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Fall I 2011

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Social Recreation Programs Build Skills and Confidence One thing that makes many of the 33 BIA-MA support groups unique is the wide array of activities and outings that they offer to survivors and their families. “Recreational activities have become opportunities to build selfconfidence and use a variety of skills, all while having fun,” says BIA-MA Support Group Leader Liaison Barbara Webster. Brain injury survivors can participate in hiking, kayaking, adaptive biking, arts, museum touring, harbor cruises, deep sea fishing and game nights, among other things. “Every event has brought people together for that special moment

inside this issue Survivor Feature................4

Professional Perspectives.........9

Pioneer Valley Support Group Inspires.............10

in which one steps away from the world of brain injury and into the world of fun, imagination and play,” says Suzanne Doswell, manager of the Western Regional BIA-MA office. “Participants have acquired new skills, collaborated for the good of all and smiled—laughed— and applauded for themselves and others.” Through funds allotted by the Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP), BIA-MA has been able to offer more than just meetings to the brain injury community. “I have witnessed survivors making great strides in their rehabilitation process as a result of participating in these activities,” says Webster. SHIP was the first public agency in the country to offer recreational programs to survivors of brain injury. What started as a small group that met twice a week for dinner and conversation has grown into 35 different recreational programs that allow brain injury survivors the opportunity to participate in activities that they may have been denied before because of the lack of services for this community. “We started these programs because we wanted people to be participants in their own lives, not just bystanders,” says Joan Smith, SHIP’s administrator of the recreational programs and

multicultural outreach coordinator. Smith, who has worked with SHIP for 22 years, was instrumental in advancing these recreational programs.

A support group from the SE region practices self-defense methods with trainers at the Nexus Martial Arts studio.

“The support groups in our region have enjoyed many unusual activities such as learning selfdefense through the Nexus Martial Arts studio in Wareham,” says Sandy Topalian, manager of BIAMA’s Southeastern Regional Office. “This past summer we had an equestrian program at Smithfield Farm in East Falmouth. Survivors could participate in equine-assisted activities and therapy with the farm’s miniature horses. “We encourage anyone living with brain injury to participate in these fun and diverse programs,” says Smith. For more information on BIAMA support groups and recreational programs, visit

