putting this community at risk for nursing home placements and an increase in emergency room visits.

“We greatly appreciate the Legislature’s continued support for the needs of individuals with brain injury in New York, particularly those who receive services under the TBI and NHTD Waiver Programs. These essential Medicaid programs provide specialized services and protections that keep them safe and functioning in the community and avoid institutional placement,” said Eileen Reardon, Executive Director of BIANYS.

BIANYS supports the continuation of the Waivers separate from Managed Care because our current system works, and it is in the best interest to the waiver recipients. We look forward to continued collaboration with the Department of Health to ensure these valuable supports remain accessible to the Brain injury Community.

For more information contact:
Christina LeBeau
Director of Advocacy and Engagement
clebeau@bianys.org
518-459-7911

BIANYS Staff Return to the Office

BIANYS staff will be returning to their brick and mortar offices on Monday, September 14, 2020. As we transition back to an in person work environment, we’re excited to once again be together, though things will look a little different. We are implementing a “swing” schedule with half of staff in the office one week, while half work at home. As with the transition that we made in March to a totally virtual work environment, there will be no interruption in programs and services.

There will also be a strict visitor policy in place at our offices to keep everyone safe and comply with rules put forth by New York State. Please familiarize yourself with the policy as there are certain requirements for all visitors to abide by.

All BIANYS events will remain virtual through the end of 2020. In person Chapter and Support Group meetings will occur in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines. Please contact Margo Singer and 518-459-7911 for updated information.

FACTS Coordinators continue to provide advocacy and support both remotely and in person as determined by the Director of Family Services. They will be following regional health and safety guidelines as well New York State Department of Health guidelines when making determinations about in person meetings and following all safety protocols.

Our number one priority is the health and safety of staff, clients and our families. BIANYS remains flexible and vigilant as we navigate our way through these uncharted waters. No matter what, we’re always open and here for New York’s brain injury survivors, caregivers and professionals.

Contact information:

Brain Injury Association of New York State
4 Pine West Plaza, Suite 402
Albany, NY 12205
info@bianys.org
www.bianys.org
Main: 518-459-7911
Helpline: 1-800-444-6443
Fax: 518-482-5285

 

Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

BIANYS Press Release: March On for Brain Injury Moves Online

Annual event will honor the contributions of Brian D. Greenwald, M.D.

Albany, NY — Supporters from across New York State and the country are participating in March On for Brain Injury on Saturday, September 12, an annual event hosted by the Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS). Normally, hundreds of walkers gather in four locations around the state for a day of fun and activity, but this year the event will be completely online so everyone can stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BIANYS is pleased to spotlight Brian D. Greenwald, M.D., as the Statewide Medical Honoree. Dr. Greenwald has made significant contributions through his decades of service and commitment to brain injury survivors in the field of rehabilitation. He is currently the Medical Director at the Center for Brain Injuries and the Associate Medical Director of Hackensack Meridian JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute in Edison, New Jersey. He is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Core Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Hackensack-Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University. Learn more about Dr. Greenwald here.

“We are thankful that BIANYS has recognized Dr. Greenwald’s commitment to advancing what’s possible not just for our patients with brain injuries but for patients everywhere,” said Sara Cuccurullo, M.D., Medical Director of JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. “Dr. Greenwald and the Center for Brain Injuries is researching innovative treatments to improve outcomes so people with brain injuries can live their best lives.”

The online program will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 12. Anyone can participate by making a donation at marchon.bianys.org, taking video and/or pictures of their walks and posting them to social media using the #MarchOn2020 and #WhatsYourWalk tags. These posts will be part of the program on September 12 and will be shared by BIANYS.