It’s been two years since the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) began the BEST Superhero of the Month recognition award, and this month, April 2019, we have a first!
BEST will be honoring an entire TEAM of superheroes for our first team award.
We are thrilled to present the BEST Superhero of the Month Award for April 2019 to the team at the Center for Continuing Education in Rehabilitation (CCER), at the Northwest ADA Center, University of Washington.
The CCER helps organizations understand and develop strategies on how to employ and serve people with disabilities. Their mission is to promote access and inclusion for people with disabilities through education, collaboration, and connection to resources.
Please click here to learn more about the important work that the CCER does.
And speaking of important work, this team helps organize the annual Washington State TBI Conference.
Who are these amazing superheroes?
They are John McClure, Tammi Olson, Susan Dziedzic, Eva Larrauri, Sara Parrett and Christine Fowler.
Here’s what the team’s nominator had to say:
I know this is supposed to be a nomination of one special superhero, but the folks at CCER move and act as one when it comes to helping Washington State DSHS and the conference planning committee put together the annual Washington State TBI Conference. While it often feels like herding cats with all the different ideas, schedules, and challenges of working with a planning committee their patience, determination, humor, and continued support ensure that Washington is able to provide one of the best attended, diverse, and successful conference. Kudos and deepest appreciation to everyone, especially John McClure, Tammi Olson, Susan Dziedzic, Eva Larrauri, Sara Parrett and Christine Fowler!
Thank you to this superhero team for all that they do for the Washington State brain injury community, their caregivers and their families.
We so appreciate all that you do and all that you are!
YOU are the BEST.
Do you know a survivor, caregiver or community supporter who is putting the power in personal empowerment? Soaring to new heights? Doing cool things? Bringing superhero-size support to the brain injury community?
Nominate your superhero for the BEST Superhero of the Month for some superhero team recognition.
Click here to learn more.
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) was honored to participate in the 2019 Saying It Out Loud all-day conference at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center on April 29, 2019 in Tacoma, Washington. The conference, now in it’s 18th year, was hosted by the Department of Social and Health Services’ (DSHS) Behavioral Health Administration’s (BHA) Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) educates participants on how to better serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and questioning plus communities.
The theme of conference was Beyond the Binary and focused on behavioral health.
BEST had the opportunity to share information, resources and great conversation about brain health and wellness, brain injury awareness, support, resources and more with many community members throughout the day.
Along with the beautiful spring sunshine streaming through the convention center windows, there was a spirit of care, support, and learning that was just as warm and lovely as the sun.
Thank you, Saying It Out Loud for the BEST day!
What are superheroes made of?
Now, what if we had the opportunity to answer that question and explore the answers through art?
How would that look like?
The photograph above of the lion is the symbol of being brave. Brave is a superhero word, most definitely!
This painting above has vibrant colors. We could consider it bold (bold, just like a superhero).
Why are we talking about superhero characteristics?
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is thrilled and honored to share that we have that very opportunity coming this fall.
BEST is going to be participating in a community art installation at the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM). Work displayed in Tacoma Art Museum’s TAM Local: Community Art Space for the Superhero show from October 16, 2019 to December 26, 2019.
We will have an opening reception Thursday, October 17, 2019 in the TAM Community Art Space.
To learn more about the community art installation program and the museum, please click here.
We are calling all BEST artists throughout Washington State to share your art with us!
Here’s everything you need to know:
WHO: The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) in partnership with the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM).
WHAT: A community art show at the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM). Work displayed in Tacoma Art Museum’s TAM Local: Community Art Space for the Superhero show from October 16, 2019 to December 26, 2019.
We will have an opening reception Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 5 pm to 7:30 pm in the Community Art Space at TAM.
BEST is seeking art from BEST Artists to share in the following forms: paintings, drawings, mixed-media collage, photography, 3D art, or sculpture.
WHEN: October 16, 2019 through December 26, 2019.
WHERE: Tacoma Art Museum (TAM), 1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington.
WHY: What are the characteristics of a superhero? What it is about these traits that make superheroes special? The local artists of the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) explore these questions through their art, along with their personal stories of the journey forward after traumatic brain injury. We cordially invite you to join us to celebrate finding our own superpowers, individual empowerment and the ability to thrive through art and artistic expression.
Okay, BEST Artists, let’s see your creativity!
HOW: Here are the steps to get started:
Step 1: Look at the Need to Know section below first to review this project. Requirements met? Great! Move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Think about superheroes. What are the traits of a superhero that stand out to you?
Step 3: Decide how you would answer that question through your art (see words and examples above for a little inspiration).
Step 4: Create your art (or if you have a piece of art that is ready that you’d like to share, feel free to share that with BEST).
Step 5: Tell us about your art. Email Kim Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know what kind of art you’d like to share for the show. Kim will assist you in answering your questions and providing additional information.
