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March 2021

2020 Educational Series - Professionals Earn CEUs

Professionals, Brain Injury Survivors, and their families are invited to sign up today! Join us LIVE or ON-DEMAND for these informative sessions for personal knowledge-building or professional continuing education credits from the comfort and convenience of your home, organization, or wherever you are located. Corporate Sponsorship opportunities and financial assistance are available. To learn more, or to register, visit HERE.


More Than My Brain Injury - Brain Injury Awareness Campaign

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) recently unveiled a new Brain Injury Awareness Campaign, "More than My Brain Injury." It was designed with help from support group leaders, advocates, and people living with brain injury.  It focuses on survivors, and highlights the diversity of the brain injury community.

The More Than My Brain Injury campaign includes posters, public service announcements, and shareable graphics for social media. Information about the campaign, including ways to participate throughout Brain Injury Awareness Month in March, and is available at biausa.org/morethanmybraininjury.

The Brain Injury Ambassador Program - Mind Your Brain Podcast

BIAPA Director of Programs, Monica Vaccaro, and Dr. Drew Nagele joined Candace Gantt from the Mind Your Brain Foundation for a podcast about the Pennsylvania Brain Injury Ambassador Program. The goal of this program is to connect with families and caregivers of those affected by a brain injury soon after the injury, deliver a message of hope and help, and provide a packet of resources for the future.  Volunteer Brain Injury Ambassadors are trained to work with familes referred by liaisons at acute care brain injury rehabilitation facilities. There are five facilities collaborating with BIAPA in this program:  Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Good Shepherd Rehabitliation in Allentown, Magee Rehabilitaiton in Philadelphia, MossRehab in Elkins Park, and West Penn Hosptial in Pittsburgh.  We are hoping to expand this network in the upcoming months.  

Please click HERE to learn more about this program.

Care for the Caregiver

This article was contributed by ReMed, BIAPA Corporate Partner.

On March 3, Dr. Ann Marie McLaughlin, Clinical Director of ReMed's Community Outpatient Services in Partnership with Learning Services, shared her expertise in a presentation entitled Care for the Caregiver for BIAPA's virtual conference. This is a topic that Dr. McLaughlin has researched and presented on many times and one that is always in need of repeating. As Dr. McLaughlin noted, the most important things she has learned on this topic have been provided by her relationships with the inspiring survivors and caregivers she has known. Caregivers often lack the time and energy to truly acknowledge their own needs. Key takeaways for those who could not attend this presentation include:

  • Caregiver strain or "burden" may be a difficult label, but research clearly indicates that caregivers may experience physical, emotional, social/vocational, and financial stressors.
  • Supporting a brain injury survivor can, of course, have many rewards that enhance relationships. However, there are also complex issues that may arise, which go beyond the physical giving of care. Cognitive and communication difficulties, the need for structure or supervision, mood control deficits, and revised roles can contribute to a sense of being overwhelmed.
  • Various stress management techniques were reviewed including "reframing," and "self-talk". Because stress can be defined as the difference between expectation and reality, strategies to manage expectations are key."
  • Dr. McLaughlin believes a critical component of the caregiving relationship is for the caregiver to teach the survivor about reciprocity . . . everything from saying thank you to engaging in planned kind acts for the caregiver so that they relationship becomes more balanced.
  • Finally, research repeatedly shows that caregiver coping is directly correlated with social engagement so reach out, connect with others, let them know you accept support! Most importantly giving care requires taking care.
Dr. Ann Marie McLaughlin is part of ReMed's nationally-recognized leadership team. Please click here for more information about ReMed.

Employment Opportunities

The BIAPA is seeking talented individuals for the positions of:

Video Editor: Short Term Project with Focus on Brain Injury

Follow-Up Coordinator: Brain Injury School Re-Entry Program

For details on each position, please visit our website by clicking HERE.

Support Group Corner

Pop-Up Support Group Update

The BIAPA Pop-Up Support Group has been so successful that it's no longer a 'pop-up.'  It's now a regularly scheduled group and will continue to meet through Zoom indefinitely! The group will meet on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 5:00 pm.  The next meeting is on April 15th.

We send a link to the meeting to those on our distribution list each month, as well as a reminder the day of the meeting. If you want to be included in the distrubtion list, please send a message to us at survivorsupport@biapa.org. All are welcome!

The March meeting focused on the Brain Injury Awareness Campaign "More Than My Brain Injury." Attendees shared how they identify themselves beyond their brain injuries, as well as experiences they've had being defined otherwise.  There was so much discussion, that we plan to continue the topic in April.

Other Virtual Support Group Meetings
It is encouraging that so many support groups are meeting virtually! Click here for a list of the groups who are meeting through videoconferencing. If you are interested in attending a virtual meeting, please reach out to the person listed as the contact for the group so that you can learn how to join the meeting.

A full list of support groups with contact information for each is on the BIAPA Website Support Group Listing page. If you are aware of groups that are meeting through video conferencing, please contact Candace Gantt, BIAPA Vice-President, at candace.gantt@verizon.net  so that we can let others know. 

Thank you to our Corporate Partners

Platinum Partners


Gold Partner


Silver Partners

Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania
947 Wayne Avenue, No. 110
Chambersburg, PA 17201
Phone/Fax: 833-242-7248 


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