The Brain Injury Association of Virginia’s (BIAV) Executive Director, Anne McDonnell, was awarded the William A.B. Ditto Excellence in Public Policy at the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) annual conference. The award recognizes NASHIA members who have significantly impacted service delivery for individuals living with a brain injury due to public policy advocacy.

Virginia Department for Aging & Rehabilitative Services Brain Injury Services Coordination Unit Director Chris Miller was one of the two people who nominated Mrs. McDonnell for this award, saying in her nomination “If you weren’t a brain injury advocate before you met her, you will be after.”

Anne McDonnell standing outside holding her award plaque
Executive Director, Anne McDonnell, holds her award presented by NASHIA.

BIAV’s Board President, Dr. Kelli Gary, echoed this praise, “Anne’s unwavering advocacy shines a light on a community that often feels invisible – people impacted by brain injury. Whether she is crafting legislation to get people more services, doing laundry for our campers, or educating first responders about brain injuries, Anne keeps going above and beyond. In fact, Anne has been making a difference in the lives of people with brain injury for over 30 years. BIAV is extremely proud of Anne for receiving this national recognition and no one is more deserving. She is the epitome of leadership and excellence among the brain injury community and we are truly blessed to have her at the helm of leadership here at BIAV.”

“As Chair of the National Association of State Head Injury Administrator’s Public Policy committee, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Anne for receiving the William A.B. Ditto Excellence in Public Policy award. This award honors outstanding advocacy on behalf of people with brain injuries, particularly work that can be replicated in other states, and it was clear in this year’s nomination process that Anne’s leadership in Virginia led to incredible outcomes for the brain injury community and deserved national recognition,” said Jennifer Braun.

Presentation of the award can be viewed here:

 ### 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