We can’t wait to hear about your work!
Need to Know:
BEST Artists, here’s what you need to know to participate!
1. Participating BEST Artists must be affiliated with the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) in one (or more) of the following ways:
a. support group participant
b. support group facilitator
d. board member
e. Our BEST Space participant
f. BEST team member
g. Second Life (PEER Center/BEST) participant
h. BEST primary community partner/supporter/contributor
2. BEST artists must be a brain injury survivor, caregiver of a brain injury survivor or closely work with brain injury survivors in a support capacity.
3. Participating BEST artists must be a Washington State resident.
4. BEST artists will submit artwork to BEST via personal delivery to Our BEST Space in University Place, Washington, or by mail to the BEST mailing address on or before the submission deadline of Thursday, August 1, 2019, 5 pm.
5. BEST artists will provide an artist’s statement and specific details of the artistic medium and materials to BEST along with a photo of their work which may be used for promotional purposes.
6. BEST Artists must agree to have their work(s) displayed for the duration of the show which is October 16, 2019 to December 26, 2019.
7. BEST Artists will understand that BEST reserves the right to not accept an art submission for any reason.
8. BEST Artists understand that they are responsible for framing and having artwork display ready for any submitted artwork as appropriate and within the guidelines outlined by the Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) that will be included in the instructions when you contact BEST.
9. For artists outside of the Greater Puget Sound area that wish to submit their work by mail, art must be prepared appropriately for mailing and sent to BEST at the following mailing address: Brain Energy Support Team 3800A Bridgeport Way W. #393 University Place, WA 98466.
10. Need assistance in submitting your work to BEST? Have any questions or concerns about getting your art ready? Please reach out to BEST (Kim Thompson at email@example.com) no later than July 1, 2019 for assistance. We are happy to help you!
11. If artists have 3D works (mixed media collage, sculpture, large works), artists must contact BEST with art project information (size, materials, weight and other pertinent details) at least FOUR WEEKS prior to the art submission deadline of Thursday, August 1, 2019 5 pm. To note, due to space limitations and other guidelines established by TAM, these pieces of artwork must be approved by BEST and TAM in partnership first before submission to the show.
12. After the show, artists are welcome to display their works at Our BEST Space in University Place, Washington, for a time duration that they choose. If the artist would like their work returned to them right after the show, they will need to specify this preference to BEST any time after December 27, 2019. If artists wish to have their work returned, it will be available for pick-up after December 27, 2019 during BEST Space hours of operation or BEST will return works by mail to the artist if requested and the cost is reasonable and sustainable (large and/or heavy works, sculptures or other 3D art will not be eligible for return mail).
Want to be a superhero? Then visit us at the Superhero Shoppe for all your superhero and gift needs!
Here are all the details:
Who: All Superheroes and their friends!
What: A shoppe that offers fun and unique superhero gifts, accessories and more. Proceeds from the Superhero Shoppe support the superheroes of the brain injury community with superhero programs, services and resources. The Superhero Shoppe also proudly features the work of paper artist, Diane Rasch of Heartfelt Tidbits of Creativity.
When: Superhero Shoppe hours are Wednesdays from 12 pm to 6 pm and Thursdays 10 am to 4 pm.
Where: 2607 Bridgeport Way W. Suite #1H, University Place, Washington. Click here for driving directions.
Why: To share superhero support and fun to the entire community (and to the world!).
More Superhero Shoppe info: Watch this space for our new online Superhero Shoppe coming soon on the BEST website! With our new and upcoming online shoppe, you can shop 24 X 7 from the convenience of home!
BEST will be adding new items regularly to the shoppe. Please visit the BEST blog for the latest inventory announcements and updates.
To note: As a volunteer organization, hours may vary. For more information, please contact us at 877-719-2378 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Superhero Shoppe accepts cash, credit card or personal check (with valid ID and from a local bank only). We do not accept bills $50 and higher.
In case you missed it, BEST shared recaps and a video for both days of the 2019 Washington State TBI Conference in Spokane, Washington on April 15th and 16th. The recaps provide additional informational links and the video shares our virtual photo album of the event. As a social media bonus, we did a video from the road on the way back west showcasing the beauty of the state.
For the recap of day one (April 15th), click here.
For the recap of day two (April 16th), click here.
For the videos, see below.
The 2019 Washington State TBI Conference has come to a conclusion. What a terrific experience it was!
First, we felt a warm welcome to city of Spokane. Thank you for being a super city!
Second, the day kicked off with some morning greetings, door prizes and fun, which then launched into an important morning session with Dr. Todd Wylie on vision therapy and brain injury.
Dr. Wylie expressed the science, symptoms, strategies, treatments and tips on vision therapy and vision issues. It was an interesting discussion with a question and answer session. Read all about Dr. Wylie’s story, here.
