Community Champions

Mark Parrish Program Manager, NeuroRestorative Michigan
Grant Recipient, West Michigan Chapter of Brain Injury Association of Michigan

Mark Parrish began attending West Michigan Chapter of Brain Injury Association of Michigan support group meetings with participants from NeuroRestorative’s Whitehall program. It did not take long for Mark to realize how special the group was and that he wanted to give his time outside of work to support the group’s mission of improving the lives of those affected by brain injury and reducing the incidence and impact of brain injury through education, advocacy, support, treatment services, and research.

One year into Mark’s involvement with the group, the then leadership approached him to lead the West Michigan chapter’s support groups. Since that time, Mark has planned each meeting and activity for the group. Meetings help members gain the knowledge they need to have more independence with topics ranging from job searches to stress management. He gets creative when it comes to activities for the members, including holding bowling tournaments, holiday parties and attendance at local sporting events.

“It provides something for participants that they can’t find in a clinical setting,” said Mark. “It offers them community and an outlet where they know they are understood for who they are.”

Mark also serves as the local point of contact for resources for brain injury survivors, family members, caregivers, brain injury professionals, or interested member of the public.

“There are many examples of Mark’s passionate commitment to volunteerism, but none are more pronounced than the way he provides individual support to members during times of individual difficulty or strife, outside the structure of the support group,” said Jim Petersen, Clinical Director, NeuroRestorative Michigan. “He regularly gets calls from group members who are facing an obstacle in recovery, or other personal struggle. He always takes whatever time is needed to allow callers to express themselves fully and then offers whatever he can in the way of support or suggested solutions.”

To learn more about The Brain Injury Association of Michigan, please visit their website at https://www.biami.org/.