Patrick Donohue leads the way for parents of children living with brain injuries: a tireless and effective change agent

Patrick Donohue’s life took a new course upon the brain injury of his young daughter. He advocated for her and other children with brain injuries and eventually founded a school where his daughter could receive an education because there were no schools at the time that could meet her needs. I met Patrick Donohue several years ago at a conference. I was impressed with his amazingly high level of energy and belief that, through advocacy, change would occur.

We have addressed the issues caregivers face many times in blogs on NeuroNotes and in conference presentations. In our Toronto-based program, NRIO, we have operated a school, home and community-based brain injury rehabilitation program for years. Through our program at NRIO, we have worked with many families and learned about their needs as parents as well as the needs of the children.

Patrick Donohue’s work adds a new dimension to the parent caregiver’s role; that of a caregiver and agent of change.  Patrick works to create change by getting within the organizations and politics of legislation, funding and public awareness. Starting up a school for his daughter and other children with brain injuries is a testimony to his approach to advocacy and change.

About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.

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