For more information about the BIA-MA, call 1-800-242-0030 or visit

executive message




BIA-MA Board of Directors Officers

HeadSmart Develops Protocol for Stages of Recovery

Kenneth Kolpan, Esq. am so pleased to be an active board President member of BIA-MA. Prior to coming Red Stage: Usually lasts 2-4 days. Students should not attend school David Dwork, Esq. to Boston, I was the CEO of Lovelace and get plenty of rest. There are strict limitations on computer and Treasurer Rehabilitation Hospital in Albuquerque, television use as well as other electronics. Parents should inform New Mexico, and benefited from having the Harold Wilkinson, M.D., Ph.D. school of injury and request a contact person. No Physical Activtiy! Secretary Executive Director of the BIA of New Mexico on the board of my rehabilitation hospital. David “Chip” Bradley, Jr. Orange Stage: Students can attend school for half- days and My transition to Spaulding Rehabilitation Survivor Council, Co-Chair continue to rest while at home. Continue limits on screen time/use of Network has afforded me the opportunity electronics/reading. Avoid the school bus and carrying heavy books or Members to greatly expand my involvement with backpacks. No sports, band or chorus and no tests in school. Ulrike Berzau, MM, MHS, PT, FACHE brain injury rehabilitation and research and Vice President, Inpatient Rehabilitation, collaborate with the BIA-MA on a whole new level. Spaulding Rehabilitation Network Yellow Stage: Students can attend school full-time if possible while As a rehabilitation professional, I’ve been honored to witness working with teachers regarding homework deadlines and making many remarkable recoveries from brain injury. They are stories of Robert C. Cantu, M.D., M.A., FACM up work. See the school nurse for rest if needed. Limit to one quiz Neurosurgeon & Co-Founder, strength, courage and compassion. The journey to recovery is long and or test per day and continue to refrain from sports. Decide with your Sports Legacy Institute challenging. Rehabilitation is a complex, lengthy process that requires a teachers whether band and chorus are right for you. skilled, experienced team of professionals to achieve optimal outcomes. John C. Byler Green Stage: Students should attend school full-time and resume Support of family and friends makes a significant difference to a brain Survivor normal activities. Ease into physical activity and sports only after injury survivor and the recovery process. Ellen Deibert, M.D., CBIST being cleared by your physician. Self-advocate by making sure The ideal brain injury rehabilitation service is interdisciplinary, Neurologist & Clinical Consultant, ImPACT teachers know you need more time to make up work and tests. comprehensive and evidence-based. Clinical research guides the Matthew M. Martino, CFA rehabilitation practice and contributes to improved outcomes, functional recovery and the discovery of new treatment options. Survivors of brain Investment Advisor, PalmerDodge Advisors LLC injury often have the opportunity to take part in studies, and many have Mark Goldberg benefited from participating in the projects. President, Milton A. Goldberg Co. Heartwarming and encouraging – this is how I would describe one Agnes Moses of our highlights of 2011. On April 9, 2011, Spaulding Rehabilitation President/Owner, Standards Care Staffing Hospital hosted the first Brain Injury Reunion. About 150 persons who Stephanie Goldberg Paskievich survived brain injury and their family/friends gathered to celebrate their Social Worker, Department of Children & Families remarkable recoveries from brain injury and shared their stories of finding Edna Pruce their strength. The journey to the reunion has been long and challenging Family Member of TBI Survivor for our patients. Spaulding Rehabilitation Network is fortunate to be able to collaborate Marilyn Price Spivack Founder of BIAA and Family Member with BIA-MA in so many important ways. The support from BIA-MA is invaluable to our patients and their families. Patient and family education Executive Director and support are critical components of the rehabilitation of persons with Arlene Korab brain injury. Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is the home of the Boston 3 Acquired Brain Injury Support (BABIS) outpatient support group. This BIA-MA sponsored group provides a forum for support and education for Advertising patients and families. In addition, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital hosts Advertising deadline for the Winter issue is October 8. To advertise, please contact one of BIA-MA’s Brains at Risk programs. What an excellent program Emmy Llewellyn at and a great opportunity for the hospital to contribute to the prevention of or 508-475-0032, ext. 25. brain injury and its life-changing consequences.

Ulrike Berzau is a BIA-MA Board Member and Vice President of Inpatient Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network.

HeadSmart, a program developed by physicians and school nurses at South Shore Hospital, offers a useful protocol, outlining the four stages of recovery that students experience after a concussion. “This color-coded protocol helps create a common language and understanding among students, family members, health professionals and school staff during the recuperation process,” says BJ Williams, prevention manager for BIA-MA. HeadSmart has also created a Recovery Action Plan (RAP) which encourages a team effort in the recovery of a student. The RAP is a contract that the student and his or her team of family, teachers, coaches and doctors can sign agreeing to fulfill the goal of allowing the headinjured student to heal completely. “With these useful tools, health professionals and parents don’t have to be the student’s only advocates and accommodation plans don’t have to happen just in the classroom,” says Williams. For a free copy of the HeadSmart handbook, go to


BIA-MA does not support, endorse or recommend any method, treatment or program for persons with brain injury. We only aim to inform you. No endorsement is intended or implied.

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support network A Road Worth Traveling

