BIAOR 

ORGANIZATION

About BIAOR    Mission    Vision    Guiding Principles    Background    History  BIAOR Non-Discrimination Policy

About BIAOR

The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon, Inc. is the only statewide 501(c)(3), not-for-profit association dedicated to creating a better future through brain injury prevention, resource facilitation (I&R), research facilitation, education, advocacy, and statewide support groups and peer mentoring.

Founded in 1984, many of its founders have had their own lives altered by brain injuries sustained by themselves, a family member, or friend. The Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon today is a leader in brain injury support, education, prevention and advocacy. BIAOR’s leadership represents a cross section of stakeholders in the field of brain injury, including survivors, family members, medical and clinical practitioners, attorneys, researchers and service providers. Since its inception, BIAOR has worked tirelessly to raise public awareness, prevent brain injury by education, improve treatments through professional education and research, and advocate for progressive change in the law. BIAOR  provides:

  • Information and Referral: BIAOR serves as a clearinghouse for community resources through our 1-800-544-5243 toll free Neuro Resource Facilitation helpline, receiving over 7200 calls and 3200 emails a year, referring survivors, family and professionals alike to community, state and national services, resources, and professionals serving the brain injury community, sending over 1520 information packets free of charge annually. Each packet includes DVD's and written material customized to each recipient. More than 2500 DVD's are sent each year.
  • Peer mentoring and support for family members and survivors;
  • Support Groups: over 65 support groups throughout the state;
  • Advocacy: working to educate legislators and voters on brain injury issues and assisting survivors and families to the get to the services they need; Passed legislative bills include: 2007 - March as Brain Injury Awareness Month in Oregon; 2009 - SB 348 Max's Law, sports concussion legislation for state school coaches; and SB 381- TBI Health Care Mandate stating that all health care plans serving members in the state of Oregon must provide coverage of medically necessary therapy and services for the treatment of traumatic brain injury. 2013: SB 721 Jenna's Law-sports concussion legislation for all non-profit sport teams the state
  • Awareness and Prevention activities: Bike Rodeos; up to 1000 bike and skateboard helmet give-aways annually; over 300 annual community presentations in settings that range from schools to professional meetings to state prisons to assisted living, Coach training to prevent concussions; Brain Injury Simulation trainings to the Oregon Legislature,  to businesses, the Oregon Judicial Departments, Police Departments; fundraisers throughout the year;
  • Support Services: dispersing donated computers, volunteering opportunities and work trials for survivors in rehabilitation, in the office and in the community, training in the office to improve office skills;
  • Research: working to facilitate research in the field of brain injury by disseminating current calls for input and volunteers on TBI issues;
  • Education: through more than 350 annual conferences, workshops, trainings, seminar's and presentations and our quarterly newsletter, The Headliner, reaching more than 16,000 members and supporters quarterly, and the BIAOR website with more than 100,000 unique visitors a month-more than 1,200,000 annually.

BIAOR non-discrimination policy: The corporation's programs serve persons of any sex, race, color, national and ethnic origin and all persons are entitled to the same rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to persons served by the corporation's programs. The corporation does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its policies or programs. 

Contact Information:

Oregon Brain Injury Information Center
Toll Free 800-544-5243
Click here to send general email inquiries

Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon

Mailing Address:  PO Box 549, Molalla OR 97038-0549

Join the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon!

Join BIAOR and work toward a richer, brighter future for all survivors! Click HERE for more information.

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Join the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon!

Join BIAOR and work toward a richer, brighter future for all survivors! Click HERE for more information.

Mission: Creating a better future through brain injury prevention, research, education, and advocacy.

Vision: A world where all preventable brain injuries are prevented, all unpreventable brain injuries are minimized and all individuals who have experienced brain injury maximize their quality of life.

Guiding Principles

Adopted at the Brain Injury Association of Oregon's Board of Directors Meeting on January 18, 2007.

