To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Brain Injury Association of America, Michael Kaplen looks back on the origins of the BIAA, and salutes their incredible work helping brain injury survivors across the United States.
I'd like to take a few minutes today to congratulate the Brain Injury Association on its 40th anniversary.
40 years ago parents received hugs when their children left the hospital, and they said thank you to the medical professionals for helping to save their children's lives.
Little did they know that saving their life was just the beginning of a long journey following a traumatic brain injury.
A long journey that started 40 years ago by warehousing children in institutions where they received little or no care, and had a very poor quality of life.
Parents determined that there was a need to educate public health officials, other parents, healthcare professionals, and the public at large that these children deserved more than being warehoused in institutions. They deserved a quality of life that could only be supplied if they received good quality care both in an in-patient rehabilitation setting, as well as at home.
Because at the end of the day, as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz so truly put it "there's no place like home".
So in a living room in a small home in Massachusetts, parents got together with the assistance of some professionals and formed what was then known as The National Head Injury Association, to improve the quality of life for persons with a brain injury.
Over the past 40 years the National Head Injury Association grew in both numbers and in status, and is now known as the Brain Injury Association of America.
The Brain Injury Association of America today is the oldest and largest brain injury advocacy group in the United States. Its mission is to advance awareness, research, knowledge, and to improve the quality of life for all individuals suffering from brain injury.
Why do I say improve the quality of life for all individuals suffering from brain trauma?
Because this association believes in people first. We are not talking about a brain damaged person, we are talking about a person with some type of brain injury.
These individuals are entitled to be treated with compassion, with respect, with understanding, and are entitled to a quality of life, with full support and rehabilitation.
The Brain Injury Association of America does this every day, in just about all 50 states where they have chapters. They are a national organization that promotes research, that promotes understanding, and promotes awareness.
And on behalf of myself, my partner Shano De Caro, and our law firm, we salute the Brain Injury Association of America for their outstanding work and services to the community, and to persons with a brain injury.