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Bret Hanna
Bret Hanna
Attorney • 435-649-2525

Brain Injury Conference to be Held in Salt Lake Tomorrow

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The Brain Injury Association of Utah (BIAU) is holding its Families & Professionals Conference 2009 tomorrow at the Miller Campus of Salt Lake Community College. If interested, you can still register between 8:00 and 9:00 tomorrow morning.

The BIAU is the only non-profit in the state dedicated to providing education and services aimed at preventing and treating brain injuries. It offers a wealth of information concerning the nature and types of brain injuries, as well as fascinating facts:

  • Every 23 seconds, one person in the U.S. sustains a brain injury
  • Over the past 12 years, mortality from brain injury has exceeded the cumulative number of American battle deaths inclusive of all wars since the founding of the Republic.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a silent yet serious epidemic currently leaving 5.3 million Americans with disabilities. This represents over- 2% of the US population; 40,000 victims in Utah alone!
  • 50% of brain injuries are caused by vehicle crashes, 26% by falls.
  • In September 2000 alone, 8600 children under the age of 15 suffered a brain injury from scooter accidents… almost 300 children per day!
  • Every 7 minutes, someone dies of a brain injury
  • One death every day and one brain injury every four minutes can be prevented by the use of helmets in recreational activities, including skiing and biking.
  • 80 % of brain injury victims end up in a divorce
  • 75% of persons with TBI who return to work will lose their job within 90 days if they do not have supports.
  • The estimated lifetime cost for each survivor of a severe brain injury exceeds $4 million.
  • According to a study conducted by The National Foundation for the Brain, the cost of brain injury in the United States was $48.3 billion in 1992. Hospitalization accounts for $31.7 billion, and fatal brain injuries cost the nation $16.6 billion each year. We estimate that this figure may be substantially higher today.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a silent yet serious epidemic currently leaving 5.3 million Americas with Disabilities. This represents over 2% of the US population; estimated 40,000 individuals in Utah alone suffer from a long-term disability from brain injury!
  • Each year, approximately 567,000 people go to the hospital emergency departments with bicycle related injuries; about 350,000 of those are children under 15 years of age. Of those children, about 130,000 sustain brain injuries.
  • 1 million children sustain brain injuries every year ranging from mild to severe, with approximately one-third of all pediatric injury cases are related to brain injury. This public health concern ranks as the leading cause of death and disability in children and adolescents in the United States.
  • In Utah, during the school year 1997-98, there were 900 injuries that affected those from kindergarten through sixth grade. Of these injuries, 276 were possible concussions or loss of consciousness. This is disconcerting because these types of head injuries can cause long term problems.
  • It is estimated that one million people are treated for TBI and released from hospital emergency rooms every year.
  • Each year, 80,000 Americans experience the onset of long-term disability following TBI.
  • More than 50,000 people die every year as a result of TBI.
  • Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of brain injury. They account for 50% of all TBIs.
  • Falls are the second leading cause, and the leading cause of brain injury in the elderly.
  • The risk of TBI is highest among adolescents, young adults and those older than 75.
  • After one brain injury, the risk for a second injury is three times greater; after the second injury, the risk for a third injury is eight times greater.

And information on services and resources available for those impacted by brain injuries:

Community Services

Education -

Independent Living Center – The Utah Independent Living Center (UILC) is committed to provide services needed by people with disabilities to function more independently in their families and communities. Services available include both individual services and services rendered to make the community more accessible allowing for greater participation by people with disability.

Respite – A means for taking over the care of a person temporarily (for a few hours to a few days) to provide a period of relief for the primary caregiver.

Financial Services

Division of Services for People with Disabilities – We promote opportunities and provide support for persons with disabilities to lead self-determined lives. We oversee home and community-based services for more than 4,000 people who have disabilities. Support includes community living, day services, supported employment services, and support for people with disabilities and their families.

Medicaid – State and federal program of public assistance to persons of all ages whose income and resources are insufficient to pay for health care.

Medicare – Hospital and supplementary medical insurance for disabled or aged persons under the Social Security Act.

Social Security – Benefits for people with disabilities – The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.

Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are "insured," meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

Supplemental Security Income pays benefits based on financial need.

Legal Services

CAP – The Client Assistance Program (CAP) at the Disability Law Center protects the legal rights of people who apply for or are already clients of the state’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) or Independent Living (IL) agencies.

Disability Law Center – Disability Law Center can help you get the help you need to protect your rights as a person with a brain injury. The Mission of the Disability Law Center is to enforce and strengthen laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities in Utah. We envision a just society where all people are treated with equity, dignity and respect.

Utah Legal Center – Utah Legal Services seeks to protect the rights of the disadvantaged and persons of limited means by legal representation, advocacy, and education throughout Utah. Utah Legal Services (ULS) is a nonprofit law office which provides legal help in non-criminal cases, free of charge, to those who qualify. ULS serves the entire state through a variety of locations and in 1990, Utah had more than 300,000 persons eligible for legal help from ULS.

Medical Services

Day Programs – Programs that address leisure/recreation, maximizing basic functional skills and daily living. Long-term placement during the day, whereby person returns to residence in the evening.

Outpatient Therapy – An intensive outpatient program, designed to maximize functional skills, address psychological and behavioral adjustment, and vocational rehab. Short-term, based on functional gains; focus on preparation for community and vocational re-entry. The person with a brain injury usually participates 2 to 4 types of therapy, 3 to 5 times per week.

Residential Facilities – A place where one resides, and may include community-based residential facilities, group homes, adult family homes, supported/supervised living.

Support Groups

A group established for families and/or persons with disabilities to discuss problems they may be having in coping with their life situation and to seek solutions to these problems.

Click here to view a list of support groups in Utah.

Recreation Services

Camp Kostopulos – The Kostopulos Dream Foundation is an agency dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. For more than thirty years, we have offered recreational opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities. Our goal is to make our services available to all people, regardless of ability level, income or place of residence.

National Ability Center – The National Ability Center’s innovative programs provide an environment where individuals are empowered to each their full potential. With the emphasis on safety, fun and education, the Ability Center encourages the participation of individuals of all ages and disabilities.

Splore – Since 1979, SPLORE, a Salt Lake City based non-profit organization, has been a leader in providing outdoor adventures for people with disabilities and special needs. To date, over 20,000 individuals have participated in a recreational activity with SPLORE.

Please support this valuable organization by attending its events, such as the conference tomorrow, or through direct support of its mission.