While Rockin’ for Rehab has always been a hugely successful event benefiting our Lansing chapter, we’re working hard to re-imagine the evening of food, drink, music, and fun so that it benefits not just Lansing, but our Flint and Tri-Cities (Saginaw/Bay City/Midland) support groups as well! More good news: We’re also exploring how to provide transportation for survivors who wish to attend Rockin’ for Rehab. Details will be shared as soon as possible, but for save-the-date purposes, this year’s Rockin’ for Rehab will be held Friday, December 7, at the Michigan State University Club from 6:30 pm – 11:30 pm. Perennial favorite Dr. Fab and his Off the Couch Band will perform your favorite hits from the 1950’s – 60’s. Admission is $65 per person. For attendees desiring hotel accommodations, a block of rooms has been set aside at the adjacent Candlewood Suites. When making reservations, be sure to use the block name “Rockin’ for Rehab-BIAMI” and enter block code “RFR” to reserve a room. Candlewood Suites reservations can be reached at (517) 351-8181.
BIAMI is excited to announce we’re expanding this year’s Quality of Life Conference to include four new, informative, and very timely sessions. Here’s a sneak preview:
- Dealing with Phone, Mail, and E-scams, presented by the Michigan Attorney General’s office
- Sexuality and Relationships after a Traumatic Brain Injury, presented by Deborah Adams from Eisenhower Center
- Healthy Eating for a Healthy Brain, with Dr. Sarah Wice and Emily White from Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation
- Creating Your Recovery Based on Your Unique Talents, presented by Courtney Wang from Galaxy Brain and Therapy Center and survivor Barbaranne Branca.
Behind every mask created for Unmasking Brain Injury is a survivor with a story to tell. Now in the second year of this important and successful program – we call it Unmasking Brain Injury 2.0 -- BIAMI has endeavored to give more survivors a chance to be seen and their stories heard. For this year’s project, BIAMI partnered with Sean Bowman from Captured Screens Productions to produce videos featuring twelve survivors and their masks. When on display, the masks will have QR codes that can be electronically scanned to pull up a video of the mask’s creator. Unmasking Brain Injury 2.0 made its official debut at the 2018 Fall Conference in mid-September. For those unfamiliar with scanning QR codes or need help downloading a QR code reader app, an instructional video is available on our YouTube channel. Soon after our 2018 Fall Conference, we began sharing these Unmasking Brain Injury 2.0 videos via social media every Wednesday and Friday. As each video is shared, it will also be made available on BIAMI’s YouTube Channel. All twelve videos will be available on our channel by October 26 and we encourage you to view as many as possible. A list of the featured videos, as well as the QR code reader instructional video and the Unmasking Brain Injury 2.0 videos as they become available, can be found on the BIAMI YouTube Channel. If you have an Unmasking Brain Injury mask and would like to participate in Unmasking Brain Injury 2.0, or would like to create a mask for the project, please contact Diane Dugan.
As a videographer, a big part of what I do is capture moments and create experiences out of those moments through storytelling. As I build a story through editing, it’s crucial to carefully listen to each interview in its entirety to put together the most cohesive final product. Often times during my editing process, I cannot help but immerse myself into the story being told by that individual. Prior to each interview with the brain injury survivors, I wasn’t quite sure of what to expect, but what I learned is that you can overcome any adversity with great support and the desire to keep moving forward in spite of. I was informed during many of the interviews that brain injuries are sometimes undetectable to the average onlooker. Through the testimonies of these survivors, I’ve witnessed the obligations they have to reinforce to others that, even after their unfortunate causes and situations, they are still human beings who are capable of joy, love, and deserving of happiness. This project was special to me because it opened my eyes to a situation that is poorly represented and discussed. However, I am excited that these survivors have a platform such as the Brain Injury Association for Michigan to tell their story, inform the masses, and possibly give hope to other survivors just like themselves. This experience has been great for me and I am glad that I had the chance to be a part of it! Thank you, Sean Bowman Captured Screens Productions, LLC
What do you do at BIAMI? In early July, I started as the Event Coordinator, which means I’ll be planning, coordinating, and executing predominately fundraising events such as East and West Golf Outings, and assisting with Rockin’ for Rehab. Additionally, I will be working on the Quality of Life and Legal Conferences, as well as taking on more of a public relations and marketing role in the weeks to come. What brought you to BIAMI? Why did you choose to work here? My close friend suffered a brain injury many years ago and has chronic and debilitating migraines due to it. As I witnessed her daily struggles and saw the incorrect assumptions people made, I was given a peek into a survivor’s life. Her family connected me with BIAMI and I began as a Marketing and Development Intern last summer from May-August. After graduating from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Communications, I saw that BIAMI had an open position for the Event Coordinator role and it just seemed like the perfect fit! What means the most to you working here? What provides you the greatest sense of accomplishment? What’s so special about working for BIAMI is meeting all of the survivors with their various stories and seeing where life has taken them now. It is certainly a rewarding role as I am assisting in sharing survivors stories through the Unmasking Brain Injury 2.0 project that was just recently revealed. What is something you think people should understand about brain injury survivors? It’s important to not minimize their emotions and the daily battles they face, especially as many survivors look “fine” from the outside.
The House and Senate have adjourned for the week and while there is one remaining session day in October, it is likely any activity on auto no fault will wait until the lame duck session, starting Nov. 27th. The course of lame duck will be determined by the outcome of the elections in early November. Should there be a shift in party control in the legislature or the governorship switch parties, we can expect a push from House Republicans for a PIP choice plan. Currently, Rep. Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain) has taken his proposal, HB 6343 (2018), and has been shopping it around to his caucus members and leadership. While there was some discussion as to whether or not to bring it up before the elections, nothing came of it. It is important to note that current leadership is supportive of this policy, but are cautious towards running with it in its current form. Rep. Theis still publically states she wants a comprehensive reform package that offers choice and a mandatory rate rollback. New poll reveals majority of Michigan residents supportprotecting auto no-fault benefits, cracking down on insurance companies’ discriminatory practices: A statewide poll found that the public strongly supports the PIP benefits currently offered in our No-Fault system, with 77% of respondents stating they do not believe insurance companies when they say they want to help consumers save money. Additionally, 65% say the state does a poor job regulating insurance companies to protect consumers. Lastly, there is strong support for the Fair and Affordable package of bills currently buried in the House Insurance Committee. House Bill 6410 (2018): Rep. Howrylak has introduced HB 6410 which would require that home care agencies have accreditation to be eligible for reimbursement under No-Fault. House Bill 6439 (2018): Rep. Yaroch introduced HB 6439 requiring the MCCA to be subject to FOIA and to provide its rate making data.