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.