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BIAPA Honors 13 at 2016 Annual Conference
BIAPA Honors 13 at 2016 Annual Conference

The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania presented awards to 11 individuals, one family and one organization at its annual conference in June.

The awards ceremony began with the announcement of a new award, the Dennis Minori Family Tribute Award. Established to recognize a family that represents the spirit of hope and overcoming the challenges that brain injury presents to a family, the award is named for former BIAPA President Dennis Minori, who died in 2015. The recipients of the 2016 Dennis Minori Family Tribute Award is the Minori family, who have been an inspiration of others touches by brain injury.

The Pioneer in Brain Injury Award was presented to Joanne Finegan, President of ReMed in recognition of her initiative, expertise and creativity leading to the development of services and support in the field of brain injury rehabilitation. 

Leadership Awards were presented to Alexis Campbell and Katie MacKenzie in recognition of their advocacy efforts and their impact on the field of brain injury rehabilitation. Campbell is the founder of Camp Cranium, a summer camp for children with brain injuries. MacKenzie founded ReDiscoverU, a program designed to meet the diverse educational needs and interests of individuals with brain injuries.

The Public Policy Award was presented Pennsylvania State Representative Thomas Murt. The award recognizes outstanding individuals in our state who have put forward efforts to establish public policies of benefit to persons with brain injury.

The Organization Award was presented to MossRehab’s Drucker Brain Injury Center, which has for 40 years been committed to research and learning, helping and supporting persons with brain injury and their families. 

The Service to the Association Award was presented to Michael Hrabowski and Morgan Ferrante in recognition of their work as a volunteer to support the mission and vision of the Association. Hrabowski, husband of brain injury survivor Karen McGoldrick Hrabowski, has led the Heads on Straight Support Group, volunteered for the Run, Walk, Roll for Brain Injury, and represented the brain injury community at numerous educational events. Ferrante is a recreational therapist at Bryn Mawr Rehab and the chair of the very successful Race to Recovery events in West Chester that have benefitted BIAPA.

The Service to the Brain Injury Community Award was presented to Lauren Bilski and Marie Beattie in recognition of their exemplary service in the areas of advocacy, education and raising social awareness relating to the needs of individuals with brain injury and their families. Bilski is a third year Physical Therapy student at Jefferson who works tirelessly to change the lives of individuals who have experienced brain injury. Mother of a brain injury survivor, Beattie, with her daughter Corey, regularly speak with students, healthcare professionals and family members about the many facets of brain injury.

The Direct Care Service Award, which honors staff members who provide exemplary services to individuals with brain injury, was presented to Barbara Rann, Certified Brain Injury Specialist, who has been providing cognitive rehabilitation therapy to individuals with brain injury for over 20 years.

The Barb Dively Advocacy Award was established to recognize individuals who are advocates and champions for those who have experienced brain injury. It is named for Barb Dively, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of those who have experienced brain injury and their families and to whom the first award was presented.

The John Sears Inspiration Award is named for brain injury survivor John Sears and recognizes an individual who has striven to overcome significant challenges and who has utilized their talents and strengths to accomplish significant personal achievements. It was presented to brain injury survivor Bob Ruddy, who returned to bicycling after a devastating crash and who shares his inspiring story and outlook with other brain injury survivors.

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