Finding Your Way Back with the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana

by Allison

LASCI hit the road last week to present an educational session at the 5th annual meeting of the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana in New Orleans.

The Brain Injury Association of Louisiana (BIALA) is a non-profit organization focused on creating a better future for individuals with brain injury and/or spinal cord injury by locating and obtaining needed services. BIALA strives to be the leading statewide provider of information, resources and services for individuals with a brain injury and/or spinal cord injury, their families and caregivers.

As part of the session, LASCI founder and C-7 quadriplegic Bert Burns shared his own story of SCI from the perspective of being both a patient and a recreation therapist.

Following his SCI, Burns worked as a recreational therapist for the Shepherd Center in Atlanta before founding UroMed Inc., one of the nation’s largest urologic supply companies.  Burns also created Life After Spinal Cord Injury as a free motivational program to assist other people with SCI in adapting to their new lives in a wheelchair.

Participants learned how to:

  1. Identify the necessary factors for “moving-forward” behavior following a spinal cord injury, and understand how social media enables moving-forward behavior.
  2. Connect onsite, in-person peer support events to online resources to assist SCI patients in extending their peer/care network.
  3. Discuss best practices for social media use within the SCI community to better understand common patient questions and needs from peer support events and online resources.

    BIALA attendees enjoyed LASCI's Q&A session on dating and relationships!

    BIALA attendees enjoyed LASCI

Attendees also enjoyed an entertaining Q&A session on dating and relationships, led by Bert Burns and UroMed Marketing Director Lisa Wells, who answered questions from participants in an “open-mic” segment at the end of the presentation.

[L to R]: UroMed's John Perez; TOURO's Paul Genco; NeuroMed's Karen Roy & LASCI founder Bert Burns

L to R: UroMed

Did You Know?
A brain injury can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone – a brain injury does not discriminate. Each year, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually. Of them:

• 52,000 die,

• 275,000 are hospitalized and

• 1.365 million, nearly 80%, are treated and released from an emergency department.

TBI is a contributing factor to a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States. About 75% of TBIs that occur each year are concussions or other forms of mild TBI. And, March is Brain Injury Awareness Month.

BIALA is the leading brain injury conference in Louisiana attracting brain injury survivors, family members, medical professionals, discharge planners, therapists and state officials.  For more information on BIALA, please visit

Additional Resources
During the LASCI session, the following articles were referenced as additional resources. Please see the following links for copies of the stories.

1. “Love Knows No Bounds”, PN Magazine:

2. “After SCI: Live Your Life Without Limits!”, Mobility Management:

3. “A study of factors affecting moving-forward behavior among people with spinal cord injury”; Rehabilitation Nursing:

1 Comment

  1. Lisa says:

    are there resources available in Shreveport..Im post recovery 2 years. would love to help if I can in this area and get educated with what comes next for me even.

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