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WHEREAS, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury that disrupts the brain's normal function; and
WHEREAS, the result may be temporary or permanent changes, causing a range of impairment in physical, cognitive, and emotional/behavioral functioning; and
WHEREAS, an estimated 2.8 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, and
WHEREAS, each year in Virginia, approximately 28,000 individuals sustain a brain injury, with more than 5,000 individuals being hospitalized and 1,644 individuals dying; and
WHEREAS, in the Commonwealth of Virginia an estimated 168,000 Virginians live with disabilities caused by traumatic brain injury; and
WHEREAS, the primary causes of traumatic brain injury in Virginia are falls, motor vehicle crashes, assaults, sporting-related injuries, or occupational injuries; and
WHEREAS, since 2000, more than 413,538 U.S. military service members nationally have been diagnosed with TBI in deployed and non-deployed settings, and TBI presents ongoing challenges for Virginia veterans and their families; and
WHEREAS, early, equal, and adequate access to care greatly increases the overall quality of life of Virginians with TBI, enabling them to return to home, school, work, and the community; and
WHEREAS, the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services is the lead agency for brain injury services in the Commonwealth and works in partnership with the Department of Veterans Services, Virginia Veteran and Family Support Program, Department of Education, Department of Health, Department of Medical Assistance Services, and the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental services, as well as a network of state-funded brain injurt services programs;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2021 as BRAIN INJURY AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.