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BIAV Advocacy

Legislative Update

At the close of the 2017 General Assembly session, the news was OK for brain injury. We didn’t really gain anything, but our biggest battle was not losing funding that had been given last year for new community based brain injury services. DARS had called for a 7% decrease in brain injury funding, in response to Governor McAuliffe’s Spending Reduction Plan of October 2016. Advocates were able to convince Governor McAuliffe that the money needed to be returned to the budget for 2018. Additionally, strong grass roots advocacy with members of the House and Senate facilitated the return of the money for this year!

Thanks to everyone who played a part in this victory. Our advocacy partners were critical to our success and included the Brain Injury Law Center, Brain Injury Services, Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia, the BridgeLine, Cantor Stoneburner Ford Grana Buckner, The Choice Group, Community Brain injury Services, Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery, The Dashiell Foundation, Eggleston Services, No Limits Eastern Shore, and NeuroRestorative.

And a HUGE thanks to the hundreds of individual advocates who contacted their legislators and made a difference, not only for themselves, but for someone else they may not even know, and who in that moment experienced the joy that comes in service to something bigger than themselves.

Joint Commission on Health Care Report

On September 7, the Joint Commission on Health Care heard a report on “Expanding Access to Brain Injury Services and Barriers to Placement for Virginians with Challenging Behaviors that Result from Brain Injuries, Dementias and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders.” A link to the presentation can be found here.

Although the report only focused on brain injury when originally requested, it became a much broader study, and in the end included information on dementia and PTSD. This was disappointing in a number of ways; the extensive amount of information contained in the report was overwhelming and it did not (in BIAV's opinion) fully explain the impact the lack of access to certain types of care has on those who have been affected by brain injury. You can read the comments submitted by BIAV to the Joint Commission.

BIAV has been working with the Virginia Alliance of Brain Injury Service Providers to develop our legislative agenda for the 2017 General Assembly session. We should be posting information on the items we will be pursuing soon, so keep an eye out for our call to action, because we need your help to create a better future for people we care about. 

We Need Your Help

Please remember that advocacy is a year-round activity and we hope you’ll consider contacting your legislators throughout the year to make sure that brain injury is at the front of their minds.

There are many ways you can support BIAV's advocacy efforts:

  • Sign up for the Advocacy list serve if you are not already on it. As a subscriber to the Advocacy list serve, if a call to action is needed you will be the first to hear!
  • Tell your story!  Whether you tell it to BIAV, to a local brain injury provider, to a member of the press or the General Assembly (we have provided a sample letter to help you get started), it is the real life day to day struggles and successes that make our needs known and compel people to action!
  • Our year-round advocacy efforts take considerable resources. Your generosity will provide BIAV with the personnel to be present at important meetings; if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu!
Thank you to all for your ongoing advocacy efforts.  Your calls, emails and visits to legislators make a difference!

Other Information

We are always available to discuss these issues with you or answer any questions you might have, so give us a call or shoot us an email at info@biav.net.

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