Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month 2016


WHEREAS, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a blow, 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; and

WHEREAS, an estimated 264,000 Virginians live with disabilities caused by TBI and stroke; and each year in Virginia, approximately 28,000 individuals sustain brain injuries, including concussions, of whom more than 7,000 are hospitalized; and

WHEREAS, in the past 15 years more than 300,000 military service members nationally have been diagnosed with TBI, a typical injury of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, which presents 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 raise 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 provides services in partnership with the Department of Veterans Services and its Virginia Veteran and Family Support Program; the Department of Education; the Department of Health; the Department of Medical Assistance Services; the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; and a network of state-funded brain injury services programs, including the Brain Injury Association of Virginia;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize March 2016 as BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.