support network By Sandra Madden

A Road Worth Traveling...continued

A Survivor Victory

David Hanington wasn’t expected to survive his motorcycle accident, but excellent medical care, a devoted partner, loyal friends, a patient employer, a love of music, a positive spirit, and hard work have led this strong man to a remarkable recovery. It all began one beautiful June day three years ago. David and Cheryl were riding with a group of motorcyclists to a music festival in New Hampshire when a deer ran in front of them. When David braked quickly, the motorcycle skidded out of control and went off the road. Cheryl escaped without life-threatening injuries, but David suffered a severe head injury and stopped breathing. A nurse, traveling behind the motorcycles, stopped David and Cheryl enjoy some of their old music at home together Photo by Sandra Madden and helped stabilize him until the EMTs arrived. “We Rehabilitation Hospital and progressed so well that he still don’t know who she was – maybe a guardian was discharged on July 31. “I gave my full effort. I angel.” So began David’s journey of good fortune. David was life-flighted to Maine Medical Center gave everything I had,” says David. “I never had the attitude that I was only going to get half better.” where he remained in a coma for a month. During that David joined BIA-MA’s Milford Support group time, Cheryl and other family members stayed by his side, playing music that David had performed for the where he “enjoyed his intereactions with other survivors who understood his struggles to recovery.” past 30 years. David’s doctor felt this music – David’s passion – might help David regain consciousness and Throughout the ordeal Cheryl and David’s employers were supportive and held their jobs for them – allowing recover from his injuries, and it did. David to recover and Cheryl to work with him on a daily “I turned around to look at him and he was basis. They played card games, Sudoku, crossword mouthing the words to ‘Don’t Think Twice’ by Bob Dylan. I couldn’t believe it,” says Cheryl who then puzzles, and more. “If I asked him to try something, no matter how difficult, he’d do his best, and would go brought David’s guitar to the hospital as music was back to it day after day,” says Cheryl. clearly going to be an integral part of recovery. “I was looking for anything that I could do to “One thing I realized is how much of a difference move the recovery along. I knew at some point it the people with you make,” says David. “Friends and family were with me every day, and it didn’t stop in would plateau, but I did not want that to happen until it absolutely had to,” says Cheryl. At one point he had rehab or when I got home. They kept coming – during the good times and hard times. Their loyalty never trouble finding the right words and Cheryl would say “You know this, David. It’s in there. Think. What is wavered.” it?” David says her strategy helped him make new “Part of the reason so many stuck by us is that pathways in his brain. neither of us was ever angry. It was an awful thing to David also had to regain his physical strength have happen, but it did. We still had a life left to live and stamina to return to work full-time. He started out and we wanted to enjoy it,” says Cheryl. “People said to me all the time: ‘It must be hard doing small things, taking short walks and doing small jobs in the yard. As he got his strength back, he joined for you.’ They knew there was a lot of extra effort going into David’s recovery. My answer was: “I’m just a health club. David remembers that during his first so grateful to be walking this walk and to have us both assessment with his trainer he fell over doing a squat. still here because I would not be whole without David It was going to be hard work getting back his physical in my life.” strength. David started his day at 6:30 a.m. and kept a In early July, David was transferred to Spaulding routine as if he were working. (Next Page...)

“Exercise was huge to my recovery; the more you exercise the more energy you have. You have to be active to recover.” Prior to his accident, David could play his guitar and sing for two or three hours, all from memory. “I had to relearn everything.” But perseverance is in David’s nature, and in August 2010, David returned to New Hampshire with his guitar in hand. He performed publicly for the first time since his accident and received a standing ovation. In the fall of 2010, two years after his accident, David returned to his full-time job at a regional technical high school. “I taught for eighteen years before the accident. I didn’t have to learn a whole new set of skills to return to work. I was lucky,” he says. “I have to handle things differently now, but it doesn’t mean I can’t do it. It just means it’s going to involve more work, more thinking. You need to realize it’s not going to be like it was before. You are different, not necessarily worse, just different.” With a smile he concludes: “This side of the dirt is a good place.”

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Survivor Bob Edwards (Row 2, L-R 3) and the Cambridge Warriors volleyball team won the Gold Medal on June 19 during the 2011 Special Olympics. This is Bob’s first gold medal in the Special Olympics. He says he had “great fun.”

New England Rehabilitation Hospital The center for Brain Injury recovery. Brain Injury Programs

Together, we provide affordable, accessible housing with individualized supports so that survivors of brain injury can achieve their highest level of independence in the community. Each of our residences provides a barrier-free, homelike atmosphere with individualized supports provided in accordance with residents’ needs and preferences.

At New England Rehabilitation Hospital, we specialize in brain injury, but most of all, we specialize in your recovery. With personalized treatment plans, and the most advanced rehab technology, we’re able to give our patients and their families the care and support they need. • Inpatient and Outpatient Programs • Patient and family education • Bioness® H200™ and L300™ • Home assessments for discharge planning • Behavioral management New England Rehabilitation Hospital is proud to support the work of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts.

Private-pay units now available For more information, visit:

2 Rehabilitation Way • Woburn, MA 01801 • 781-939-1875


caregiver & survivor tips

Treating Clients with TBI and Substance Abuse According to the CDC, in 2006 there were 5.3 million Americans living with disabilities related to traumatic brain injuries (TBI) with an additional 80,000 to 90,000 every year. Studies indicate that the use and abuse of drugs and/or alcohol are often a contributing factor in accidents that lead to brain injury. This article will answer a few questions related to treating clients with TBI and a Substance Use Diagnosis (SUD).

