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Brain Rehabilitation And Injury Network

 5656 Corporate Ave
 Cypress, CA 90630
[P] (714) 828-1760
[F] (714) 828-1873
[email protected]
Susan Alvarez
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA B.R.A.I.N.
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
Employer Identification Number 94-3455820 --


Mission StatementMORE »

To advance the highest level of research, recovery and residual care for brain injured adults, and to provide their families with resources and support.

Mission Statement

To advance the highest level of research, recovery and residual care for brain injured adults, and to provide their families with resources and support.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $400,500.00
Projected Revenue $450,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Brain Cells Program
  • Choir
  • Friends of Brain Injury (F.B.I.)

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

To advance the highest level of research, recovery and residual care for brain injured adults, and to provide their families with resources and support.

Background Statement

The organization was founded in December, 2008 as a result of finding no comparable services in California for survivors that had been hospitalized, and then were moved to acute care facilities and then moved home when insurance ran out.   B.R.A.I.N. exists to help the survivors regain their life skills as much as possible with low cost therapy and social support.   Often our classes and/or therapies are offered for free to those who cannot afford them.

Impact Statement

We give low cost services for our therapies for folks who are no longer covered by insurance.   We do not take insurance.  There are occasions when we give scholarships for adults who are in dire need.
We put on a weekly Friends of Brain Injury (F.B.I.) at our facility on Tuesday evenings from 5:00 to 7:00 at which survivors, caregivers and volunteers are invited to participate in activities geared to helping the brain recover from a TBI and/or stroke.   There is also film clips and/or speakers that give information on recovery techniques based largely on Brain Rules by John Medina.   Approximately 100 people attend these meetings weekly.
We provide support groups that meet weekly for caregivers, survivors and integrated groups of both caregivers and survivors.    
We also provide low cost therapy for speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, massage therapy, choir therapy and literacy classes.  There are scholarships available to those who cannot afford the sessions.   All sessions are offered free of charge to veterans.

Needs Statement

  1. Scholarships for Individual Brain Injury Therapy 
  2. Monthly Donors for monthly operating expenses ($30,000/month)
  3. Volunteers for Brain Cells Program, F.B.I. Program, and Social Activities
  4. Speech Therapy Interns
  5. IT Support Staff Person

CEO Statement

Being the CEO of this fledging organization ever since its inception in 2008, has given me great responsibility and I humbly have asked for help and wisdom as I continue to lead. The organization grows daily in scope and impact to the community. The major challenge has been to educate the public about the great need there is to rehabilitate those with brain injury. To keep awareness up, meet the real needs of survivors through therapy, balance the budget to keep the doors open without automatic government funding and inspire volunteers to be consistent with their service makes for a balancing act that is often difficult, but not impossible to do. With the help of a very skilled and wise group of board members, capable therapists and enthusiastic volunteer group, I have been able to achieve success in this health arena far beyond my own expectation. I depend upon the board Chairman, Dr. Art Laos and our CFO, Joan Jensen to give feedback and direction. The credentials of each board member are those that give assurance and security to the organization. Though I have a strong personal faith in God, I am careful never to pressure others regarding my faith. We have one main rule here in our center and that is "Be kind to everyone." We tell and live truth in our organization and that pledge has brought us many positive opportunities. The collaboration between the Board, Survivors, Donors and Volunteers has proved to be a strong and amiable relationship. We continue to serve all who come through our doors regardless of race, political, financial, gender, or religious stance. Brain Injury is no respecter of persons. Brain Injury impacts one American every 21 seconds of every day. It has been and continues to be my honor to lead and be a part of this great and very important organization. To offer free therapy and classes to all Veterans from all branches of the service from all conflicts is a unique and wonderful challenge to meet. To look into the faces of hundreds of brain injury survivors who have had no place to go for their continued recovery brings me great joy and satisfaction. Please consider supporting Brain Rehabilitation And Injury Network. Your help is needed and appreciated.

Board Chair Statement

B.R.A.I.N. has succeeded in becoming a stable, visible, low cost therapeutic office where brain injury survivors can come and be helped.   Not only survivors are helped but their caregivers as well.  There are classes for reading, massage therapy to relieve constricted muscles from the TBI, yoga for balance, and support groups.  The caregivers have their own support group as well.  The big challenge is raising enough money to support the survivors who cannot afford to pay for service.   

