20th making headway conference award winners

Weinstock Award

The Weinstock Award was established in 2006 in honor of Harry Weinstock, a former BIAV Executive Director and employee for 16 years. Harry was dedicated to helping individuals and their families navigate life after a brain injury and to improving and increasing services and supports available to them. The Weinstock Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated these same qualities and a passion for service in the brain injury community.

2020 Recipient

Elizabeth Horn

Elizabeth Horn holding award

The Virginia Brain Injury Association, known first as the Virginia Head Injury Foundation, was just 6 months old in 1984 when Elizabeth Horn became the Executive Director. Over the next 7 years she worked with the board of directors and volunteers across the Commonwealth to advocate for Virginians who sustain a brain injury.

Among her many accomplishments, Elizabeth developed the first brain injury support groups across Virginia and a registry that ensured every Virginian with a brain injury was notified of BIAV’s advocacy services. But perhaps, at the heart of her service to BIAV, Elizabeth established Camp Bruce McCoy, now in its 35th year. She reached out to Sheltering Arms for some good occupational therapists to serve as volunteers and who should show up but Anne McDonnell, BIAV's current Executive Director.

Elizabeth is currently a Senior Disability Rights Advocate for the disAbility Law Center of Virginia where she serves as the subject matter expert for brain injury and social security. For over 35 years, whether she is working systemically to improve the service system, or one on one with an individual with brain injury or their caregiver, she has consistently and fervently served the brain injury community in Virginia.

Legislator of the Year

The Legislator of the Year Award was established by the board of directors to recognize outstanding legislative advocacy on behalf of persons with brain injury. The award is given to a member of the Virginia General Assembly who has worked closely with BIAV to introduce or support legislation and amendments that advance our goals.

2020 Recipient

Senator Janet Howell

Senator Janet Howell with her award

Janet Howell has been a Virginia State Senator since 1992. A community leader prior to running for office, Janet was a PTA president, community association president, and Chair of the State Board of Social Services. Senator Howell is one of Virginia’s most influential senators. She was the first woman to serve on the powerful Senate Finance Committee, and the first to serve as Chair.

Senator Howell is credited with major legal reforms where education, children, and families have always been top priorities. She headed the overhaul of Virginia’s family violence laws and led efforts to protect children from sexual predators. Virginia now has genetic information privacy legislation due to her efforts. Senator Howell spearheaded mental health law reform in the Senate following the Virginia Tech tragedy.

The American Academy of Pediatrics named Senator Howell their National Child Advocate of the Year and the Virginia Sheriffs have repeatedly called her Senator of the Year. Numerous human services organizations, including the Virginia Interfaith Center, have also given her awards.

Always approachable, Janet loves representing the people of the 32nd District and has been instrumental in positively affecting the lives of all Virginians.

Legacy Award

The Legacy Award was established in 2018 in honor of BIAV's 35th Anniversary. The award is given to an individual who has made significant, long-term contributions of lasting impact to the field of brain injury both professionally and through advocacy.

2020 Recipient

Dr. Harold F. Young

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Harold F. Young is a graduate of the Ohio State University School of Medicine where he received his M.D. degree cum laude in 1963. Upon completion of his residency in 1969, Dr. Young spent one year in Vietnam with the 312th Evacuation Hospital at Chu Lai, then was stationed at Fitzsimmons General Army Hospital in Denver, Colorado where he was Chief of Neurosurgery until discharged. In 1972, he joined the Virginia Commonwealth University - Medical College of Virginia where he has remained, and where he has built a department that’s among the nation’s leading brain trauma programs; it has generated more than $25 million in sponsored research from the National Institutes of Health and is one of the top training programs in the country for neurosurgeons.

He received the Medical College of Virginia Deans Award for community service in 1993, and was named MCV Clinician of the Year in 1994. In 1997, he received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence, the highest honor that VCU bestows on faculty.

Dr. Young’s exceptional career has been dedicated to service to patients, service to his students, and service to improving health care through applied scholarship. His name is synonymous with excellence, and he is held in the highest regard by generations of students, residents, faculty and patients. Dr. Young's legacy will have a lasting impact on the medical field and Virginians affected by brain injury for generations to come.