Twenty years ago Janet Novinger sustained two brain traumas back to back. This started a long journey of life with “TBI” (traumatic brain injury): a journey of survival, learning how to function, and ultimately learning how to live with a changed brain and body.
After the first five years, Janet realized that the things that were most effective in helping her live with a better quality of life were not only unavailable to her, but simply not being offered. That is when she took it upon herself to start building programs to help others confronted with the challenge of living with brain injury.
It was during the time when Janet was becoming more physically capable, that she discovered yoga and it’s ability to empower her healing herself. It’s effects were so profound that Janet decided become a certified instructor, with a specialty in adaptive yoga. She went on to acquire grant funding to be able to offer free “TBI yoga” once a week. She continued on to start a support group, craft group, goal-accountability program, and back to work program.
After running programs for ten years, Janet began to see their impact as she watched her TBI community flourish. This led to forming greater visions for how to fill the gaps between those living with brain injury and their communities. Her vision expanded to included a dedicated physical space that would not only offer programs to those living with brain injury, but would also serve them as a back-to-work program for those who were ready to start building new vocational skills. Ultimately this space would offer services for all community members, providing a way for the community at large to interact, gain awareness, and support those living with brain injury.
To help her realize this vision, Janet formed an Advisory Committee. Over the years they have been working together and contributing to the growth of Janet’s programs. At the turn of 2019, the programs were growing so much that Janet knew that the group was ready to tak the next step: it needed a name to hold all the programs, and grow them, with coherent identity for the vision she was holding.
After many brain storming sessions with the support group members and Advisory Committee, Imaginal Network was born.