Brain Injury Association of Virginia honors Patricia Wilkins Harrison

The Brain Injury Association of Virginia presented its annual Weinstock Award to Patricia Wilkins Harrison of Harrisonburg at its11th annual conference, “Opening Doors: Communities, Partnerships, Opportunities.”

The Weinstock Award is presented each year to a citizen of the Commonwealth who has made unique and lasting contributions to improving services for individuals affected by brain injury.

“I am honored to join such an amazing group of powerful advocates. My dream is that brain injury will become a household word, and will be recognized and supported like other medical conditions,” said Harrison.

Harrison’s son sustained a severe traumatic brain injury 22 years ago as a result of a car accident. After her son’s injury, Harrison discovered that local assistance for individuals affected by brain injury did not exist in Harrisonburg and she set out to change that. In September 2003, Harrison gathered a small group of people for a meeting and founded the Greater Shenandoah Valley Brain Injury Support Group. The group grew with her guidance and is dedicated to raising awareness about brain injury and prevention.

In 2005, Harrison helped start Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life for persons affected by brain injury. The organization provides intensive case management for persons with brain injury throughout the 6th Planning District of Virginia(counties of Rockingham, Augusta, Rockbridge, Bath and Highland). Harrison continues to serve as a member of Crossroads’ Board of Trustees.

“Pat is a tireless advocate for individuals affected by brain injury. Where she leads, we are likely to follow,” said Michelle Witt, Executive Director of Crossroads. “Her personal and family story of life after brain injury is a driving force for us to continue our work to ensure that persons with brain injury have the information, resources and services they need.”

Harrison has also served as a member of the Virginia Brain Injury Council and is a graduate of VCU’s Partners in Policymaking. In 2005, Harrison was named Person of the Year by the Pilot Club of Harrisonburg.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and the 2012 theme is “Brain Injury: Anytime, Anywhere, Anyone – Brain injuries do not discriminate.” For more information, please contact Michelle Witt at Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery at 540-568-8923.

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