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Brain-injury group wins state grants

Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery Inc. was awarded $144,966 in state general funds to provide case management for individuals affected by brain injury. The funds are administered by the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services, and the contract will run from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010, with an option to renew for up to two additional years. 

Case management is a process by which individuals are connected to resources and services in the community. Witt said, “Often, an individual or family is left to navigate a complex, frustrating and disjointed system once they return home from the hospital or rehab setting. They have recovered from life-threatening injuries only to discover that they have new sets of obstacles and challenges to face such as re-learning activities of daily living, returning to school or work, or managing their finances.”

Unlike other disabilities, brain injuries can often be invisible as an individual may appear in good physical condition; however, they may be dealing with short term memory loss, difficulties with organization and concentration, speech and communication disorders, fatigue and many other disabling conditions. For some, it may take months or years to return to school or work meaning a loss of income, loss of insurance and even homelessness.

Crossroads case managers research, advocate and link survivors to needed resources and services in their home communities. Case Managers work closely with survivors and their caregivers to assess needs, identify goals and develop an action plan to reach those goals.

“The work of a case manager is intensely intimate in that we go into people’s homes and discuss their most personal issues. Many clients are struggling with issues related to grief and loss in addition to cognitive and physical changes,” says Crossroads case manager Candice Clayton.

The contract with the state provides the core funding for Crossroads’ case-management program. “We are grateful for the award and honored that the state is willing to make this investment in our program. We are delighted to continue to serve our community,” said Witt.

Crossroads was also awarded a three-year grant totaling $267,240 from the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund for “Putting Our Heads Together for Brain Injury.” The grant period begins July 1, 2009, and runs through June 30, 2012.

With funding from the CNI Trust Fund, Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery will be conducting an assessment of our local community’s ability to respond to the emergent needs of survivors of brain injury. Through this project, we aim to understand the real and perceived barriers to accessing appropriate and timely services. The project will also assess the educational needs of service providers and identify potential models that may be adapted for use here in the Shenandoah Valley and across the Commonwealth.

CBIR Board President Dr. Cynthia O’Donoghue stated, “We are honored to receive this award and recognize that it will further our organization’s mission to improve the quality of life for those affected by brain injury by ensuring that survivors and their caregivers have the information, resources and services they need. The projected outcomes for this three-year project should yield improvements to brain injury crisis intervention services both regionally and statewide.”

The goal of this project is to build the capacity of our local community to better respond to survivors of brain injury who are in crisis (at risk of harm to self or others). The project is also designed to dove-tail with the work of a state-level work group appointed by Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services Commissioner James Rothrock and Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (formerly DMHMRSAS) Commissioner James Reinhart, M.D. This work group was appointed to investigate barriers to accessing services that survivors may face when in crisis. Additionally this project may incorporate aspects of serving veterans with TBI and PTSD as it is anticipated that many may seek community-based services once they return home.

augusta free press
augusta free press