In 1985, there were three known support groups meeting around the state on an irregular basis. A core group of eight individuals dedicated themselves to forming a state organization for the benefit of brain injury survivors and their families throughout Montana. Angela and Jim Spall and Maria Nyberg of Helena, Ty and Scotty MacLeod, of Billings, Joyce Steele of Great Falls, Jim Malloy of Bozeman, and Heather Joern of Kalispell. The group of individuals met in Helena in 1985 and founded the Montana Head Injury Foundation. This group dedicated the time, money and love needed to start the statewide organization.
In November of 1987, The Montana Head Injury Foundation was officially formed with an eight-member Board of Directors. It also quickly became a chartered and affiliated organization of the National Head Injury Foundation. It was also in 1987 that the NHIF decided to change its name to National Head Injury Association and Montana followed suit by becoming the Montana Head Injury Association.
The first Brain Injury Conference in Montana was held in the fall of 1988; 133 people attended. In 1991, the Association opened an office at Eastern Montana College, staffed by volunteers and a graduate assistant. It soon became clear that more help was needed and an office manager was hired and the toll-free number was established.
In 1993, the national organization changed their name to Brain Injury Association of America and Montana followed suit and became the Brain Injury Association of Montana. In 1994, the office was moved toMissoula and resided on the University of Montana campus. The organization continued to change and grow through different presidents and directors.
In 2005, the Brain Injury Association of Montana participated in an implementation grant of the Resource Facilitation Service, now called the Brain Injury Help Line. This FREE service is a collaborative process that respects and encourages the involvement and choices of individuals with brain injury and their personal support providers in setting goals and in identifying and accessing information, services and supports that are desired.
In 2012, Brain Injury Association of Montana joined the United States Brain Injury Alliance becoming the Brain Injury Alliance of Montana.
The Board of Directors and staff of the Brain Injury Association of Montana are committed to the mission and goals of the association and bring a diversity of experience and knowledge to the organization.
Organization Members of:
Missoula Chamber of Commerce
Missoula Nonprofit Network
Montana Nonprofit Association
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