1.     Value and respect the dignity and worth of all people in a true spirit of inclusion.

2.     Support individual choices.

3.     People with brain injury should have opportunities to be full participating members of their community.

4.     Recognize and support the needs of individual's families and their circle(s) of support.

5.     Provide rapid, relevant and accessible information.

6.     Promote excellence, quality and best practices in all fields.

7.     Support prevention opportunities through research, education and public awareness.

8.     Address complex and controversial thorny issues.

9.     Promote progressive public policy.

10.   Respond to issues with integrity and courage.

Background

Everyone – whether he/she is aware of it or not – knows someone who has experienced some form of brain injury The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 5.3 million American children and adults – 2% of the population currently live with disabilities resulting from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). The Brain Injury Association of Oregon is the only state nonprofit that specifically addresses issues faced by 81,423 Oregon children and adults who live with a long-term disability as a result of traumatic brain injury.  Every twenty-two seconds someone in this country sustains a traumatic brain injury.  Each year, one million people are treated and released in hospital emergency rooms for brain injury.  These statistics do not include the incidences of mild TBI, such as concussion, which might well add another one million individuals to this figure.  According to the Center for Disease Control, 6.2 times more people are diagnosed with traumatic brain injury in the United States every year than are diagnosed with HIV-AIDS, breast cancer, spinal chord injury and multiple sclerosis combined and is estimated to cost the U.S. $60 billion a year.  The number of Americans living with brain injury is over 13 times the number living with AIDS; six times the number with HIV/AIDS; nearly twice the number with breast cancer; and nearly 1.5 times the number with Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities combined.

The statistics involving brain injury are increasing even more now that reports show that traumatic brain injuries account for 30% of casualties for those who survive combat in Iraq. Despite the staggering statistics, TBI remains the “silent epidemic” in this country.

Because of faster and more effective emergency care, safer transportation and advances in acute medical care, deaths have been reduced in recent years, and the number of people surviving with functional impairments has increased significantly. Medical knowledge and technology have made great advances against the devastating diseases of the past but have not kept pace with the changing face of American culture.  Higher speeds, harder surfaces, greater firepower, increased use of inline skates and skateboards for transportation and ATVs, not wearing seatbelts, accidents at home or work or not wearing bike helmets; more people living through stroke, aneurysms, drug overdoses, diseases, infections or tumors or lack of oxygen to the brain, and more and more people living in higher concentrations have resulted in a different kind of health problem: the epidemic of brain injury.  In spite of the staggering statistics on the incidence of brain injury, relatively few people are aware that many of these injuries can be prevented.

A traumatic brain injury can cause physical, behavioral and cognitive changes including short-term memory loss, speech impairment, difficulty with judgment, paralysis and other problems. Frequently, individuals experience dramatic changes in life-course, profound disruption in their families, extreme financial hardship and spiraling adverse consequences and challenges.

The personal costs of TBI in human lives, suffering, lost wages and broken families are overwhelming. It is not unusual for a survivor of brain injury to exhaust a million dollars of insurance coverage within five years. The economic impact of brain injury exacts a heavy toll on American-society, exceeding $60 billion a year. In 2000 alone the U.S. Federal dollars allocated per person per year and number of people with these conditions to:  900,000 living with HIV/AIDS, Per person federally allocated $18,111;  4,557,000 living with MR/DD, Per person federally allocated $4,635;3,000,000 living with Breast Cancer, Per person federally allocated $295; and 5,300,000 living with TBI, Per person federally allocated $2.55.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2006), in the book “The Incidence and Economic Burden of Injuries in the United States,” direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity of traumatic brain injury (TBI) totaled an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 2000.   In 2000 alone, the 50 million injuries that required medical treatment will ultimately cost $406 billion over the lifetime.  These total costs, for both fatal and nonfatal injuries, include estimates of $80.2 billion in medical care costs and $326 billion in productivity losses, which include lost wages and the accompanying fringe benefits, as well as the lost ability to perform normal household responsibilities.

The authors also examine medical expenses and productivity losses by gender, age, mechanism of injury, body region and body part injured, and severity.  Findings include:

*    Males account for approximately 70% ($283 billion) of the total costs of injuries.

*    Persons aged 25 to 44 years represent 30% of the U.S. population and 40% ($164 billion) of the total costs of injuries.

*    Motor vehicle and fall injuries account for 22% ($89 billion) and 20% ($81 billion) of the total costs of injuries.

*    Upper extremity and lower extremity injuries each account for 17% ($68 billion) of the total costs of injuries.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the number one cause of death and disability among children and young adults. Motor vehicle crashes, falls, violence and recreational accidents are the major causes of TBI. Often called the “silent epidemic,” brain injury not only affects the individual with the injury, but also has a dramatic impact on family and friends.  Lives can be changed dramatically, in an instant, after a single major auto crash requiring extensive hospitalization and long term care; or slowly, over time, after repeated concussions sustained during friendly sporting events, as each injury may result in chronic dizziness, headaches and fatigue.  It is these individuals and their families and those who might sustain a brain injury in the future that the Brain Injury Association of Oregon, Inc. (BIAOR) has served for the last 22 years.  Our mission, our resources, our services, and our dedicated staff and volunteers are focused on creating a better future through brain injury prevention, research, education and advocacy.

