|About BIS SWVA
Fran and Greg Rooker established Brain Injury Services of SWVA, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, in 2000 with financial support from The Jason Foundation. The Rookers lost their 11-year-old son, Jason, to an acquired brain injury. They experienced first hand the devastating effects of the lack of services for brain injury survivors in Southwest Virginia.
While providing information, referral, funding, and advocacy through The Jason Foundation, it became apparent to the Rookers that the families they were encountering desperately needed professional coordination of services to maximize recovery opportunities.
The Rookers' search for service providers led them to discover a successful model established by a group of families of survivors of brain injury in Northern Virginia. This discovery convinced them that a similar effort could be successful in Southwest Virginia. In July of 2001, this new organization, Brain Injury Services of SWVA, began addressing the unmet needs of survivors in the Roanoke and New River valleys. The organization expanded into the Mount Rogers area of far Southwest Virginia in October, 2005. A year later in October, 2006, the organization added the LENOWISCO and Cumberland Plateau Planning Districts as well as Franklin County. Our service area covers 11,000 square miles and operates from offices located in Abingdon, Blacksburg, Norton, Roanoke, Wytheville and Rocky Mount.
In January 2003, BIS SWVA began serving children and youth. Prior to January, services were limited to survivors aged 16 and older. Because of the overwhelming need for services for people of all ages in our service area, BIS SWVA was able to secure a grant through the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund to introduce the Pediatric Case Management Program. It is the second program of its kind in the state, modeled after that of Brain Injury Services, Inc. in Northern Virginia.
Due to modern medical technology, many more people are surviving brain injuries resulting from auto accidents, falls, assaults, and other causes than would have survived twenty years ago. In an effort to provide the specialized services lacking in Southwest Virginia to maximize recovery from this complex disability, Brain Injury Services of SWVA was born.