October 2002 Jason Foundation Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Although we have seen many changes in our country since last year, one thing that remained constant is the continually growing number of survivors of brain injury. According to the Virginia Brain Injury Central Registry, there are more than 20,000 in Southwest Virginia alone, with more than 100,000 across this Commonwealth.

Another constant has been our commitment to our work on behalf of these survivors and their families. I volunteer at least four days time working each week plus representing the foundation on the Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association of Virginia, and on the Virginia Brain Injury Council, Virginia Alliance for Brain Injury Service Providers, and the BIAV Roanoke Valley Chapter Advisory Board. Sinœ leaving his newspaper career, Greg averages at least three days of volunteer work each week. In addition to serving as Secretary for The Jason Foundation, he also serves as President of Brain Injury Services of SWVA - the agency this foundation established almost two years ago to provide critically needed service coordination. We both travel to many meetings, and appointments with key legislators to promote awareness and understanding of this long-term disability, and to advocate for appropriate supports still scarce in our state.

The Jason Foundation's close collaborative relationship with Radford University facilitated the establishment this year of the New River Valley Brain Injury Support Group. RU's Waldron College of Health and Human Services hosts monthly meetings facilitated by Brain Injury Services of SWVA staff for more than 25 survivors and care givers. Our relationship was also the catalyst for RU's joint sponsorship with the Brain Injury Association of Virginia and its Roanoke Valley Chapter of the first annual brain injury conference for SWVA, "Transcending Brain Injury", held in Roanoke. More than 250 survivors, care givers, service providers, medical professionals, and educators attended this two-day event, which offered sessions with many locally and nationally recognized professionals. The conference will be hosted by Radford University in April 2003, and Greg and I and the BIS of SWVA staff will again be integrally involved in the planning and presentation. The BIS of SWVA staff, consisting of two full-time and 5 part-time employees, has grown to serve 55 families in the Roanoke and New River valleys.

The George Washington University Center for Education and Human Services in Acquired Brain Injury, for which The Jason Foundation provided the initial funding for development two years ago, is already providing resource personnel for a new Pediatric Case Management Program at Brain Injury Services in Northern Virginia.

A review of this foundation's investments in brain injury initiatives in our four year existence reveals the following major areas of outlay of funds:

  • George Washington University Acquired Brain Injury Program - $340,000
  • Brain Injury Services of SWVA - $130,002 (2000-2002); $94,999 (2003-2004)-$225,001
  • Therapy and Medical Expenses for Survivors - $57,000
  • Scholarships for Survivors - $6,000
  • Contributions to Local Organizations, Earmarked for Survivors - $5,500
  • We have not been successful in securing state funding to institutionalize appropriate services in Southwest Virginia, as have agencies in Virginia Beach and Northern Virginia areas. Yet, what we have worked to initiate has had positive effect on the lives of countless survivors. This continues to inspire us to persevere in the service to others.

    We ask that you share our news of this past year with those who may need us, and those who may wish to support us. Please let them know that their gifts are tax deductible, and most sincerely appreciated.

    May God bless your lives!
    Fran Rooker, President


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