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 is dedicated and committed to the brain injury community, and raises public awareness of brain injury.
Lauren Carter Smith, OTR/L, CBIS is a 2001 graduate of James Madison University and is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. She is a leader in her field, active in clinical education at both the state and national level and has been a part of BIAV’s Camp Bruce McCoy for the past 22 years. She specializes in adult physical and neuro rehabilitation for Bon Secours Mercy Health in acute care. She is an advocate to survivors of brain injury through her work as the director of Camp Bruce McCoy, educating professionals, colleagues, and anyone who is willing to listen about prevention as well as everything and anything that comes next once a person sustains a brain injury.
She volunteers her time as membership chairperson for the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association, co-chairs the Virginia Occupational Therapy Education Council and represents Occupational Therapy professionals in the state of VA as the State EMS Advisory Board Trauma System Post-Acute Care Committee member for VOTA.
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.
Senator Emmett Hanger, Jr.
Emmett first served as Commissioner of the Revenue and then in the House of Delegates. Now as Senator, Emmett has earned a multitude of leadership positions, including being named Senate Finance Co-Chair, a budget conferee, and Chair of the Health and Human Services Finance subcommittee.
He is very involved in all aspects of the legislature but has become an ardent supporter of all matters dealing with education, mental health, and the environment. He holds several positions on national organizations such as the Southern Legislative Conference and the National Conference of State Legislators.
Emmett is the former Commander of the Harrisonburg National Guard and obtained the rank of Captain in the US Army as an Infantry Officer. He and his wife Sharon have five grown children and enjoy lots of family time focusing on their 15 grandchildren.
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.
Dr. Jeffrey Barth
Dr. Barth presently holds the John Edward Fowler Emeritus Professorship in the University of Virginia School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences. He is the Founder of the UVA Brain Injury and Sports Concussion Institute, and he has been the PI and Senior Scientist for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center: Charlottesville. He has co-authored or edited three books and is an author of over 240 scholarly articles and book chapters. He is a member of the NFL Players Association Mackey White Concussion Committee and has worked with the Department of Defense and the American Academy of Neurology on the development of concussion management guidelines. He is the recipient of the 2005 National Academy of Neuropsychology’s Distinguished Neuropsychologist Award for Lifetime Achievements in the field of Neuropsychology, and in 2013 he received the “Toggle” Award from the Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services for his dedication and leadership in serving veterans with brain injuries. In 2017, he was honored with the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Sports Neuropsychology Society.
Dr. Barth is best known for his pioneering work on mild traumatic brain injury and sports concussion, and the Sports as a Laboratory Assessment Model (SLAM) for brief baseline and post-injury neurocognitive evaluation of athletes. This method of pre and post-concussion assessment has become the foundation for mild Traumatic Brain Injury evaluation and management for athlete safety and return-to-play decision-making in the NFL, NHL, NCAA, and many high school programs across the US.
Member of the Year
The Member of the Year award was established in 2021, and recognizes an outstanding member who has demonstrated continued interest in and support of Virginia’s brain injury community through contribution of time, skills or resources to the mission of BIAV.
Karen Grazionale is retired after 30 years as a change management professional for a major insurance company. She currently cares for her husband who was hit by a car in 2016 as he jogged with his friends.
Karen has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and is certified in Brain Injury Fundamentals by the Brain Injury Association of America. She is on the Board of Directors for the Community Brain Injury Services and serves as a Caregiver Advisor for the Brain Injury Association of Virginia. She also co-facilitates a Caregiver Support Group and volunteers for Meals on Wheels.
Karen is on a mission to help other caregivers connect with resources and build relationships that help them throughout their journey. She unofficially provides one-on-one peer support to other caregivers who just need to talk to someone that will understand them. She knows that not everyone will go to a support group, but all of us need to be seen and heard.
Karen lives with her husband, Victor, and their dog, Riley, in Poquoson, VA. The three of them just completed a Pacific Northwest trip in their RV and are planning their next adventure.