2015 Brain Injury Awareness Month


WHEREAS, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a blow, jolt or bump to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the brain's normal function, often resulting in a lifetime of physical, cognitive and behavior challenges; and

WHEREAS, 1.7 million Americans, including 475,000 children, sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, and as many as 5.3 million people nationwide live with long-term disabilities due to TBI, including stroke; and

WHEREAS, in the Commonwealth of Virginia an estimated 262,000 Virginians live with disabilities caused by traumatic brain injury and stroke; and

WHEREAS, of the approximately 28,000 Virginians each year who sustain brain injuries including concussions in Virginia, more than 7,000 are hospitalized, largely due to falls, motor vehicle crashes, assaults, sporting-related injuries, or occupational injuries; and

WHEREAS, TBI contributes to more than a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in Virginia; and

WHEREAS, TBI is a signature injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, presenting ongoing challenges for Virginia veterans and their families; and

WHEREAS, early, equal, and adequate access to care greatly increases the overall quality of life of Virginians with TBI, enabling them to return to home, school, work, and community; and

WHEREAS, the Brain Injury Association of America promotes March as "Brain Injury Awareness" month with the motto, "Brain Injury: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyone," to encourage awareness of the extent, causes, consequences, treatment, and prevention of TBI; and

WHEREAS, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services is the lead agency for coordinating brain injury services in the Commonwealth, and works in partnership with the Department of Veterans Services and its Virginia Wounded Warrior Program; the Department of Education; the Department of Health; the Department of Medical Assistance Services, and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, as well as a statewide network of state-funded brain injury services programs including the advocacy organization, the Brain Injury Association of Virginia;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize March 2015 as BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.