Bridges for Brain Injury Inc., incorporated in 2007, serves people with traumatic brain injuries or physical disabilities and those clients’ families. The organization’s name emphasizes its desire to build a bridge for clients from mere survival to independent living with dignity and hope.
Bridges for Brain Injury’s services are intended to keep people from being placed in nursing homes or institutions unnecessarily or from becoming homeless. The agency has a nursing home transition and diversion waiver from the state Health Department, which enables it to receive Medicaid funding for home- and community-based services for adult survivors of brain injuries and people with physical disabilities and debilitating diseases in the Rochester area, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier.
Service coordinators of Bridges for Brain Injury help program participants arrange all the services and benefits that will permit them to live in the community with as much independence as possible. The coordinators can help secure financial benefits such as Social Security, find affordable housing and arrange health care and therapy, vocational training or education, and transportation.
After brain injuries, people often need help to rebuild skills for accomplishing everyday tasks. Staff members work one-on-one with program participants in their homes and elsewhere to achieve goals for greater independence in daily activities. The goals may include regaining abilities to budget and shop, plan and prepare meals, maintain and organize a household, coordinate appointments and take medications as prescribed. Many participants struggle with short-term memory problems; the staff works with them on strategies and techniques to compensate for memory deficits.
Bridges for Brain Injury also operates a day program, Connections, that offers opportunities to develop artistic skills, socialize and enjoy recreation. Activities include jewelry making, ceramics, sewing and other arts and crafts, cooking, shopping, volunteering, playing games and using computers. Recreational outings might include trips to parks, museums, festivals, bowling or movies.
The agency is widely known for its Wildlife Defenders, an educational outreach run by participants in the day program, all of whom are adult survivors of brain injuries. The Wildlife Defenders present programs and displays with native and exotic species of animals, visiting schools, youth groups, nursing homes, community events and the Canandaigua medical center of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Wildlife Defenders provide information about their animals, encourage environmental and wildlife conservation, share their personal stories of injury and rehabilitation, and advocate for safety and injury prevention. They make presentations to thousands of schoolchildren, seniors and other people each year.
Bridges for Brain Injury has 21 employees, and Laura Donaldson is executive director. Its headquarters is at 5760 Duke of Gloucester Way in Farmington, Ontario County, and it has a Southern Tier office in Bath, Steuben County. Its website is www.bridgesforbraininjury.org.
Financial Record Year ended Dec. 31, 2012
Program service revenue $689,946 94
Donations and grants 20,867 3
Proceeds of fundraising events 19,450 3
Other 1,454 less than 1
Total revenue $731,717 100
Pay and benefits $532,863 73
Rent 49,047 7
Insurance 31,315 4
Travel 19,351 3
Professional fees 16,948 2
Office expenses 11,107 2
Fundraising 9,167 1
Depreciation 8,748 1
Interest 8,050 1
Utilities 6,335 1
Telephone 4,992 1
Wildlife program 4,780 1
Other 28,518 4
Total expenses $731,221 100
Excess (deficiency) of revenue over expenses $496
Board of Directors
Arun Nagpaul M.D., president
Elizabeth Wright, vice president
Karl Hagen, treasurer
—Researched by James Leunk
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