First brain injury program in Missouri

May 1, 1986

The first brain injury program is created by family members and concerned professionals from the St. Louis Chapter of the National Head Injury Foundation (which is known today as the Brain Injury Association of America), out of the need for specialized services for people recovering from a brain injury. At the time, most people with a brain injury lived in a nursing home or other institution, or would spend their days at home, alone, with nothing to do. The Center launched the first cognitive enrichment program (known today as the Adult Day Program) which was the first of its kind in Missouri and the Midwest.

The Academy opens

April 17, 1990

The program is incorporated as the Academy for Head Injured Adults, independent from the National Head Injury Foundation. As services expanded, the organization became known as the Center for Head Injury Services (the Center).

The Center moves to Lackland Road

March 1, 1995

The Center earns 1st CARF accreditation

August 21, 1999

CARF International issued accreditation for a period of three years for the Center’s programs. A three-year accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization. CARF is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services providers. Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.

The Center adds second location on Lilburn Park Road

April 1, 2000

The Center earns 2nd CARF accreditation

August 21, 2002

CARF International issued accreditation for a period of three years for the Center’s programs. A three-year accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization. The accreditation comes after the Center put itself through a rigorous peer review process and on-site visit to show the Center’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.

1st Annual “Gray Matters” Golf Tournament

August 6, 2004

The Center moves all programs to Westline Industrial Drive

July 11, 2005

The Center earns 3rd CARF accreditation

August 21, 2005

CARF International issued accreditation for a period of three years for the Center’s programs. A three-year accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization. The accreditation comes after the Center put itself through a rigorous peer review process and on-site visit to show the Center’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.

1st Annual “Gray Matters” Trivia Night

April 22, 2006

The Center earns 4th CARF accreditation

August 21, 2008

CARF International issued accreditation for a period of three years for the Center’s programs. A three-year accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization. The accreditation comes after the Center put itself through a rigorous peer review process and on-site visit to show the Center’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.

The Center adds the MAAP program

September 13, 2010

Actor Gary Busey joins the Celebrity Apprentice

March 6, 2011

Gary Busey wins $40,000 for the Center

March 20, 2011

The Center earns 5th CARF accreditation

August 21, 2011

CARF International issued accreditation for a period of three years for the Center’s programs. A three-year accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization. The accreditation comes after the Center put itself through a rigorous peer review process and on-site visit to show the Center’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.

The Center launches Destination Desserts

September 1, 2012

The Center adds Community Supports program

March 1, 2013

Destination Desserts launches food truck

May 20, 2013

The Center launches Wags in a Bag

July 1, 2013

The Center earns 6th CARF accreditation

August 21, 2014

CARF International issued accreditation for a period of three years for the Center’s programs. A three-year accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization. The accreditation comes after the Center put itself through a rigorous peer review process and on-site visit to show the Center’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.

The Center adds Talent Connect program

October 1, 2014

Talent Connect is a collaborative project founded by the Center and UCP Heartland, with funding from a private family foundation. Talent Connect is a training and employment project that helps companies in St. Louis build diverse workforces that are inclusive of people with disabilities.

The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Kansas City and the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University has published a book that explores how new policies and practices can meet the changing needs of workers, businesses and their communities. It features a section written by the Kessler Foundation, one of the largest public charities in the U.S. supporting people with disabilities, detailing the success of Destination Desserts and another social enterprise as being an innovative strategy to create real jobs for people with disabilities.

Thirtieth anniversary year!

January 1, 2016

Since 1986, when our first program started, the Center has continued to grow and expand each time a need arose in the community. In celebrating 30 years of operations, we not only looked back at all we had accomplished together, but also looked forward to new opportunities and the future needs of the disability community. Thank you for supporting our mission!

In 2015, the Center identified and purchased a “fixer upper” building that would allow for expansion and to accommodate the many people seeking our services. On April 27, 2017, the Center moved to its newly renovated headquarters at 11828 Lackland Road. More than 100 people attended our Grand Opening on June 28 and the Maryland Heights Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Mike Moeller joined us for a ribbon cutting ceremony. Guests were treated to a tour of our 36,000-square-foot facility along with delicious appetizers and desserts by Destination Desserts.

CARF International issued accreditation for a period of three years for the Center’s programs. A three-year accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be given to an organization. The accreditation comes after the Center put itself through a rigorous peer review process and on-site visit to show the Center’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards. This accreditation is the seventh consecutive three-year accreditation that the international accrediting body has given to the Center.

Center wins BBB TORCH Award

October 18, 2018

The Center was honored as a 2018 TORCH Award Winner by the St. Louis Better Business Bureau®. The BBB TORCH Awards recognize companies and charities that are committed to exceptional standards for ethical business practices and service to their customers, employees, suppliers and communities. The BBB looks for businesses and nonprofits that others will want to emulate.

The Center opens Destination Café

October 22, 2019