ORCAS Scientist Named Researcher of the Year

North American Brain Injury Society (NABIS) 2011 Research Award goes to ORCAS Science Director, Dr. Ann Glang.

Each year NABIS honors a researcher who has made substantial and continuing contributions to improving the lives of individuals with traumatic brain injury.  Dr. Ann Glang’s works includes being principal investigator on numerous brain injury projects, both at ORCAS and at the Center for Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT).

Dear to Glang’s heart are programs that help families become better advocates for their loved one with a brain injury. With funding from the National Institutes of Health, she led ORCAS development and evaluation of Brain Injury Partners: Navigating the School system and Brain Injury Partners: Advocacy Skills for Families. These online sites provide training and resources to families. They are available free of charge on the internet.

In addition to advocacy work, Glang is passionate about brain injury prevention and proper concussion management. In early 2012 ORCAS will release and is now seeking sponsors for Brain 101: The Concussion Playbook, a school-wide program with online training for school administrators, educators, coaches, students, and parents.  According to Sherry Vondy Beaver, Glang’s project manager, “everyone on Ann’s team is passionate about brain injury prevention and concussion management, which is a direct result of her leadership. Working on her projects is very rewarding.”  A primary goal of Brain 101 is to make sure student athletes report suspected concussions. “The website teaches kids what to look for and that they should tell the athletic trainer or coach if they think they have a concussion.  Based on preliminary data, we’re optimistic that we’re helping contribute to a culture shift.  Kids appear to feel better about saying, ‘I think I might have a concussion. I need to get out of the game.’”

Another Glang project, slated to be launched in early 2013, is Wise Rides, a school-wide bicycle and pedestrian safety program aimed at middle schoolers. This online program augments her successful Bike Smart and Walk Smart projects, training for grade schoolers. Both of those programs are currently available on CD and are being used by the Florida Department of Transportation, Vermont Agency of Transportation, St. Paul Fire Departments, and many other organizations.

The work Dr. Glang has done, both at ORCAS and at CBIRT, fits perfectly with the principal mission of NABIS, which is to move brain injury science into practice. As Dr. Harvey Jacobs, 2011 NABIS Program Chair, noted, “Ann and her colleagues have not only discovered new approaches and techniques to improve the lives of others, but have also worked to integrate these findings into people’s lives through comprehensive training and dissemination efforts.”

Dr. Glang is currently working on a phase I project at ORCAS to help families of school-aged children with brain injury deal with cognitive challenges.

For more information about ORCAS programs or becoming a sponsor contact info@orcasinc.com.

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