Albany, NY: March 1, 2017 - The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) will kick off Brain Injury Awareness Month on Monday, March 6 in Albany as hundreds of individuals from around New York State gather for their Annual Brain Injury Advocacy Day.

Every year, serious falls, assaults, car accidents and other incidents such as stroke result in brain injury for thousands of New Yorkers. Brain injury profoundly effects individuals' physical and cognitive abilities and makes it extremely difficult or impossible for individuals to live full productive lives. Brain injury can impact family dynamics, community activities, employment and social life. Behavioral changes that may occur as a result of brain injury can also have a significant impact on the ability to interact with others and conform to the rules and structure of society.

On the Federal level, the President and members of Congress are moving quickly to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Major cuts and restructuring Medicaid and Medicare may not be far behind. Cuts and restructuring of these programs will negatively impact thousands of brain injury survivors in New York State. Simultaneously, the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) also intends to transition the same vulnerable population currently on the TBI and NHTD Medicaid Waivers into managed care in April 2018. Individuals, family members and caregivers affected by brain injury will work to help legislators understand how changes to health care programs will significantly reduce the level and quality of care for individuals with brain injury if current services are not protected.

"The Brain Injury Association is honored to once again organize a day of advocacy where hundreds will join us in Albany to be the voice for thousands of New Yorkers who are in need of these vital services," said Eileen Reardon, Executive Director for BIANYS. "We are facing a critical period with drastic changes at both the Federal and State levels that will impact services for brain injury survivors. It is more important than ever to let our legislators know that they need to work hard to protect services for one of the most vulnerable populations in the state."

As part of the agency's ongoing advocacy efforts, they have been working for the past two years to successfully implement their Continuum of Care model which would successfully impact individuals affected by brain injury for decades to come.

As part of Brain Injury Awareness Month, the organization is also continuing their Blue Jeans for Brain Injury Campaign. For the past two years, BIANYS has partnered with dozens of organizations across the state to generate funding to provide programs and services for individuals and their families affected by brain injuries. Organizations are once again invited to host their individual fundraising efforts which will help BIANYS to continue to provide advocacy; resources; information and supportive services. Hundreds of people attending Advocacy Day on March 6 will also wear blue jeans in solidarity.