By Amanda Sexton

What strategies should be used with TBI clients? • Coordinate client care teams for continuity of care. • Involve a case manager who is often helpful to a client with TBI and SUD. • Reassure the client that symptoms of brain injury will continue to improve. • Educate the client about risks of subsequent TBIs with continued substance use. • Encourage TBI support groups. • Provide incentives/reward systems. • Provide motivational support. • Support and teach the client positive coping skills.

Traumatic brain injuries can make substance use goals more difficult, but by understanding and recognizing symptoms of TBI, you will more readily What are some symptoms of TBI? • Motor/sensory effects include dizziness, fatigue, adapt interventions to meet the client’s needs. The more headaches, nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, informed you are about exacerbating circumstances, the better you will be able to help your client move sleep disturbances and muscle weakness. • Cognitive problems include executive functioning towards goals of abstinence and moderation. problems, impaired attention and concentration, reduced processing speed and memory issues. • Emotional effects include aggression, anxiety, difficulty regulating emotions, impulsivity, lack of self-awareness and personality changes. How do TBI and SUD affect each other? • Alcohol use or misuse is common at the time of the initial TBI. • Side-effects from substance use increase the risk of TBI. • Often individuals with TBI will self-medicate with substance use. • Substance use can dramatically decrease effects of rehabilitation in individuals with TBI. • Continued substance use can lead to secondary TBIs. Is TBI co-occurring with other disorders? • There is a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. • Risk of suicide is two to four times greater with TBI. • Chronic pain is also common with TBI.

Vinfen provides a comprehensive array of services to children, youth and adults with psychiatric, developmental and behavioral disabilities.

Vinfen • 950 Cambridge Street • Cambridge, MA (617) 441-1800

200 Ivy Street Brookline, MA 02446-3907 • (617) 620-7779 • Clinical, educational, vocational, day and residential therapeutic programs for students with acquired brain injuries and other neurological challenges. • Monthly Family Support Groups • Consultation and Inclusion Support Services • Interdisciplinary Team Approach • Year-round programs for adolescents age 13-22 • DOE and OCCS approved


The “Healthy Marriage” Quiz Couples often report big changes in their

marriage after injury. Professionals who work with them often find that people face common challenges in rebuilding their lives and relationships as they try to find a new normal. By understanding common post-injury challenges and learning to use effective coping strategies, you can improve your marriage and build a healthy, satisfying relationship.

Changing Priorities: We’re so busy going to doctor’s appointments, who has time to work on a marriage? o True o False We don’t have an intimate relationship anymore. o True o False He/she used to care about our family, now I’m not so sure. o True o False

To help you understand more about your marriage, read the statements in each section below and check True or False. Emotional & Personality Changes:

Communication Challenges:

My spouse gets upset at anything I say or do. o True o False I’m married to a stranger. o True o False I’m worried all the time about what he/she will do next? o True o False

My spouse has no idea how I am feeling. o True o False Talking about our problems only makes things worse. o True o False We are always arguing about something. o True o False He/she doesn’t hear anything I say. Look at the pattern of Trues and Falses in each o True o False of the four categories. The more items you answered True, the more likely you are having Changing Responsibilities: trouble in that area. I have to do everything myself. o True o False We don’t know who should do what in our house anymore. o True o False My spouse acts more like a child than our children. o True o False I can’t trust my spouse to do things right. o True o False

For more support and resources, contact BIA-MA at 1-800-242-0030 7

caregiver & survivor tips

professional perspectives

Healing Your Marriage After Brain Injury Communication:

Emotional & Personality Changes:

• Patiently listen to your partner and show a positive

• Look for opportunities to laugh with your spouse.

attitude. Are there parts of what he/she is saying that you can agree with? • When your partner makes a statement be cautious about disagreeing. Edit your thoughts to avoid saying only negative things that come to mind. • Be willing to compromise.

