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The nice thing about sitting on the Board of Directors to the Brain Injury Association of Michigan [BIAMI] is the constant updates I receive from the organization that will assist individuals and families who are dealing with closed head or traumatic brain injuries. Some of the most recent information includes:

1. BIAMI has added a new staff member:

Her name is Judy Guezen. She will assist persons with brain injuries and their families to find the services they need to live, love and work in their communities. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University. Not only does she have a 20 year history as an advocate for survivors of brain injury, but her husband Bob is a 30-year survivor from an closed head injury he received as a teen. She is a welcome and needed addition to the team here in Michigan.

2. Individuals are sought to share their story:

Authors Linda Carroll and David Rosnerare currently looking to interview individuals who suffered a severe TBI in a car accident and who still experience some deficits from their injury, or individuals whose injuries were missed for an upcoming book they’re writing on TBI for a lay audience. The book, "Invisible Wounds: America’s Silent Epidemic of Concussions and Other Traumatic Brain Injuries" will weave people’s personal stories with the latest medical science on TBI and will be published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

If you know someone who would like to share their story please contact Linda Carroll at (856) 279-9045, or, or David Rosner at (646) 421-0186.

3. The Brain Injury Association of America is supporting the Sports Legacy Institute’s Brain Donor Registry for military Veterans.

Leading medical experts at the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI), a nonprofit educational and research organization dedicated to advancing understanding of the long-term effects of brain trauma, announced Tuesday, June 23, 2009, that they have launched the SLI Military Living Donor Registry, a brain and spinal cord donation registry for active and veteran members of the United States military.

In conjunction with The Boston University Center, the Sports Legacy Institute will compare findings from the brains of military personnel with those from their athlete program, which has signed up more than 120 donors in less than a year, and other brain banks around the world.
Col. Michael S. Jaffee, national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, said the Defense Department supported the spirit of the research and could assist in approaching active and retired soldiers to register for brain donation.

BIAA enthusiastically supports this initiative and will continue to advocate on its behalf. For further reading, click here to view the New York Times article.

4. Is Your Congressperson or Senator a Member of the Brain Injury Task Force?

Please take a few moments to let your voice be heard on Capitol Hill regarding the bipartisan Congressional Brain Injury Task Force which serves to improve programs for the millions of Americans who experience TBI each year and their families. The Task Force is co-chaired by Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. of New Jersey and Republican Congressman Todd Russell Platts of Pennsylvania. The Task Force is comprised of 125 congressional members and 6 Senators.

Current Michigan Representatives include Dale Kildee (MI-05), Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11), Candace Miller (MI-10), Mike Rogers (MI-08) and Fred Upton (MI-06). If your US Congressperson is not on this list, please ask them to join the Task Force. At this time, neither Senators Levin or Stabenow has joined the Task Forceplease click here and ask them to join! It will only take about 1 minute!

5. TBI and Depression Video Available on YouTube:

Depression is the single most common symptom following a traumatic brain or closed head injury. The Brain Injury Research Center of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine produced an educational video on depression that may occur after brain injury.

This video was supported by funds from both the RRTC and the Injury Control Research Center.

6. The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange and the Fulbright Program:

The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange and the Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, strongly encourages more people with disabilities to apply for Fulbright scholarships for study, research, or teaching abroad. Many eligible applicants with disabilities are not applying for Fulbright programs because they either do not know of the program or do not believe their applications would be competitive. The Fulbright program has previously awarded grants to people with disabilities, and it is an excellent means to gain an international experience.

Fulbright deadlines are later this summer, for more detailed Fulbright press releases on the U.S. Scholar Program or the U.S. Student Program, go to the Fulbright Webpage.

Click here for general information regarding the Fulbright Program.

These are all the updates I have for today. Stay tuned for more information that will be of assistance for Michigan families and individuals who are dealing with traumatic brain and closed head injuries.

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