New City Brain Injury Survivor Speaks Out

NEW CITY – Aimee Rubin, a brain injury survivor and psychotherapist from Rockland County, is calling on the New York State Legislature to include a $1 million investment for Continuum of Care for Resource Facilitation for brain injury survivors in the Executive Budget. On March 8, 2023, Rubin, the Brain Injury Association of New York State, and other supporters will descend upon the Albany Capitol for Advocacy Day to urge lawmakers to include the lifesaving budget line.

In the current system, it is on the patient to navigate the healthcare system to get further treatment and therapies for their brain injury. The Continuum of Care proposal would change this and establish a resource facilitation and care coordination program to address the needs of brain injury survivors, their families, and caregivers after they leave the hospital and continue the road to recovery. Survivors, families, and caregivers will have the information they need and will be connected to doctors, rehabilitation services and other community-based services, improving outcomes and preventing unnecessary hospitalizations and medical care.

“At the age of 36, my life changed in an instant. I was driving along the highway when a distracted driver hit my car going 65 miles per hour. I was diagnosed with a concussion and went home, but the true effects set in just days later,” said Aimee Rubin. “I suffered from post-concussion syndrome, resulting in a loss of my ability to speak, see, read or write, balance, and more. It would take more than 2.5 years in outpatient rehab for my life to start going back to my ‘new normal’.”

Having a brain injury is a life-long condition and while brain injury survivors may seem completely fine on the outside, many aren’t. Although Aimee has returned to her job, she still needs assistance and help with day-to-day things such as scheduling and billing, and making sure she is not overloaded to avoid migraines and fatigue. Aimee credits the support from her mother and her neurologist, Dr. Mill Etienne, for coming as far as she has. She and Dr. Etienne even created a virtual support group that meets monthly so others don’t feel so alone.

“I feel very lucky to have had such support from my mom and Dr. Etienne, as many brain injury survivors have little to no help on their journey,” said Aimee. “A lot of brain injury survivors feel alone, helpless, depressed, and sometimes even suicidal. Implementing a Continuum of Care would help survivors to know that they are not alone, and there are plenty of resources to help them on the road to recovery. Without a doubt, it will change people’s lives for the better.”

Traumatic brain injuries alone outnumber spinal cord injury, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and multiple sclerosis diagnoses combined. A Continuum of Care for Resource Facilitation for brain injury survivors will make a significant difference in the lives of everyone impacted by brain injury and make New York State a national leader in brain injury treatment, rehabilitation, and care coordination.

About The Brain Injury Association Of New York State
The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) is a statewide non-profit membership organization that advocates on behalf of people with brain injuries and their families. Established in 1982, BIANYS promotes prevention as well as provides education and community support services that lead to improved outcomes for children and adults with brain injuries.

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