A Change in Priorities:

Sometimes at first laughter can feel forced. The more you try to have a good time with your partner, the more natural having fun together will feel. Couples who laugh together are a lot happier. • When your spouse does something you don’t expect, see if there is a different way to look at it. Rather than feeling embarrassed, hurt, or angry, see if you can find a reason to smile. • It is ok to expect and demand that your partner treats you with respect. Please do not tolerate hurtful behavior, even if it seems to make things easier for a short time. If your spouse says something or does something hurtful, calmly state, “I will not allow you to treat me this way” and then leave the situation. • Remember, brain injury or not, many couples do not agree on everything.

• Make a committment to having a good relationship, something you did well when you first met one another. Plan times when you and your partner can enjoy something fun—a movie on television, a board game, a walk—and make this an activity that can’t be pushed aside for something else. • Focus on the positives in your new life. Couples that are happiest make five positive statements about their relationship or their partner for every one negative statement. Even if you are having a bad day, point out one or two good things about Remaining married and happy is a challenge your spouse or your relationship and say them for many couples with or without brain injury. aloud. If your problems seem more difficult than you can handle, seek help from a local marriage Changing Responsibilities: counselor who knows about brain injury. • To avoid misunderstandings, have an honest discussion and make a list of who is in charge of Quiz and tips re-printed courtesy of the Brain what. Injury Association of America. • Once the list is agreed upon, expect that your partner will attend to his/her jobs perhaps in a different way or in a different time frame than you would like. Even when you think something could be done differently, avoid being critical. • Always express real appreciation for the things that your spouse does, even small things. People who feel appreciated are more likely to contribute their time and energy to helping each other.


The Future Looks Promising for Cognitive Rehabilitation Cognitive

rehabilitation is defined by The Brain Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group (BI-ISIG) of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine as: “A systematic, functionally-oriented service of therapeutic cognitive activities, based on an assessment and understanding of the person’s brain-behavior deficits.” Cognition includes the following skill areas: • attention • memory • problem-solving • organization • planning • self-monitoring

co-morbidity of other issues such as PTSD and depression fluctuates, and individual brains respond differently to treatment. This makes statistically quantifying the effectiveness of the treatment difficult, and insurance companies like consistent statistical evidence of efficacy. The future looks promising for cognitive rehabilitation. More studies are being conducted, using larger study populations. The military is currently conducting studies on cognitive rehabilitation in an effort to develop guidelines for more effective evaluation and treatment of brain injuries. The data they have collected, and will continue to collect, will be invaluable in treating future brain injuries and creating treatment programs in the civilian population.

Author Katya Bowen, M.S., CCC-SLP, CBIS, is a We use these skills every day. For example, a Speech and Language Pathologist with the Berkshire man pouring a cup of coffee and watching the Medical Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. morning news needs: attention to be sure he doesn’t burn himself or spill; problem-solving skills when he can’t find his remote to turn on the TV; memory to recall where he left it; and self-monitoring to be sure that he doesn’t lose track of time and miss his bus. When these areas are impaired, a person is sent for cognitive rehabilitation. This is usually done by a speech language pathologist (SLP) or occupational therapist We are proud to be the (OT), or both. The aim is to allow the individual to first rehab hospital in Massachusetts to earn be able to function as close as possible to the level at The Joint Commission’s which he/she did before the brain injury. This is done Gold Seal of Approval™ by focusing on both improvement of skill areas and for acquired brain injury use of tools to compensate for deficits. Sometimes rehabilitation. referrals to behavioral counselors are made to help We’re even prouder of what that means for with adjustment to the “new normal” of a post-brain our patients. With the latest in technology, DOUG KATZ, MD and a team specializing in neurological injury life. Every brain is different, and therefore many Acquired Brain trauma, Braintree Rehabilitation makes a treatments are specifically tailored to the individual. Injury Program difference in the life of every patient we treat. Medical Director Cognitive rehabilitation is covered by some insurance companies, but not by others. Some plans don’t consider S U P E R I O R PAT I E N T O U TC O M E S cognitive function to be a specific “health” area (as opposed to obesity or blood pressure). Some plans deny coverage due to controversies surrounding research AT METROWEST MEDICAL CENTER on the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation. While AT B R A I N T R E E 67 Union Street 250 Pond Street many studies have been conducted, the difficulty lies Natick, MA 01760 Braintree, MA 02184 in the “heterogeneity” or differences of the population 508-650-7960 781-348-2138 being studied. The mechanism of brain injuries varies,

First in

Brain Injury Rehab 9

support network Joan Smith Says Goodbye to SHIP

education & awareness BIA-MA Launches New Website Visit and experience new optimized features for better browsing! • New design and user-friendly features • Calendar of Events • New navigation bar • Drop-down menus • Opportunities to get involved • Easy access to social media

Library Opens in Westborough Office Arlene Korab shows Joan Smith the BIA-MA’s gratitude with an orchid.