Our community support services provide assistance and education to individuals with traumatic brain injury, their families and support networks.  Our prevention initiatives reach thousands of children and adults to alert them of the possibility of injury and how best to avoid or correct situations that can lead to injury.  Each year, BIAOR provides educational opportunities for medical and rehabilitation professionals.  Working at all levels of government, BIAOR advocates for community based services, research, training, special education, housing, health care, vocational rehabilitation, prevention and the civil rights of people with brain injury to participate fully in everyday American life.

History

The Brain Injury Association of Oregon, Inc. is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit association dedicated to creating a better future through brain injury prevention, research, education and advocacy and supporting our mission.

Founded in 1984, many of its founders have had their own lives altered by brain injuries sustained by themselves, a family member, or friend.  The Brain Injury Association of Oregon today is a leader in brain injury support, education, prevention and advocacy. BIAOR is a charted state affiliate of the Brain Injury Association of America, Inc.  Today, BIAOR’s leadership represents a cross section of stakeholders in the field of brain injury, including survivors, family members, medical and clinical practitioners, attorneys, researchers and service providers. Since its inception, BIAOR has worked tirelessly to raise public awareness, prevent brain injury by education, improve treatments through professional education and research, and advocate for progressive change in the law.  We provide:

Information and Referral: We serve as a clearinghouse for community resources through our 1-800-544-5243 toll free helpline and email support, receiving over 7500 calls and 32,000 emails a year, referring survivors, family and professionals  alike to community, state and national services, resources, and professionals serving the brain injury community, sending information packets free of charge.

Support Groups: over 80 support groups throughout the state;

Advocacy: working to educate legislators and voters by presenting information and education on TBI issues;

Research: working to facilitate research in the field of brain injury by disseminating  current calls for input and volunteers on TBI issues;

Awareness and Prevention activities: Bike Rodeos; helmet giveaways; community presentations in settings that range from schools to professional meetings to state prisons, Coach training to prevent concussions; Brain Injury Simulation trainings to businesses, the Oregon Judicial Departments, Police Departments; fundraisers throughout the year;

Support Services: dispersing donated computers, volunteering opportunities and work trials for survivors in rehabilitation, in the office and in the community, training in the office to improve office skills;

Education: through conferences, workshops, seminar's and presentations and our quarterly newsletter, The Headliner, reaching more than 4,500 members and supporters.

In 2002 the BIAOR merged with the Portland Brain Injury Support Group Portland nonprofit).  BIAOR now sponsors over 65 support groups for survivors, family and caregivers throughout the state.

BIAOR has been holding yearly State educational conferences for professionals, survivors and family members since 1985.  In 2003, we began the Pacific Northwest Brain Injury conference.  BIAOR expanded our annual one day conference over two days and included neighboring states: Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, Alaska.  This was done in response to declining resources and funding in those states to support annual conferences.  BIAOR also began holding a separate track for Native American's, a culture who have the highest rate of brain injury of any cultural group in the U.S. In 2005 this group created the Native American Brain Injury Advisory Council, a national speaker's organization to present at Native American gatherings nationwide.

Conclusion

There is no quantitative way to measure the immediate effect of most of BIAOR’s many programs.  We can, of course, count the number of children reached with specific materials such as helmets or the number of visitors to our web site.  Only time will determine if our information and resources are of value to the public with:

  • fewer incidences of brain injuries reported per year;

  • quicker access to critical information to survivors and their families through online and support groups;

  • new laws enacted and enforced to guarantee that the rights and liberties and access to publicly funded support services are accorded those who have disabilities as a result of a brain injury; and

  • a new level of acceptance and tolerance for those individuals in our daily lives who have brain injuries and other disabilities.

There are no specific “requirements” for those who receive information and assistance from BIAOR.  We do hope, however, that all information is reviewed carefully and adopted into daily life to prevent brain injury.  We also hope that assistance given to individuals and their families after a brain injury provides the opportunity to receive the best possible treatment available and assist with quality of life issues.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the various conferences and educational seminars hosted by BIAOR to keep current with new trends in the area of brain injury prevention and rehabilitation.  Individuals are encouraged to attend and participate in local support groups to learn new techniques for themselves and share their own experiences with others whose injury may be more recent..The potential value of the programs and activities of the Brain Injury Association of Oregon to all Oregonians is very high.  Expanding these efforts and strengthened professionalism only can heighten our effectiveness.

While the statistics are staggering, the public remains largely unaware of brain injury, its consequences, ways it can be prevented and means of accessing available resources and information. Brain injury is acknowledged as the most unserved, underserved, underfunded and misunderstood, by far, of all major disabilities.

 

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