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New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Program Loses Valuable Asset

I was saddened to learn today that the Ronnie Gala has retired from her position as the Bronx and Queens Coordinator for the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Medicaid Waiver Program.

Ronnie has been the Regional Resource Service Coordinator (RRDS) for the Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver Program since the program's inception in 1994.  Much of the programs success and its ability to repatriate persons with traumatic brain injury from out of state institutions to home based community TBI programs is due to the hard work and persistence of Ronnie.  She has made the quality of life better for persons with mild, moderate and severe brain injury.  Her devotion to victims of coma had led to the development of special coma recovery units in New York and specialized TBI care facilities.  I have had the pleasure of working directly with Ronnie both on behalf of clients that I have represented as well as others who just needed some guidance and assistance.  Ronnie always was able to assist. 

In the course of her career with the Health Department Program she has made an important difference in the lives of persons suffering from traumatic brain injury and their families, not only in the Bronx and Queens, but throughout the City of New York and the State of New York. As the RRDS for Bronx and Queens, she repatriated 90 individuals from out of state nursing homes--the largest number of repatriations of any single RRDS. As Dorothy, in The Wizard of Oz has so wisely stated, "THERE'S NO PLACE, LIKE HOME".

The work and devotion of Ronnie Gala will certainly be missed by all who know her and have benefited from her caring approach to the mission of the New York State Medicaid Waiver Program. (For those not familiar with this program, it allows for medicaid funds and services to be provided to persons who have sustained a traumatic brain injury within the home and community rather then a requirement that they must be institutionalized in facilities such as long term care facilities, nursing homes or brain injury rehabilitation facilities in order to eligible for services. See end of this post for contact information concerning this program)

I am hopeful that Ronnie will continue to work with the Brain Injury Association of New York State, to improve the quality of life for persons with brain injury, their family and friends.

Fondly,

MICHAEL V. KAPLEN, ESQ.
President, Brain Injury Association New York State

[More information on the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Medicaid Waiver Program can be obtained by contacting the Program Coordinator, Pat Ryan Greene Gumson at the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Long Term Care Brain Injury Program, Office of Medicaid Management, One Commerce Plaza, Rm 803, Albany, New York 12260  518 474 6580 and by e mailing Pat Gumson.]

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