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

Individuals or companies may donate by mailing a check, phone donations, in-kind donations and online contributions on our website. Our entire organization is fueled by volunteers.  We have volunteers who prepare food for meetings, meet and greet incoming constituents, office work, activity planning  and implementation and helpers for therapies.  We need volunteers to provide one-on-one support for a survivor to coach them through the recovery process. 

Geographic Area Served

South Orange County
North Orange County
West Orange County
Central Orange County
In immediate distance, we serve Cypress, Garden Grove, Buena Park, Anaheim, Long Beach, and Lakewood.  But on a broader scope, we serve all cities in Orange and LA Counties.

Organization Categories

  1. Health Care - Patient & Family Support
  2. Education - Adult Education
  3. Diseases Disorders & Medical Disciplines - Neurology & Neuroscience



Brain Cells Program

The program was born as a result of numerous requests from the families/caregivers of brain-injured individuals who felt that their survivor, with little or no stimulation, began to regress while the caregiver was at work each day. A female volunteer is matched with a female survivor by virtue of mutual interests and background. The volunteer befriends the survivor and comes to know the various challenges/frustrations the survivor faces and then helps her formulate a plan to set goals and attain them. The same type of friendship is arranged for male volunteers with male survivors. The coordinator monitors the friendship by a process of monthly reporting. The volunteer must agree to contact his/her survivor at least weekly via email or phone and at least twice a month in person for coffee or an outing of some type. All volunteers must go through Live Scan fingerprinting and have a current driver’s license and insurance card on file with the coordinator. The organization asks that the commitment be for at least one year (or one school year).
Budget  $1,200.00
Category  Health Care, General/Other Health Diagnostic, Intervention & Treatment Services
Population Served Adults People/Families of People with Health Conditions People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities
Program Short-Term Success 

The survivors in the program have been able to learn to go out in public without fear of criticism from the general public because of their wheelchair, or walker, or cane or deformed hand or inability to speak smoothly.   The volunteer partner has helped them to identify a goal such as walking, reading, speaking, cooking, etc. that the volunteer helps them break it into weekly sessions and holds them accountable.   The survivor is thereby much more likely to obtain their goals.   At the end of one year (which is the minimum length of the partnership) the survivor is normally 75% to their goal and becoming more adept at organizing their times and days to continue growth.

Program Long-Term Success  The changes that we expect and have seen are that the TBI (traumatic brain injury) survivors have been able to set goals that are reasonable and obtain them within a contracted time period. Those in the program are reported by their families to be more optimistic and engaged than previous to the partnership with a volunteer in the program.
Program Success Monitored By 

Program success is monitored by interviews with the survivor’s family and interviews with the survivors himself. It is also monitored and evaluated by the monthly report of activities along with successes and failures to the coordinator at BRAIN. The coordinator makes suggestions or gives resources where it is deemed necessary and helpful.

Examples of Program Success 

One example of a program success is a young woman, 29 years of age, who was in a car accident when she was 19 from which she had physically recovered. She was “stuck” in communicating her accident story 4 to 5 times a day to anyone who would listen. When the volunteer brought this up with the coordinator, the family was called in and asked for a description of a typical day. They described how they took care of every need she had and left no decision up to her as to how her days would be spent.

Working with the family, the volunteer encouraged them to allow her to set her own alarm clock to get up in the morning, shower and dress on her own, get her own breakfast, work out on the stationery bike at their home on her own timetable. Further, she set a goal of learning to cook so the volunteer worked with her to get her to pick a recipe, make a grocery list, find the items in the market, pay for them, take them home and use them in the recipe. After one year she was cooking for her family, taking care of her daily schedule, making her own appointments and controlling her finances. Her family was amazed.


The B.R.A.I.N. choir was set up to assist survivors that cannot speak with a forum to sing.   Since a different part of the brain is involved, our choir members are able to express themselves through music.   They meet twice a month in the evening from 6:00 - 8:00.   The cost is minimal and the joy it creates is over the top.   One of our speech therapists leads the choir.
Budget  $0
Category  Health Care, General/Other Patient & Family Enrichment
Population Served Adults People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities Elderly and/or Disabled
Program Short-Term Success 
There is joy when involved in singing and the socialization which occurs is as important to the survivors as the singing itself.
Program Long-Term Success 
We have seen remarkable progress in the ability to speak with those who participate in choir.   They are able to breathe more effectively which helps them to regain the ability to speak.
Program Success Monitored By  The program success is monitored by the number of survivors who attend and the greater capabilities they exhibit.   They also have come out of the shadows where their inability to speak had kept them into the spotlight at many of our functions where they perform.  
Examples of Program Success  One of our survivors that had not been able to speak for 20 years now sings joyfully at every gathering.   She has also been able to start verbalizing in single words.

