CoBI Happenings - Spring 2022
Things at CoBI have been busy and we wanted to provide an update on all of our activities.
We are happy to report that the Council on Brain Injury Board of Directors approved over $40,000 worth of grants earlier this year to a number of well-deserving organizations. We are always happy to support them as they offer interesting and innovative programs and opportunities to individuals, families, and professionals in the brain injury world. View 2022 Grantees
CoBI offered two Clinical Forums this Spring. The first, on February 8th, featured Dr.Juliet Haarabuer-Krupa of the CDC who presented on The Impact of Brain Injury Across the Pediatric Lifespan. On April 26th, researchers from Villanova University presented their work around an innovative in-home intervention designed for brain injury survivors and their families. Both sessions were attended by brain injury professionals from across the United States. Next up is a presentation on “Brain Injury and Opioid Misuse,” with the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania’s Director of Programs Monica Vaccaro. The presentation will be virtual and delivered on July 12th from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM. Learn More
Brain injury survivors from all over the nation continue to meet every Monday evening from
6:00 PM to 7:30 PM in the infamous zoom room to “ReDiscover” what drives their survivor story. Whether they are in San Diego, Chattanooga, Pittsburgh, or Paoli, stories of hope transcend borders and speak life into all those who participate. Topics span the gamut of mental health, digital literacy, and non-violent crisis interventions, all with the intent to spark meaningful discussion, while simultaneously raising brain injury awareness in our local communities. Thank you to all of our guest speakers who have taken the time to share their expertise this Spring. And a very special thank you to all the participants and supporters who continue to keep the ReDiscover U program going strong! View upcoming ReDiscoverU classes.
After a 2-year hiatus, the Trek was back and it was a great one! While hot, we had over 50 attendees as we remembered Dr. David Strauss and honored Caregivers. It was a great day and partnering this year with the Fighting Back Scholarship Program was extra special, as we saw individuals, staff, and families from both FBSP and ReMed in attendance. A special presentation of a blanket of all of the Trek t-shirts over the years was presented to the Trek founder, Todd Clark. Based on our supporters and our wonderful Event Sponsor, USI, we were able to send an additional $2,000 to the David L. Strauss Memorial Scholarship to help individuals with brain injury and families attend this year’s conference at the end of this month.
Subaru Love Promise Playmaker
On May 18th, our very own, MJ Schmidt was honored at the Philadelphia Union Game and is an incredible “Playmaker”! She is so deserving of this recognition as MJ continues to partner and create lots of ways to support brain injury programs and services. Congratulations, MJ!!!
John Savelloni Memorial Golf Clinic
While we won’t be holding our David’s Drive Golf Tournament this year, we are planning on holding the Golf Clinic on August 23rd from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM at Penn Oaks. Stay tuned, we will provide more details on this event soon!
Stay Safe and Have a Great Summer!!
- Joanne Finegan
CoBI Happenings Year End 2021
As we near the end of 2021, we reflect back on a year of the unexpected. The challenges of COVID remained but we adapted to new ways of doing things and saw great resilience in our CoBI Community. We got A LOT DONE in spite of all of the challenges and are grateful for our volunteers and supporters; we could not have done it without you.
Clinical Forums – we went all virtual again this year and the forums were very successful. We want to thank our sponsor Collage Rehabilitation Partners for providing the tech and outreach support to make these happen. We look forward to some new and exciting topics in 2022!
ReDiscoverU – Our wonderful Coordinators, Marlene Rivera and Holly Davis took our virtual presence to a whole new level. With COVID still in play, they decided to make the sessions happen every Monday night at 6 pm to be able to help our CoBI community stay even more connected. True to the past, Marlene and Holly found even more speakers with so many interesting topics and experiences – this is making a real difference for individuals with brain injury, their families, and caregivers. A special thanks to Marlene and Holly!!
David’s Drive – Our 15th annual event was a huge success. We had 99 golfers, great volunteers; perfect weather after a crazy morning of storms and the John Savelloni Clinic was in person and had close to 20 participants on the driving range and the putting green. We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful sponsors and supporters and we raised $33K this year, AMAZING!!
Grants and Grantees – This was a big year for our Grant program. We gave away over $43,000 in grants, one of our biggest years, and the organizations did amazing work in spite of all of the challenges due to COVID. Our Board Chair, MJ Schmidt organized a Zoom meeting with many of the grant recipients and it was a wonderful forum to share ideas and information.
CoBI Awards – With a number of very qualified nominations, we selected 2 great recipients this year and celebrated them at our CoBI Award Luncheon (part of the David’s Drive event). The Individual Award winner, Dr. Christina Master, a physician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), has truly advanced the field in pediatric brain injury and concussion. The Organization Award winner, Storm Harbor Equestrian Center at Slippery Rock University, provides equestrian and aquatics programs for individuals with brain injuries as well as providing a learning environment for students considering a career in therapeutic recreation.
Partners – we are so grateful for all of the support we receive each year from organizations that donate to our mission. Our Key support organizations year after year include Piazza Subaru of Limerick, USI, Collage Rehabilitation Partners (ReMed), Alliant Benefits, Scioto, AWKM, Ballard Spahr, Oliver HVAC, Baird, Deerfield, SourceOne Pharmacy, Vector Security, NAI Geis Realty, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Coleman Contractors, NFP Insurance, CapGrow Partners, and NJM Insurance.
