Stephanie Arnold is the Program Manager of the Brain Injury Program at Virginia Supportive Housing (VSH). She has been at VSH since its inception in 2005 and has spent the majority of her professional career working with people with brain injuries. Stephanie and VSH are one of BIAV’s organizational Advocacy Members.

When we asked Stephanie why advocacy is important to her and to VSH, she said:

“Advocacy is so important because we have such an under served population of Virginians in need of services for their brain injuries, and housing in a lot of cases. Families are struggling with helping their loved ones, and the sad thing is that it can happen to anyone of us in the blink of an eye. None of us are immune to a brain injury and the devastation it can cause. I have been fortunate enough to see, and be a part of, how specialized brain injury case management and stable housing can make a difference in someone’s life. This is something that everyone who is living with the effects of a brain injury deserves. Advocating for these services is the only way these services will ever be provided to members in our community. We owe this to them and their families. After all the years of doing intakes at VSH, the main lesson I have taken away is that everyone needs hope. No matter how dark the situation may be, when someone has hope, then they have something to hold onto. The services we advocate for survivors of brain injury produce hope for the people we help, and the ones we hope to be able to help in the future.”

 We are fortunate to have such a strong partnership with Stephanie and VSH so we asked Stephanie how working with BIAV has impacted her work; here’s what she said:

“I was lucky enough to spend time with Anne (BIAV’s Executive Director) and Christine (BIAV’s Resource Coordinator) 15 years ago when Independence House was first opened. VSH (and I) had no experience with brain injury, and BIAV was great to allow me the opportunity to learn from them. Years later I still use some of the quotes Anne told me when I am talking to others about brain injury. VSH has also been fortunate enough to have worked alongside BIAV and the other state-funded brain injury organizations to help better the services being provided currently, and to work towards expanding and adding new, much needed services. BIAV has helped me by providing resources that I can utilize to better educate people and staff about brain injury. They make this job a little easier for us and better for those impacted by brain injury by being a dedicated group of people that strive to educate and advocate for better and expanded services.”

 The work we do alongside partners like VSH is instrumental in changing the lives of others in the community. Thank you to Stephanie and VSH for their continued support of BIAV and the brain injury community!

If you are interested in learning more about advocacy, click here.