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What is Brain Injury
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Our Mission and Contact Information

The Brain Injury Association of Illinois (BIA of IL) is a not-for-profit, statewide membership organization comprised of people with brain injuries, family members, friends and professionals. BIA of IL is part of a network of brain injury associations across the United States, and is a subsidiary of the national Brain Injury Association, Inc. (BIA) which was founded in 1980. The BIA of IL is the only organization in Illinois serving individuals with TBI, their families and professionals who treat them and is dedicated to providing information, advocacy, and support.

This is accomplished through:

  • Acting as an information and resource clearinghouse

  • Sponsoring annual educational programming

  • Facilitation of statewide support groups

  • Hosting adult and pediatric recreational camps

  • Actively participating in legislative advocacy

  • Fostering prevention awareness

  • Encouraging research

Our intention is to assist in developing communication channels between families and professionals in a way that; improves relationships and cooperation, enhances team work and helps reduce the possibility for future resentments through proper communication.

In this new era of managed care and organizational changes, agencies search for viable options for their patients due to decreased resources, lengths of stay, and changing family structures. BIA of IL feels collaboration is critical for effective service delivery. Therefore, BIA of IL coalesces with local, state and national organizations to consistently lead Illinois into providing quality, affordable and accessible services to people with brain injuries and their families.


 Brain Injury Association of Illinois
 P.O. Box 64420
 Chicago, IL 60664-0420

 General Info:

 (available nationwide)




Irene Pedersen

Executive Director:

Philicia L. Deckard, BSW, LSW, CBIST

Board of Directors

Ginny Lazzara, BSN CRRN CBIST, Chair
Dawn Wentar-Henry, MHA CCC-SLP CBIST, Vice Chair
Mary Kay Reed, RN BSN MPA, Secretary/Treasurer

Mark Doyle, BA
Nelson Escobar, MD
Hunter Hillenmeyer, MBA
Diana Nawrocki, ATR MAAT M.Ed
Elizabeth Pieroth, Psy.D.
Melanie Rak, MD
Alicia Roman, BS
Thomas P. Routh, esq.
Anjum Sayyad, MD
Alex Shelton
Reggie Smith, BA
Michael J. Staab, JD LLM

Honorary Board Members

Whitney Arado, MA
James Cantelupe, BS
Michael Gelbort, Ph.D.
Mary Halper
Doug Koltun, MD
Bob Love, BS
Donald J. Nolan, J.D.
Marvel Vena
Roger Weitz, BA
James Young, MD
Larry Zachary, MD
Ginger Zee, BS


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Brain Injury Association of Illinois
P.O. Box 64420
Chicago, IL 60664-0420
Phones: 312-726-5699 or  800-699-6443  Fax:312-630-4011