Participants were able to take a break, visit and explore the exhibits continued from day one of the conference. Morning breakout sessions after the break included advice and support, assistive technology, brain injury in the corrections system, domestic violence, how to start and maintain a brain injury support group, yoga, art, and massage.
Lunch was shared with important conversation around the parties receiving final approval for settlement to reform Washington’s forensic mental health system (Trueblood Lawsuit Settlement). Read about this critical work, here.
The collective group of conference goers shared a warm tribute to the late Tommy Manning, Washington State brain injury advocate, activist, and supporter. As a survivor himself, he made an enormous impact on the support of other survivors. Learn all about Tommy’s story in a tribute from BEST Executive Director, Gloria Kraegel.
Former legislator, Dennis Flannigan , advocate Darci Ladwig, and Dianella Clark, of the Washington State Traumatic Brain Injury Council and a brain injury survivor and advocate, gave a rousing, hopeful and inspirational group panel on advocacy and activism.
The advice given by all three? Here is the common thread:
- Talk to your legislators about brain injury. Practice talking to them. Don’t be afraid to speak to them-you are the expert in your brain injury.
- Legislators want to hear from you and hear your story.
- Keep contacting legislators.
- Organize people power. The more people that share their story, the better.
After this inspirational session, conference participants had other fantastic offerings of eight different work shops, from sports concussions, screening for TBIs, yoga and more.
Of course, there was more visiting, new friends, old friends, and warm embraces.
Thank you superheroes, for an amazing conference experience.
Please enjoy this video of our favorite pictures.
The 2019 Washington State TBI Conference in Spokane, Washington April 15-16, 2019, is a wrap!
Here are some of our favorite pictures in video to mark the event. We will be sharing additional recaps and more soon. Stay tuned!
Many thanks to the real-life superheroes of the brain injury community. You are truly the BEST!
The first afternoon of the 2019 Washington State TBI Conference in Spokane, Washington, was a wonderful combination of sharing, caring, important conversations, resources, and information.
The exhibit hall was the site of participant registration and a variety of exhibitors who shared a wide variety of resources. Organizations included the Brain Energy Support Team (BEST), HeadStrong, Northwest Brain Injury Symposium, TBI Council/Alta, Disability Rights Washington, Spokane Veteran’s Center, Employment Security Office, Wallingford Support Group, St. Luke’s Rehab Institute, Disability Action Center, Brain Injury Alliance of Washington, Brain Injury Alliance of Spokane, the Aging and Long Term Care of Washington, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The keynote speaker to kick off the conference was Dr. Cheryle Sullivan and her presentation, “Resilience and Advocacy–The Journey Together.” Dr. Sullivan shared her journey in three parts: as a doctor, a caregiver for multiple family members with brain injury and brain-related medical conditions, and finally as a brain injury survivor herself.
Dr. Sullivan endured six traumatic brain injuries over her lifetime, with the most challenging impact with a ski accident in 2002.
The physician was met becoming a patient, along with a loss of independence, struggles at work, memory issues, mental health and emotional struggles and more.
Navigating the medical system was not easy.
Over time, Dr. Sullivan was able to met the right medical team, specialists, therapies and support groups after enduring so much for so long.
Her message was that of not giving up, to keep going, and finding emotional support, a critical part of the recovery process. Over her journey, she became more hopeful, inspired and a thirst for learning more.
Dr. Sullivan is the author of “The Brain Injury Survival Kit” and a contributor to “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injuries: 101 Stories of Hope, Healing and Hard Work.” She is also a presenter and speaker.
After the keynote speaker, breakout sessions occurred covering various topics such as art as therapy, TBI 101, how to transition to independence and suicide prevention.
For one of the breakout sessions, BEST Executive Director Gloria Kraegel and Stacy Chay, LICSWA, MHP from Eastern Washington University, gave a joint presentation on suicide prevention.
Both Kraegel and Shay presented powerful conversation, statistics, information about stigmas about suicide, strategies and a wealth of resources on traumatic brain injury, suicide and suicide prevention.
In the coming days on the BEST website blog, we will be sharing additional, in-depth information on this critical topic in a separate post.
After the break sessions, conference participants had the opportunity to ask questions, mingle and visit with others.
Looking forward to tomorrow’s experience! Thank you to all of the participants that made this first day special.
The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is heading eastbound with our excitement, support and love in tow for the 2019 Washington State TBI Conference April 15-16th in Spokane, Washington.
We are looking forward to seeing old friends, making new friends and celebrating the real-life superheroes from Washington State! 💚
We will be adding recaps, photos, information and more in this space and on the BEST social media platforms.
Looking forward to sharing our care soon. Stay tuned, BEST friends! 😉