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Local brain-injury support group among those receiving state funding

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced today that eight organizations received a total of $2.8 million in grant funding to expand and improve community-based programs and services that address the needs of people with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries and their families.

Funding was awarded by the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative (CNI) Trust Fund Advisory Board, and involves projects that include internet intervention, life skills training, clubhouse expansion, and post secondary education for veterans with spinal cord injury. The grant period is from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2012.

The Harrisonburg-based Crossroads to Brain Injury Recovery Inc. was approved for a three-year grant for $267,240.

“The Commonwealth is committed to improving the treatment and care of Virginians with these types of injuries and continues to seek innovative, community-based rehabilitation programs to better serve this growing disability population,” Gov. Kaine said. “I am particularly pleased that the funds will support efforts in Virginia to assist our ‘Wounded Warriors’ and their families.”

Based on current Virginia census estimates, nearly 85,000 Virginians are disabled as a result of traumatic brain injury, and more than 900,000 are disabled because of a stroke.

“In these difficult economic times, we are thrilled to still be able to offer grants which increase our Commonwealth’s ability to respond to the ever-growing needs of persons with spinal cord and brain injuries,” said Jim Rothrock, Commissioner of the Department of Rehabilitative Services and standing member of the Advisory Board.

The Trust Fund is legislatively mandated to disburse funds through a grant award process. Funds are disseminated equally between research and community-based rehabilitative program/service, through a rotating cycle of Requests for Proposals. The last community-based rehabilitative program/service grants were awarded in 2006 and the last research grants in 2007. CNI grants are funded for one- to three-year periods, at a maximum of $150,000 per year. The Department of Rehabilitative Services provides staffing for the CNI Trust Fund Advisory Board and also administers the Trust Fund Grants Program.The Advisory Board is composed of seven members who are appointed by the Governor for a term of four years.

For more information on the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund, visit www.vacni.org or contact Kristie Chamberlain, CNI Program Administrator at Kristie.Chamberlain@drs.virginia.gov.


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