March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Physicians & Health Care Providers Urge Veterans, Families, to Know the Signs of Traumatic Brain Injury.

LANSING, MI—As physicians, health care providers, lawmakers and other community leaders recognize March as National Brain Injury Awareness Month (BIAM), Michigan-based Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center encourages residents, including returning veterans of the United States Armed Forces and their families to know the signs of traumatic brain injury and to seek help when they recognize them.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are suffered every day by soldiers deployed overseas and residents at home across Michigan as a result of car accidents, hard falls and countless other kinds of accidents.  12,000 Michigan residents suffer a TBI every year while 220,000 veterans have suffered a TBI since 2000 alone.   Many return home from Iraq and Afghanistan without being diagnosed or display symptoms weeks or months later.

“The men and women in our armed forces sacrifice so much to protect this nation, we owe it to them to make sure they receive the very best care after they return home,” said  the Director of Rehabilitation Services at Lansing-area Origami Brain Injury Rehabilitation Center Tammy Hannah, OTRL, CBIS.  “By knowing the signs of a traumatic brain injury and asking for help we can start down the road to recovery.”

The observance of Brain Injury Awareness Month is particularly important this year as policymakers in Lansing grapple with proposed changes to Michigan’s auto no-fault laws that pose the very real threat of doing incredible harm to residents who suffer traumatic brain injuries as a result of an automobile accident in Michigan.

“Michigan’s auto no-fault laws are among the best in the nation when it comes to giving survivors of traumatic brain injury a chance at a real recovery,” said Eric Hannah, Director of Program Operations at Origami.  “This Brain Injury Awareness Month, it is perhaps more important than ever that we defend the policies already in place that make it possible for survivors to get the life-saving treatment they need.”

Head injuries can have long-term effects on memory, the ability to think, hear and speak, moods and much more.  TBI can be mild to severe and often corresponds with a temporary loss of consciousness and impacts to brain function such as memory loss.  The injury may also affect a person’s physical functioning, thinking skills, and behavior. These effects can manifest themselves in other difficulties as well, like anxiety, depression, dizziness, headaches, inability to start or finish tasks or trouble sleeping, all of which can bring about challenges with relationships both in the home and on the job.

Residents with loved ones who were involved in an accident or hit their head and show the signs of a TBI are advised to seek medical attention immediately.

Origami is a nonprofit organization located on a 35 acre wooded campus in Mason, just outside of Lansing.  The facility offers a continuum of care for adults who have sustained a traumatic brain injury, from residential to community-based and outpatient programs with the resources available to return people to productive and active lives.

Origami operates in partnership with the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and Peckham, Inc. The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation within MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine provides Origami with expertise in clinical management and on-site physician coverage. Peckham, Inc. is an award winning nonprofit organization that provides job training and competitive employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. With the support of these partners, Origami is able to generate excellent clinical outcomes with cost effective management and remains on the cutting edge of brain injury rehabilitation.

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To learn more about the services available at Origami please call (517) 455-0264.  Additional information about Origami can be found online at www.OrigamiRehab.org.

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