Ports Area Brain Injury Roundtable 2013
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Mission Statement
PABIR is a network of human service professionals collaborating to promote services for people with brain injuries and their families.

The Ports Area Brain Injury Round Table (PABIR) started in 1996. The group first came together with help from its predecessor, the Northern Alliance of Brain Injury survivors & service providers (NABI).

NABI had been meeting on the Iron Range for about 6 years. This group was affiliated with the MN Brain Injury Association (formerly the MN Head Injury Association). NABI had sponsored several well attended regional trainings for professionals, survivors of brain injury and interested others. By 1996 this group had worn itself out and had decided to disband. Before disbanding they hoped to find a good use for their profits from past trainings. Three NABI member organizations volunteered to try to launch a Duluth - Superior ports area group interested in supporting brain injury understanding in the region. NABI members hoped that the larger, less geographically dispersed Duluth-Superior community could better sustain the work that NABI had started. A three person NABI committee was formed to work on this new ports area venture. This committee was made up of Laurie Berner of the Epilepsy League, Scott Anderson of the NE MN Center for Independent Living, & Mary Enge of the NE MN office of the Department of Human Services -Traumatic Brain Injury Program. An informational lunch at Fitgers was planned using funds from NABI, a supporting gift from the Miller Dwan Medical Center and support from other regional organizations.

Approximately 50 people came together for the luncheon in Duluth. Fran Conklin from the MN Brain Injury Association keynoted the event. Representatives from each attending organization introduced themselves and explained how their organization connected with people living with a brain injury. A common theme of the lunch was quickly established - attendees were all surprised to meet so many agencies in the area serving people with brain injuries. Agreement was reached to continue to meet. Initially the purpose of each meeting was to find out more about locally available services for people living with brain injury.

Each bi-monthly meeting held in 1997 and 1998 was hosted by a different Duluth area agency and included a tour or presentation about the host agency. In these years the group adopted the Ports Area Brain Injury (PABIR) name and developed its current mission statement.

PABIR continues to contribute to the Ports area and all of northern Minnesota & Wisconsin in much the same way as its predecessor had in the early 1990s. PABIR sponsors at least one conference every two years for people interested in knowing more about brain injury. Over the years PABIR has both sponsored and collaborated with other agencies to provide information about brain injury & to support brain injury prevention activities in the region. PABIR continues to be an invaluable resource to people with brain injury, their families, service providers and the community.