Friends of Brain Injury (F.B.I.)

Friends of Brain Injury (F.B.I.) is a social meeting that takes place weekly where brain injury survivors and community members gather together to share life. The meetings are based on themes such as, “Healthy Meals for the Brain,” “Tricks for Retrieving Words,” and “The Benefits of Music for the Brain.” The facilitator of the group is Angela Mandas, MA CCC, a licensed and certified speech language pathologist who donates her time to this two-hour activity weekly meeting. The benefits of F.B.I. include the following: social growth, a sense of self-worth, a time to laugh and a time to support each other.
Budget  $5,000.00
Category  Health Care, General/Other Independent Living Skills Instruction
Population Served People/Families of People with Health Conditions People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities Families
Program Short-Term Success  After one visit to F.B.I. (Friends of Brain Injured) survivors and their caregivers feel an acceptance and joy that they haven't been able to find since their injury.   They look forward to the meetings as an oasis in a very unfriendly world.   By the end 2 or 3 visits they feel confidant enough to take the open mic to talk about the impact their injury has had on them and how they are meeting the challenge with the friends at F.B.I.  Most of them point out that their families were advised by the medical community to "pull the plug" immediately following their injury because they were brain dead.   They like to point out that they are living examples of what is possible when they set their mind to recovery.
Program Long-Term Success  There are approximately 100 survivors, their family members, caregivers and volunteers that meet weekly for Friends of Brain Injured.   There is an informational speaker or film clip given, cognitive games played, open mic for those who wish to share their journey, and refreshments served.   This very popular meeting has resulted in survivors feeling there is a place to go where they are accepted and understood and where they can socialize without the criticism and disdain that they have come to expect from the general public.   They learn to meet the challenge of recovery without feeling they need to be taken care of by society.   They learn to rely on the strengths that they have after their stroke, accident or injury from war or sports.   Most of the survivors and their families attend for 2 years and then "move on" into society, confidant that they can make their way independently.
Program Success Monitored By 
The F.B.I. program has continued to grow to the point where we have now impacted about 2500 survivors and their families based on the accumulation of "stories" on our database.   The best tools we have is the success stories shared weekly and the number of survivors enrolled in our various therapies and classes due to becoming aware of their existence at these F.B.I. meetings.
What is not working is our ability to charge for the meetings due to the income level of the survivors and their families.   The insurance they have has been exhausted and the survivor is not well enough to live independently and work.   It is a strain for families to afford even our low cost therapies and classes.   We simply ask them to contribute a dollar or two each week to help offset the cost of the food offered at each meeting.    
Examples of Program Success  We have a family who bring their survivor from Los Angeles each week because there is no other program like ours in the state of California.   They feel fortunate that it has not only helped their son (22 years of age) who was attacked by a group of thugs and beaten to unconsciously and received a TBI as a result but has helped them as well.   They have felt encouraged to keep trying to get him to walk and talk again.   With the information and encouragement from F.B.I. they have developed a family team that work with Steve 8 hours a day every day.   He was one that the doctors told the family would be a vegetable if he survived.   He is now walking, talking, smiling and continuing to gain strength daily.   The family attributes his progress to the information and encouragement from F.B.I.


CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Sue Rueb
CEO Term Start Dec 2008
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience In 2006, our family discovered the reality of our own daughter’s brain challenge and we realize that challenge continues to impact us to this very day. After being told that Kristin was schizophrenic and needed long term mental health care, we began a journey to find how who and what would be helpful to our daughter. We were shocked to find the resources to be scarce and the living facilities available to our daughter were way less than adequate. Our experience within the county mental health system often made us wonder who the patient was. We went through conservatorships, dual diagnosis facilities, psychologists, psychiatrists, truck loads of paper work and were given no real answers to our need for true caring help for Kristin. We desperately knocked on doors, called phone numbers, emailed organizations for help. We learned that there are a lot of people with salaries and names on doors in the mental health field whose sole purpose is to tell families that there is no real help available to them for their brain injured loved one. In the muddle of trying to find assistance, we were encouraged to get a brain scan to be able to accurately diagnose our daughter’s disability. The scan showed brain trauma to Kristin’s frontal lobes which made all kinds of sense to us as we went back on her 31 years of life. I was given an overdose of pitocin and had a rushed forceps delivery. The brain injury diagnosis made no difference in getting adequate care and housing for Kristin. She has been in at least 12 different housing facilities since her disability was diagnosed in 2001. I know we can do better to care for those with brain injuries. Knowing the urgency of having adequate care for our daughter in the future gave us the motivation to begin B.R.A.I.N.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mrs. Susan Alvarez Administrative Director Fulfilled a position in customer service with Triple A
Mrs. Joan Jensen CFO --
Mrs. Angela Mandas Therapy coordinator --
Miss Allison Sayerstad Volunteer Coordinator --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Public Service Award California Speech and Hearing Association (CSHA) 2015
SPIRIT Program Business of the Year City of Cypress 2014
Certificate of Appreciation Orange County Register 2013
Woman of Courage: Sue Rueb Farmers & Merchants Bank, Huntington Beach 2010