Contributors - The CoBI Board would like to recognize some very special people who made significant donations this year. Dr. Mason Scott, Kimberly Metcalf, Adam Knox, Steven Kessler and family, Joe and Sharon Baldassarre, Ross Rieder, Vicki and Don Eicher, Kevin Bingham, Brian Pedrow, and Christine Noonan, THANK YOU!!
Finally, Special Thanks to our Marketing and Social Media Specialist, Danielle Esbenshade of Fifteen26 Design who made sure we helped our community stay informed and connected.
David's Drive Was a HUGE Success
Our 2021 CoBI Award Luncheon and David's Drive Golf Tournament was a huge success. While dark clouds and storms were all around us in the morning, the Luncheon, Tournament, Golf Clinic, and Reception/Dinner could not have been better. At the Luncheon, we celebrated our 2021 CoBI Award winners and the John Savelloni Memorial Golf Clinic went off without a hitch.
The clinic Pros and Volunteers made sure everyone had a great time.
We also had the Jazz Sanctuary perform in the evening with a beautiful sunset to cap off the day. Thanks to all of our volunteers, sponsors, and supporters who helped to ensure CoBI, our ReDiscoverU programs, and our grantees and partnerships continue to receive vital support. Thank You, we couldn't do it without you!!
Subaru Share the Love Check Presentation
Piazza Subaru of Limerick Raises $20,515 for CoBI!
Piazza Subaru of Limerick has been an amazing partner to the Council on Brain Injury (CoBI) for the past 4 years. Each November and December this wonderful dealership led by Mike Hinkle has chosen CoBI as its hometown partner and a donation is made for every car sold. With all of the challenges of COVID this past year, Mike and his team did amazing things and raised $20,515.
This past week, CoBI President, Joanne Finegan, MJ Schmidt, Board Chair, and Lexi Hinkle, David Drive the event Coordinator took a thank-you lunch to Mike and his team and held a check presentation celebration.
A huge THANK YOU to the team at Piazza Subaru, you have helped CoBI support so many organizations during one of the hardest years ever!!
Two New Board of Directors
The Board Would Like to Welcome Two New Members!
Cristabelle Braden - Cristabelle is an award-winning singer/songwriter, speaker, writer, podcast host, and advocate for brain injury. After suffering a traumatic brain injury, she began to write music. Since then, she has surpassed medical expectations and thrived in her newfound gift of music; she has come from re-learning daily life tasks in brain injury rehabilitation to setting her feet firmly on the ground as a songwriter, speaker, and artist with a message of hope. Whether speaking or singing, she brings her powerful testimony and a message of freedom, healing, and love wherever she goes. She is devoted to bringing support and education through her brain injury podcast Hope Survives and her online support community Hope After Head Injury. Hosting weekly live videos for nearly five years, monthly online support meetings, and engaging daily with survivors in her online support group, her commitment, and attentiveness to encourage brain injury survivors and their families is evident and inspirational. Her passion to share hope has also led her to create Brain Injury Bible Study, the first and only online Bible study group for the brain injury community. She has not let her brain injury define her and has continued to pursue her education; as of May 2021, she holds a Master of Theological Studies from Liberty University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Religion (double major) from Lebanon Valley College. She is a dedicated volunteer with the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania and advocates on a statewide and national level with the Brain Injury Association of America. Cristabelle has continually persevered through the daily challenges that come with living with a brain injury. Through her setbacks, re-injuries, and struggles, she discovered a stronger and clearer voice and message.
Joshua Strauss - Josh has been an active participant with COBI since its inception. Having grown up around brain injury, Josh maintains a passion to help further the work his father was so passionate about. Recently, Josh joined NFP as an Advisor with a dedicated focus on Commercial Property & Casualty Insurance programs. Prior, Josh was a Commercial Producer with the Insurance Office of America. A graduate of Drexel University, Josh lives in Philadelphia with his wife Melissa and son Jesse.
It feels so good to be heading into warm weather, sun, and hopefully a better year overall. We have been busy at CoBI and wanted to share some of our updates with all of you. First, warm weather means golf, and what better way to get ready for the season than to watch the Putting Clinic by Doug Hendricks, Golf Professional. Doug breaks putting down into some very easy tips for all of us to practice and benefit from.
Make sure you mark your calendar for Tuesday, September 28th, Penn Oaks Golf Club in West Chester, we have a great day planned!
We are happy to report that the Council on Brain Injury Board of Directors approved over $40,000 worth of grants for 2021 to a number of well-deserving organizations. After a very challenging year with the pandemic, these organizations have come through it and are ready to offer some great opportunities to their recipients and we are happy to support these efforts. Click to see who
has received a 2021 CoBI Grant.
Yes, our Clinical Forums are back up and running. We will continue these virtually this year as we have found we are reaching a much broader audience. The first one in February had over 30 attendees from a variety of states and we are happy to announce our second Forum slated for May 12th on Telehealth. Click for details.
Our coordinators, Marlene Rivera and Holly Auth, have been hard at work making many improvements to the ReDiscoverU programs. Most importantly, ReDiscoverU now occurs every Monday night and we have seen increased attendance and participation. Additionally, on the CoBI website, www.councilonbraininjury.org we have added a new Resource Page under the ReDiscoverU tab to share great ideas and information for individuals and organizations to access and use in their programs.
A huge thank you to Marlene and Holly for continuing to enhance ReDiscoverU!!
I hope you take the time to check out all of the things we are doing and feel free to drop me a note if
you have other ideas you would like to see.
Joanne Finegan, President