BIAV Wins National Innovation Award from the Alliance for Information and Referral Systems

press release

The Brain Injury Association of Virginia (BIAV) has been selected as the 2021 Alliance for Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) winner for Innovation in Operational Effectiveness. AIRS is the driving force behind the delivery of quality information and referral (I&R) services and the sole source for standards, program accreditation and practitioner certification for the I&R sector. The innovation award recognizes organizations across the country for excellence in programs connecting people to services.  

BIAV, the voice for Virginia’s brain injury community for 38 years, submitted the award application based on a year-long data project. This project involved reviewing hundreds of case notes taken when people contact BIAV for help. During the review, trends, patterns, and keywords were identified so the information could be coded and easily turned into accessible data and reports. In turn, these reports are used to advocate for key issues impacting the brain injury community such as housing, social isolation, financial challenges, transportation, and much more.

This project would not have been possible without support from IT4Causes, a nonprofit dedicated to providing information technology solutions for other nonprofits and former University of Richmond student and BIAV intern Michael Pittman, who poured over thousands of data points and performed high-level data analysis.  

“We are honored to be selected for this national award, especially considering we are much smaller than the other organizations up for this award. To be able to turn the stories people tell us into hard data that we can use with legislators, policymakers, funders, and the community is a vision this association has had for many years. It is a testament to the dedication of our staff and partners that we were able to make it a reality,” said Anne McDonnell, Executive Director of BIAV.

The award was announced at the annual AIRS conference last week.  


About The Brain Injury Association of Virginia: The Brain Injury Association of Virginia is the primary source of information and personal support for thousands of individuals, families, and professionals living in Virginia whose lives have been touched by a life‐altering, often devastating brain injury. The mission of the Association is to advance education, awareness, support, treatment and research to improve the quality of life for all people affected by brain injury. For more information visit