Affiliation Year
OC Partnership 2015

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
Charity Navigator 2013


Casa Colina                                                     
Chapman University                                       
Cal State University Fullerton                        
Biola University                                           
Long Beach Veterans Administration
Cal State University, Irvine 
Cal State University, Long Beach 
St. Jude's Hospital 
American Legion Post 295
Rancho Los Amigos
Long Beach Memorial Hospital
ECF of Boeing
Baker Family Foundation
Brain Trauma Research Institute
Brain Treatment Center
Care Meridian
Center for Neuro Skills
Parker & Kurtz
Patricia Heaton Parker, CFP
Precision Rehabilitation
Rehab Without Walls
St Jude Brain Injury Network
Carol Electric
Trojan & Company Accountancy
Northern Lights Electric
Asvar Law

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 11
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 4
Caucasian: 6
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: --
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 8
Male: 3
Not Specified --

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan Yes

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments


Foundation Comments



Board Chair Mr. John Fuqua
Board Chair Company Affiliation Carol Electric
Board Chair Term Jan 2016 -
Board Co-Chair Mr. John Fuqua
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term June 2015 - June 2018

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Dr. Richard Adams -- Voting
Mr. John Fuqua Carol Electric, Los Alamitos, CA Voting
Mrs. Joan Jensen Community Volunteer Voting
Mrs. Susan Rueb B.R.A.I.N. CEO Voting
Dr. Jerry Rueb, D.Min. Cornerstone Church, Long Beach, CA Voting
Mrs. Tammy Tatreau Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Mike Tuttterow Community volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 3
Male: 4
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 50%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

B.R.A.I.N. provides support to the entire family of brain injury survivors. Many survivors are treated during the acute stage following the incident but then later left to find their own way. Help is hard to find and many times not available. Those suffering from chronic or long term injuries have sometimes not ever been diagnosed correctly or at all. Donations and volunteers are needed to provide a voice for those who can't speak for themselves. They need help in reaching their full potential and the chance to use their talents they were given by God.
I as the board chairman will continue to use and apply to the best of my ability all my God given talents to aide B.R.A.I.N. with its continued growth to help those in need.  

Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Campus Planning and Development
  • Scholarship
  • Volunteer


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $450,000.00
Projected Expenses $400,500.00
Form 990s

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $400,068 $242,192 $271,347
Total Expenses $256,844 $240,528 $195,827

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$328,084 $205,803 $237,380
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- $0 --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- $0 --
Earned Revenue -- $0 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $12 $10,265
Membership Dues -- $0 --
Special Events $71,984 $36,377 $23,702
Revenue In-Kind -- $0 --
Other -- $-36,377 --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $214,129 $190,195 $147,833
Administration Expense $28,475 $30,334 $28,854
Fundraising Expense $14,240 $19,999 $19,140
Payments to Affiliates -- $0 --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.56 1.01 1.39
Program Expense/Total Expenses 83% 79% 75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 4% 8% 7%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $429,150 $285,926 $284,262
Current Assets $399,737 $256,513 $254,849
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 --
Current Liabilities -- $0 --
Total Net Assets $429,150 $285,926 $284,262

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Capital Campaign Purpose We are planning on a capital campaign as soon as we have acquired $500,000. The purpose is to purchase land and begin building a campus that would house TBI survivors. The campus would have a gymnasium, chapel, garden, cafeteria and dorms.
Campaign Goal $5,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Mar 2017 - Jan 2020
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $500,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

CEO Comments

Our donor base has continued to grow since our 501(c)3 was established.   We now have almost 3,700 people on our database, many of those being donors.  We have also established corporate and foundation relations that send us support.  Individual donors continue to be our largest income base for which we are thankful.  Our first golf tournament yielded almost $40,000 net.

Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.