County Chamber Honors Brain Injury Services

County Chamber Honors Brain Injury Services

The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce (Fairfax Chamber) honored Brain Injury Services with the 2014 Nonprofit of the Year award. This category was part of the 2014 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards presented at the Chamber’s Annual Chairman’s Luncheon on June 17, 2014.

Martha Wilson, Cardinal Bank, presented the award to Karen Brown, Brain Injury Services’ Executive Director along with Tom Ciolkosz, BIS Board Member from Access National Bank (a BIS Corporate Partner) and Constance Miller, BIS Director of Development. Brown thanked over 700 individuals in attendance for the communities’ support in contributing to the success of the organization over the last 25 years.

More than three and half million people sustain a brain injury annually in the United States. Over 25 years ago, many of these individuals would have died but due to advanced emergency medicine, progressive technology, and increasingly rapid response systems, people are surviving this injury today but at a cost. The aftermath for some of these individuals with long term cognitive, behavioral and physical deficits is an inability to function in their community and the need to "redefine themselves." This devastating disability can create enormous confusion and debilitation that drains them and their families financially. Brain injuries steal the future from youth: deprive a family of a parent and wage earner; deplete the financial and human resources of community.

Brain Injury Services (BIS) -- formerly Head Injury Services Partnership -- was established in 1989 as a direct result of a work study directed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and was the first community based brain injury program of its kind in Virginia. In the last 25 years, BIS has expanded to serve all of Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg and surrounding counties. Initially BIS only provided case management services but as gaps in services became apparent, BIS created innovative programs to address these needs. These services include: specialized case management, day programs, supported living program, unique therapeutic groups, PALS, person-centered volunteering programs and a Survivor Speaker’s Bureau. BIS has been successful in helping other Virginia communities develop their service model and has taken a proactive lead in sharing their model outside the Commonwealth and the United States.