After 23 years of service to the state, Joan Smith is retiring as Multicultural Outreach Coordinator and Recreational Programs Coordinator for SHIP. Smith, who has her Masters in Social Work, has made it possible for many people with disabilities to do things they may not have been able to do on their own. She was a foster parent for intellectually disabled adults. At the DPH, she was a case manager for children with disabilities. She served as the ‘gatekeeper’ for the Head Injury Center in Shrewsbury where she filled all openings and answered all inquiries. Originally studying music at the Boston Conservatory, Smith decided that was more of an avocation than a vocation. She then decided she would like to be a teacher and tried teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) while living in China. In this capacity, she worked with people of many backgrounds including Haitian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Latino and Somali. This led to her work as the Multicultural Outreach Coordinator with SHIP. Though many know of Smith’s work with SHIP, they may not realize the breadth of her extracurricular talent and activities. Smith is a photographer and jewelry-maker in her spare time. She plays the clarinet, bassoon, tenor saxophone, hand bells and sings as part of a choir. She also serves as a Stephen Minister with her church, helping others during difficult times.

BIA-MA’s Westborough office now has a library of books, DVDs, CDs, cassette tapes and other interactive materials. Subjects include survivor and caregiver issues, the anatomy of the brain, tips on recovering from brain injury, and more. Support Group Liaison Barbara Webster has donated several copies of her newly published book, Lost & Found: A Survivor’s Guide for Reconstructing Life After a Brain Injury. If you have a book or video you would like to share, please drop it off at the Westborough office. For more information about the library or to obtain a library card, contact Amanda Sexton at 508-475-0032 ext. 13. Remember there are also libraries at the BIA-MA Pittsfield and Wareham locations!


BIA-MA’s Fall Educational Series

BIA-MA Wins National, Regional Awards

BIA-MA is offering the following workshops and trainings. Register online at Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are included in the pricing for all professional programs.

BIA-MA is one of two organizations across the country to be honored by the Civil Justice Foundation with a “Years of Excellence” Award. This prestigious award is presented each year to two organizations that have “excelled in the fight for justice and safety.” “It is an outstanding honor for BIA-MA to be recognized by the Civil Justice Foundation, a national organization whose members fight for each individual’s right to justice,” says Kenneth Kolpan, Esq., president of BIA-MA’s Board of Directors. “For three decades, BIA-MA has been advocating for persons with brain injury and was the first state in the country to win a class action settlement on behalf of survivors of brain injury.” BIA-MA also received a Gold Award from the New England Society for Healthcare Communications (NESHCo) for its “Faces of Brain Injury” banner and an Award of Excellence for “Play Smart: Understanding Sports concussion,” a video series produced by BIAMA. Since releasing the videos in Sept. 2010, the Association has distributed more than 8400 copies.

September 16, 2011, 10 a.m. to 12 Noon

Phineas Gage: A Guide to Mental Health & Brain Injury

(For Mental Health Professionals) Best Western Royal Plaza, Marlborough, MA The workshop is designed to teach mental health professionals about brain injuries as well as techniques to adapting therapy sessions to meet the needs of this population. October 6, 2011, 10 a.m. to 12 Noon

How You Are SMART: Using Your Strengths to Navigate Life after Brain Injury

(For Survivors) BIA-MA Office, 30 Lyman St., Westborough, MA We all have a learning style or strength. After a brain injury, these learning styles often change. This workshop is designed to help you determine your current learning style and how to apply your strengths to promote continued healing and rehabilitation after a brain injury. Come and learn how are you are SMART.

Planning is Key

November 10, 2011, 3 to 5 p.m.

Brain Injury 101

(An Introductory Course for Professionals, Survivors and Family Members) BIA-MA Office, 30 Lyman St., Westborough, MA Brain Injury 101 will provide a general overview of brain injury including brain anatomy, types, causes and impact of brain injury, and professional resources. BIA-MA is also offering the following Onsite Corporate Trainings: • • • •

Brain Injury 101 Domestic Violence Phineas Gage: A Guide to Mental Health Falls: Reducing the Risk

For more information about BIA-MA’s Onsite Corporate Training, e-mail

Individuals with a brain injury, whether acquired or traumatic, and their families, can often feel overwhelmed when thinking about the future. The best way to ease your mind is to have the proper planning in place. We’re here to help.

