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.