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September 2020

Save the Date
BIAPA Virtual Annual Meeting
Followed by Coffee House with Cristabelle
Thursday, October 15, 2020 

3:00  PM.

BIAPA Mourns the passing of Administrator Kara Latshaw

The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania is heartbroken as we inform you of the passing of Kara Latshaw, longtime Administrator for the association. Known to many for her enthusiasm and support for individuals with brain injury and their families, Kara consistently went far beyond her official role to guide BIAPA and its members. She was our planner, our cheerleader, and our wise advocate.

No task was beyond Kara's ability or deep commitment to support our mission and vision. She creatively problem-solved issues; she worked collaboratively with staff, survivors, and their families; and she displayed organizational skills that allowed BIAPA to grow in securing grants and contracts to develop programs. Many will remember Kara for her strong advocacy efforts in planning our annual conference and assuring that survivors and their families were able to attend through scholarship support. This past year, she also collaborated with the PA Department of Health and BIAPA staff to support several community programs in their pursuit of projects to provide services to the brain injury community. Consistent with her generous spirit, Kara also volunteered for various organizations in her community in Millersburg, Pa.

Sadly, Kara was diagnosed with lymphoma in May 2020, and even from her hospital bed, she continued to make decisions and provide leadership. We express our sincere condolences to her family, especially to her mother Pat Hess and her children, Audra and Nate, who were regular workers at the annual conference and experienced firsthand Kara's devotion to BIAPA and its objectives. We have also been touched  by the kindness of her sister, Dannel and her brother, Steve, who have supported BIAPA even in their grief. It's hard to bring this message to an end because there can be no end to our love and gratitude for all that Kara did for, and meant to, BIAPA. Our ongoing work in support of the brain injury community will serve as a lasting tribute to Kara, our leader, our friend, whom we miss greatly.

You can read more bout Kara's life here.

2020 Educational Series - Professionals Earn CEUs

Professionals, Brain Injury Survivors and their families are invited to sign up today! Join us live 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. The series begins on November 5th, so don't delay in registering. Sign up for one session or all 12, the choice is yours!

Corporate Sponsorship opportunities and financial assisstance are available. To learn more or to register visit HERE.

Also - mark your calendars for June 27-29, 2021, when we hope to be able to resume our in-person Conference at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square!

BIAPA Annual Meeting and Coffeehouse

BIAPA's Annual Meeting will be held virtually this year on Thursday, October 15th at 3 p.m.  We will review the accomplishments of the past year, elect Board directors and present awards.  The meeting will be followed by a popular event held annually a the conference - Coffee House with Cristabelle.  Cristabelle Braden will host and provide opportunities for members of the audience to share their talents.  If you are interested in having some mic time, email us at survivorsupport@biapa.org and we'll be in touch to work on the details. 

The meeting and coffee house can be accessed through this link on October 15th.

BIAPA Annual Meeting and Coffee House

We hope to see you there!

Guidelines from BrainSTEPS about Learning Virtually

Schools across the Commonwealth are now in full swing. There are many versions of school attendance this year due to COVID-19. Some students are attending in-person, some online, while others have a hybrid approach, alternating weekly in-person with virtual attendance. The BrainSTEPS program has been preparing since last spring for a shift in how we manage our online learning support for students after a brain injury. Students after a brain injury often experience difficulties related to extended screen time and required synchronous activities of coursework (cognitive fatigue, slowed speed of processing, visual scanning, etc). BrainSTEPS is working to ensure staff recognize that students often experience learning deficits as a direct result of online school work that increased brain injury signs and symptoms.

The Westmoreland Intermediate Unit BrainSTEPS team has developed the video "Supporting Students with Concussion During Online Learning."  It's a great resource, not only for students with concussion but for all students with brain injury . Please click here to view the video.

The full list of guidelines and resources developed by the BrainSTEPS program, along with Pennsylvania's BrainSTEPS contact information, can be found here. For more information about BrainSTEPS, including how to make a referral, go to www.brainsteps.net

Acquired Brain Injury Program

This article was contributed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The Department of Health recently introduced a new program for individuals with non-traumatic acquired brain injury. The Acquired Brain Injury Program (ABIP) provides brain injury rehabilitation for individuals who meet the eligibilty criteria. To be eligible for the ABIP, you must:
  • Be 18 to 21 years of age;
  • Be a Pennsylvania resident;
  • Meet income guidelines;
  • Complete an application:
  • Have needs that can be addressed by the ABIP through rehabilitation services.

The goal of the program is to help individuals with a non-traumatic acquired brain injury live independently in their homes and communities. Rehabilitation services are offered in an outpatient (day program) and home and community based setting by specialized brain injury providers. Currently, the ABIP has four participating providers; ReMed Recovery Center, Acadia, Inc., Success Rehabilitation, Inc., and NeuroRestorative PA. The ABIP is in the process of adding additional providers. For additional information or to make a referral, please call 1-866.412-4755 or 717-772-2763.

Support Group Corner

Pop-Up Support Group Update

BIAPA's next pop-up support group is scheduled for Thursday, October 22 at 5 p.m. through Zoom. We will send out a link to the meeting as we get closer to that date.  If you would like to be included on the distribution list for the pop-up support groups, please send a message to us at survivorsupport@biapa.org.  The meeting will be facilitated by BIAPA Board Members Candace Gantt and Tracy Yatsko.  It will open with a brief presentation by nutrition expert Jacqui Jarrett on the topic “Healthy Body , Healthy Brain."  An open discussion among those who attend the group will follow. One of the advantages of meeting virtually is that people who are interested can participate from any location! 

Other Virtual Support Group Meetings
It is encouraging that so many support groups are meeting virtually! We are working on obtaining a full list of groups meeting online along with the details of how to access them. A link to the up-to-date listings will be included in the October newsletter.

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
950 Walnut Bottom Road, Suite 15-229, Carlisle, PA
Phone: 717-692-5569, 1-866-635-7097


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