Special Needs Planning Guardianship and Considering Alternatives Transition Planning & Adult Services Advocacy For information about our legal services, contact Attorney Fred Misilo at or (508) 459-8059.

Save the Dates!

Annual Special Needs Trust Training - TBA NEW Transition Training (Turning 18) - TBA

Offices in Framingham, Hyannis & Worcester l 11

our sponsors

our sincere thanks

Donations Bronze Corporate Sponsors Advocates, Inc. Barron and Stadfeld, PC Grant to Expand Think-A-Head Program to Boston Schools Liberty Mutual Donations for Think-A-Head Program Agawam Junior HS PTO Foxborough Regional Charter School Lunenburg PACSAL Luther Burbank Middle School Town of Wilmington Annual Appeal Dudne and Gail Breeze George and Marie Bond Joseph Condon Dolores Krapp The May Institute, Inc. James and Joan Tofias

Strength is physical. Strength is mental. Strength is emotional. We help you find the strength you need. Spaulding is proud to support the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts.

General Donations George Ackley Christine Anglehart, Berkshire United Way Beacon Health Care Products Bourne High School Braintree Rehab Hospital Community Health Charities Charles Cossaboom Louis and Margaret Farrick Tara Gouin via United Way of Central MA Head Injury Community Services Deborah Holmes R.K. Hurley Robert Lannon Ron and Nancy LaPlante Sean Lynch Daniel Moughan

William Nelson Putnam Investments Henry and Joan Rauch Vincent and Lynn Razzano Margaret Serpa Gary Shostak Patricia Slingluff Peter Stebbins SLIde & Ride Fundraiser in conjunction with Supportive Living, Inc. Harold and Alice Wilkinson John Zakian Ashley Sarkis Road Race Donations Cathryn Joyce Joseph Kessler PJ Kessler Gina Mancini Janina Matlasz Lisa Prattico Timothy Rzeszutek Christina Sarkis James Sheehan Monica Stetson Katherine Sujat Renata Szulc Honorarium for Addison Russell Opening Lotus Yoga Honorarium for Raymond Gould Mark Miller Honorarium for Lisa Price O’Brien Hope Casey Lisa Deveau Erin Duggan Amy Herrera

Honorarium for Western MA office Jeanmarie Leone

Memoriam for Marjorie (Muse) Enos Kelly Beaupre

Memoriam for Michael Carey Kathleen Welch

Memoriam for Barbara Gardner Richard and Thelma Arsenault Susan Chandler Robert and Diane Dresser Stacia Eccles Lois Hansen Selma Lait Judith Maisch Wayne Merrifield John and Judith Mills Paul and Ruth Phipps Mary Sylva

Memoriam for Mark Crowley Raymond and Patricia Baker Peter and Josephine Belval Thomas and Nancy Botkin James Bryant Philip Buckley Carol Campbell Peter and Rita Capodilupo Codman Square Juniors Fred and Patricia Colman Thomas and Marie Fernberg Wayne and Mary Fillback Charles and Joyce Foley Charles and Joyce Fraser Judith Hilton Frank and Mary Hughes Louise Huntoon James A. Ryan Insurance Agency, LLC Arthur and Elizabeth Kadehjian Gerard and Elaine Kenneally Thomas and Edith Lavigne Peter Leofanti Barbara Mahn William and Rosemary Mahoney Edward Nabhan Gregory and Marilyn Riley Mary Ronayne John and Winifred Ryan Kathleen Schieck Elizabeth Shea Francis and Frances Shea Joseph and Sandra Siciliano Robert and Carole Taylor Albert and Cathy Tierney

Memoriam for David Lacy Sean Moran on behalf of Friends of David Lacy Memoriam for Leo Rheault Joseph Beaudoin William and Katherine Berry Robert and Mildred Cabana Chapdelaine Catherine Tocci Jeannine Vallee Wachusett Brewing Company Memoriam for Marjorie Springer Diane Healy Memoriam for Henry “Hank” Whiffen Thomas and Barbara Herr Donald and Josephine Interrante Alan and Catherine Whiffen Memoriam for Ed Wilkinson Charlotte Harrington

