Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Utahns with Brain Injuries Find Support at Annual Conference

(Salt Lake City, UT) – Every day in Utah, 37 people are treated and released from an emergency room due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Another seven are hospitalized or die each day from a TBI.
In Utah, the leading causes of TBI are falls, car crashes, suicide and suicide attempts, and crashes involving off-highway vehicles, like ATVs, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles.
“Traumatic brain injuries can have a dramatic impact on a person’s ability to lead an active, fulfilling life,” said Trisha Keller, Manager of the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) Violence and Injury Prevention Program. “TBIs can affect an individual’s ability to work, his or her short- and long-term memory, vision, sleep, mood, and movement. The real tragedy is that most TBIs are preventable.”
Dallas Griffiths knows all too well the devastating effects a TBI can have. On February 12, 2008, at the age of 24, Griffiths was longboarding in Snow Canyon when he crashed and suffered a severe brain injury. He was not wearing a helmet at the time. Surgeons his life, but he was in a coma for six weeks. When he awoke, he was paralyzed from the neck down and could not talk or even eat.
“I thought I would never walk again, but here I am,” said Griffiths. “I am one of the fortunate TBI survivors.”
Now, four years later, Griffiths is working on his Master’s degree at Westminster College and is an advocate for other TBI survivors and their families.
“I want to help others so they don’t have to feel so alone, like I did. It has been a long road, but I want people to know that with help and treatment, things can get better.”
”Learning to Live Again…” is the theme for the 23rd Annual Families and Professionals Conference sponsored by the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah (BIAU). The conference will be held October 11, 2012 at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy.
The conference offers education and support for survivors and family members, health care professionals, educators, and other service providers. Dr. Jeff Kupfer, a licensed psychologist who provides supportive living and transitional rehabilitation for adults with a TBI, will be among the keynote speakers. Presentations on behavioral strategies, adaptive technology, legal support, the special circumstances of children with TBIs, and advice on finding community resources are among the highlights of this year’s conference. 
To register for the BIAU Conference visit 
Find more TBI-related data and information about Utah’s TBI Fund for survivors at
Media Contacts:
Jenny Johnson
Violence & Injury Prevention Program
(o) 801-538-9416 (m) 801-298-1569
Ron Roskos
Brain Injury Alliance of Utah
(m) 801-979-2799