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October 2020

Save the Date
BIAPA at Fayette Gives -- Thursday, November 12
BIAPA at The Extraordinary Give -- Friday, November 20 

2020 Educational Series - Professionals Earn CEUs

Join us in November for our Educational Series with access via a LIVE webinar or On-Demand:

Thursday, November 5. from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM. Enhancing Cognitive Functioning after Brain Injury: Progress and Challenges
Presented by Dr. John Whyte

Cognitive problems are important across the brain injury severity spectrum. Research on disorders of consciousness (DOC) now supports changes in the standard of care and healthcare access. Evidence on treatments for cognitive impairments in higher functioning individuals has been slower to accumulate, and controversies remain regarding the most effective approaches to cognitive rehabilitation, who should deliver them, and whether they should be covered by insurance. This presentation will review the current evidence regarding the ability to improve cognitive function after brain injury, as well as some of the challenges that have limited progress in this area.

Thursday, November 19 from 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Comprehending Behavior: A Framework for Explanations in Neurobehavioral Treatment
Presented by Dr. Jeff Kupfer

When people seek explanations about behavior (especially when behavior changes suddenly) there is a distinction between "what" is happening, "why" it is happening, and "how" it is happening. Behavior is often mischaracterized because it is in the normal range of actions. If behavior is categorizable, all three categories must be considered to derive more comprehensive and inclusive treatments. Neurobehavioral treatment attempts to combine these variables, while seeking out the purpose or function of behavior, as well as the best way to talk about it. This presentation will include a case study, along with strategies for integrating Applied Behavior Analysis treatments with medical and rehabilitation treatments. A comprehensive framework for neurobehavioral treatment will be presented.

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

BIAPA Welcomes Two New Board Members

The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania is honored to introduce the newest members of the BIAPA Board of Directors: Kiyaana Cox-Jones and John Abbatico.

Kiyaana Cox-Jones currently serves as the Assistant Director of Multicultural Life, Multicultural Life Center and Program Coordinator for The Emerging Leaders Program at Muhlenberg College. She is committed to the work of educating and empowering people in racial restoration. "I have been committed to the work of educating and empowering people in racial restoration," says Cox-Jones. "My commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity is made evident in my professional and personal background. My personal accountability and integrity have always made sure to represent both my employer and myself in a professional and ethical manner."

Kiyanna is also the founder and owner of KJ Productions, a restorative theater company. She says it is her life mission to serve others so they might find transformation. Her greatest joy is serving as wife and mother.

John Abbatico comes from the western side of the state where he works as co-founder and chief technology officer of Othot, Inc., a leading AI platform for Higher Education student lifecycle optimization. His work as a technology entrepreneur also includes experience in building technology startups, as well as in fundraising. He was also the founding CTO of Hiperos, which is a hird party management SaaS platform, acquired by PE in 2014 and ultimately acquired and added to the Coupa success team at security startup Veafic based in Provo, Utah, and he held various roles as technology thought leader, sales support, and director of Oracle, Ariba and SAP.

Educated as a Nuclear Physicist, he designed naval nuclear propulsion systems and built nuclear reactor software at General Electric.

John brings a new voice to the Board, one that will make BIAPA even more dynamic in looking at the varied needs of those whom we serve. John states, "I am motivated to learn more in order to inject my experiences and skills to help the mission of the Board in promoting prevention programs and helping educate and support those in need." John is interested in getting involved in the events. He has already asked about research and ways to use technology to help more survivors. John's passion is to find opportunities to give time, treasure and talent back to the community.

BIAPA Annual Awards 

During this year's annual meeting, held virtually on October 15th, BIAPA presented three awards:

The John Sears Inspiration Award is presented to an individual who has overcome significant challenges and who has utilized his or her talents and strengths to inspire others to reach their goals. This award honors John Sears, talented artist, committed teacher, and devoted husband, father and grandfather, who despite the challenges of a traumatic brain injury from a 1985 bicycling accident, continued to teach and make art until his death in 2009. The winner of this year's John Sears Inspiration Award is Jack Cavanaugh.

The Dennis Minori Family Tribute Award is given to a family who has a member with a brain injury. The recipient is a family who stands together in the face of hardship, works together to support each other, and strives to improve the quality of life for the person with brain injury. This award recognizes the constant and tremendous support provided by a family to their loved one, benefiting others in the brain injury community by their example of devotion and commitment. The winner of this year's Dennis Minori Family Tribute Award is the Steinberg Family - Joan, Mark and Andy.

The Service to the Association Award is given to a person who has, through volunteerism, fundraising, and other efforts, supported the mission and vision of BIAPA and contributed to the ongoing success of the Association. This award was bestowed upon Kara Latshaw  posthumously.

Congratulations to the award winners! 


Support Group Corner

Pop-Up Support Group Update

BIAPA's next pop-up support group, facilitated  BIAPA Board Members Candace Gantt and Tracy Yatsko, is scheduled for Thursday, November 19th at 5:00 PM 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. Attendees will be sharing creative endeavors as well as participating in a discussion. Whether you have something to share, want to participate in the discussion, or just listen, we hope you'll join us!

Other Virtual Support Group Meetings
It is encouraging that so many support groups are meeting virtually! Click here to obtain 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
8878 Covenant Avenue, No. 217
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Phone: 717-692-5569, 1-866-635-7097


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