Media Release



The idea of the Hickok Center started with Joan Swarthouse. A mother who struggled to find care for her daughter, Deborah, after she sustained a brain injury. Because of this struggle, Joan and Deborah started the Rochester Foundation for Person’s with Brain/ Head Injury, later incorporating the foundation on August 10, 1989, along with Janice Avery and James Avery. During the April of 1996, the Ray Hickok Center, a program at the Foundation started admitting participants to the French Road location. In 2001, the Foundation outgrew its space and moved to Village Gate Square where it continued to expand. In the following months, the Foundation wished to change their name, and in December 2002, the name of the Foundation was officially changed to the Hickok Center for Brain Injury. The Center continued to grow forcing a move to larger spaces in 2003 and 2005, but the Hickok Center dreamed of having its own building. In April 2006, this dream became a reality when the Hickok Center bought and moved to their first official home at 114 South Union Street in downtown Rochester. While this home served the Center well, it moved again in December 2018 to our current location on Brighton Henrietta Townline Road.

Programs Offered

Structured Day and Evening Program

The structured day and evening programs are intended for individuals who are over the age of 18 and who have suffered a brain injury. Participants attend program from 8am-3pm Monday thru Friday and have the option for evening programs that last until 8:30pm. During these programs, participants learn strategies to help build strengths such as concentration and memory, organizational skills, and task completion. The participants are the ones who develop the monthly calendar, regularly scheduling community outings, adaptive yoga, wood working, musical therapy, and much more. The result of these activities is the development of functional living skills, social confidence, and friendships. While every participant has different long and short-term goals, the focus of the day and evening programs is to facilitate the independence of participants.

Vocational Services: Hickok Works

Hickok Works helps youth in transition, as well as adults, obtain employment through NYS ACCES-VR. The services that Hickok Works provides include supported employment, direct placement, community-based work assessments, work experience development, and extended services.


Working at the Hickok Center changes your viewpoint on life…seeing and witnessing the positivity, the strength and the struggle of our participants every day, even after they have gone through such horrible life altering accidents or diagnosis…makes you re-think everything in your life.” – Helen Wilkins

Even as staff member, I still see Hickok as a family.” – Noah Jones

The Hickok Center is fun and exciting.” – Marc



Lauren Kane has been with Hickok Center since October 2021, and recently became the Director of Programing at Hickok.

Lauren is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and has been working with people with TBIs for 3 years.

She is currently in school studying neuroscience and applied positive psychology. Lauren enjoys playing games (especially Pass the Pigs) with Hickok participants, and talking about football during the Evening Meeting. Lauren lives in Canandaigua with her two dogs: Laura (who sometimes provides dog therapy to Hickok participants), and Pablo.


Hi! My name is Jenna DiPasquale and I am the Vocational Program Manager for the Hickok Works Vocational Program. I hold a BS in Health Sciences, concentration in Healthcare Administration and a minor in Business Administration from the College at Brockport. I have worked at the Hickok Center for Brain Injury for 5 years now. I started as an intern and have worn many hats throughout my time here. If you asked me years ago what I thought my career path would be, my answer would not have been this. However, when I was exposed to the world of Human Services and started working with disabilities, it sparked a passion within me. Working at the Hickok Center is fun, educational, and entertaining, but most of all its rewarding. My coworkers are amazingly kind and hardworking and our participants are the reason we get to do what we do at the Hickok Center. Each day they are here supporting their peers, working towards goals, rebuilding their lives, and they do it with a smile. I am so blessed to be a part of it. My favorite thing about coming to work every day is the laughter. Each day there is happiness here. We are family and with all families you have challenges and hard times, but you also have wonderful experiences and beautiful memories that will be with us for a lifetime.

Please fill out the form to reach the Hickok Center for Brain Injury, Inc for further inquires.