Congratulations to the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts! “Making lives better for those with brain injuries.” Attorney Kenneth Kolpan

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regional updates

news & events

Pioneer Valley Support Group Inspires Survivors Necessity was indeed the mother of invention in the creation of BIA-MA’s Pioneer Valley Brain Injury Support Group (PVBISG). “We both had personal experiences with family members several years ago and were completely shocked that we could not find good access to information following our family members’ brain injuries,” says PVBISG co-facilitator Anne Flaherty who, along with Linda Lang-Gunn, initiated the group one year ago. “We agreed that it would have been great if five years ago we had known about the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts. Even a fact sheet about what to expect after brain injury would have helped.” After discussing the possibility of starting a group, Lang-Gunn and Flaherty met with Suzanne Doswell of the BIA-MA’s Western Regional Office. “Her enthusiasm and energy were helpful and inspiring,” says Flaherty. The PVBISG held its first meeting in July 2010 at the Fit Together Wellness Center in Hadley, MA. The space was donated by ServiceNet, a social service agency. “We wanted to create a clearinghouse of information on local resources for people who suffered brain injuries, their families and the people who work with them,” says Flaherty. “This group is welcoming to everyone and serves as a resource to all in the community,” says one member from Easthampton.

Celebrating Royally

During the first year, group members have participated in workshops on energy healing, also known as Reiki, neuro-feedback, homeopathic medicine, and yoga among others. In one recent event, local social recreation professional Trevor Smith conducted “Laugh for the Health of It: Creating Healthy Lifestyles in Work and Everyday Life through Laughter.” Another workshop featured Clinical Neuropsychologist and Assessment Specialist Constance Carpenter-Bixler, PhD, who spoke about ‘tricks and tools for keeping your brain strong.’ Group members learned interactive techniques that strengthen brain function, refresh short-term memory and refine emotional and behavioral responses. “During our meetings, we exchange experiences and ideas, identify local support systems and just have fun together,” says Flaherty. Upcoming workshop topics include disability rights and entitlement as well as independent living and vocational rehabilitation. The support group welcomes individuals from Hadley, Amherst, Northampton, Greenfield, South Hadley, Shelburne Falls and other towns within Franklin and Hampshire counties. The Pioneer Valley Brain Injury Support Group meets the first Thursday of each month from 7-8:30 PM at Fit Together, located at 231 Russell Street (Route 9), Hadley, MA. For more information, contact Anne

SE Region Hosts Yard Sale

Mark Your Calendars for These Upcoming BIA-MA Events 4th Annual BJ Williams Walk and Run Road Race Saturday, September 10, 2011 Longmeadow, MA 9th Annual Heads Held High BABIS Walk Saturday, October 1, 2011 Jamaica Pond, Jamaica Plain, MA Boston University Sports Concussion Conference Friday, October 28, 2011 Sponsored in part by BIA-MA Sheraton Hotel, Framingham, MA BIA-MA Pediatrics Conference Thursday, November 3, 2011 Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel, Marlborough, MA


SE Region support groups held a yard sale on May 21 that raised $1300 to help provide educational and recreational activities for support group members within the region.


Neuro-Rehabilitation Specialists


Clinical Programs & Services • Post-Acute Skilled Nursing Facility

• Wound management

• Certified Brain Injury Specialists

• 24-hour Skilled Nursing

• Staff trained in Crisis Intervention

• On-staff Physician and Nurse Practitioners

• Behavior Specialists 7 days a week

• Tracheostomy and oxygen management

• Neuropsychiatry and Psychiatric services • Neuropsychological testing

• Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy services

• Multitrauma rehab

• Dysphagia treatment

• Support and supervision from intensive supervision to community re-entry

• Physiatrist consults

• Life Skills Trainers work with rehab to retrain critical skills

Members of the Berkshire Brain Injury Support Group dressed in “royal attire” and ate cake for a Royal Wedding celebration in April .

For more information about these and other BIA-MA events, visit or call 1-800-242-0030.

BIA-MA Fall Educational Series See Page 11

• Family support

All insurances accepted. A Wingate Healthcare Community 15

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Heads Up Headlines Fall 2011