Tag Archives: brain injury association massachusetts

30th Anniversary Celebration: Join Us in Honoring Inta Hall

intacroppedInta Hall will be honored on Oct. 9 with the Founder’s Award for co-founding the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts and her years of service within the brain injury community.

Hall has personal ties to brain injury. Her son Greg was injured in 1980 and her eldest son died in 1981. Both of her sons suffered brain injuries as a result of car accidents and neither of them were wearing seatbelts. Hall set her sights on brain injury prevention and began working to increase awareness of seatbelts and car safety. Eventually, she got involved in advocating for brain injury services. “I always included prevention – especially after the HITS (Head Injury Trust) Fund – I got it passed at 6 a.m. one day in 1992,” she says. However, the fight wasn’t over. As the economy slumped, money began being taken from the HITS Fund. Hall fought tirelessly to get it back. In 2014, 100 percent of the money from traffic violations and OUIs in the Commonwealth will go into the HITS Fund to benefit brain injury survivors.

Although she has since retired, Hall is still passionate about advocating for brain injury services, survivors and families and has high hopes for the future. “My hope is that it (brain injury) is an accepted disability like mental retardation is, and that congress gets more serious about brain injury services. … Millions of people are out there who need services. Disability needs to be accepted by everyone and by congress, so we can get the recognition and the services for the millions of people who need brain injury services,” she says.

In addition, Hall hopes to see more families getting involved in advocacy work. “Numbers count,” she explains. “In the 1990s, I was able to get 100 family members at a budget hearing. In the last few years I was lucky to get one or two family members. … The legislators got tired of hearing me testify all the time. We need family members to go advocate.”

When asked how she feels about being honored with the Founders Award, Hall says she appreciates being honored by her peers. “I’m sure there are many other people that are just as deserving. I hope the next generation gets just as involved as I did,” she adds.

To join us in honoring Inta Hall at the 30th Anniversary Celebration, click here to purchase guest admission.

BIA-MA Appoints New Executive Director, Nicole Godaire

Nicole Godaire head shotThe Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (BIA-MA) has appointed Nicole Godaire as its new executive director. Nicole has served the Association for the past eight years in multiple capacities, including her most recent position of Assistant Executive Director and Manager of Education.

“Nicole has proven herself to be highly organized and effective in developing and implementing strategies that have led to improving and expanding services for individuals with brain injury and their families,” says Assistant Commissioner Debra Kamen, of community living for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. “She is well positioned to be the new Executive Director of BIA-MA as she has developed relationships with legislators, and she has the skills, passion and knowledge to help BIA-MA accommodate the changing environment for brain injury.”

During her tenure at BIA-MA, Nicole has led advocacy efforts which resulted in an increase of funding for the Head Injury Treatment Services (HITS) Trust Fund from 60 percent to 75 percent in 2013, then back to 100 percent for fiscal year 2014. She was instrumental in organizing BIA-MA’s leaders and management team in a year-long strategic planning process that led to the creation of a five-year organizational plan to take place from 2013-2018. She collaborated with government executives and legislators like Senator Harriett Chandler and Rep. Kimberly Ferguson during the development of the Brain Injury Commission report that addressed serious gaps in brain injury services across the Commonwealth.

“Nicole brings to the table eight years of brain injury experience, having collaborated with Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission personnel and corporations to plan the Annual Brain Injury Conference, which is now the largest brain injury conference and only one of its kind in the state,” says BIA-MA Board President and Braintree & New England Rehabilitation Hospitals Director of Business Development Teresa Hayes. “She has been responsible for the organization’s operations and advocacy, and worked closely with Arlene Korab, BIA-MA retired executive director, to lead the organization. She is more than prepared to be the Association’s Executive Director.”

Incorporated in 1982, the Association is a chartered affiliate of the Brain Injury Association of America. BIA-MA collaborates with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, the Department of Public Health, the Veterans Administration, the Registry of Motor Vehicles, and other groups to prevent brain injuries and serve survivors.

The Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, a private, non-profit organization, provides support to brain injury survivors and their families, offers court and school prevention programs, trains professionals in the field, and advocates for improved services and related legislation. For more information, call (800) 242-0030 or visit www.biama.org.