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Traumatic Brain Injury _TBI_ Implementation Grant Activities

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					Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Implementation Grant Activities
Background Pennsylvania Department of Health (Department) received a Two-Year Planning grant (2001 to 2003) from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the requirements of the grant were to: Conduct a needs assessment survey on services and needs of persons with TBI in the state, Develop a State Action Plan, and Create a TBI Advisory Board. The Department formed the Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board and empowered the members with roles and responsibilities integral to Planning and Implementation Grant process. With the Board being comprised of members representing a variety of organizations, State agencies, offices and programs that deal with TBI, as well as TBI survivors and family members, the Board’s input in all phases of the grant’s implementation is invaluable. To further the impact of the Board on grant activities, five sub-committees were formed in 2003. They included the following: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Fund Utilization; Traumatic Brain Injury Prevention; Consolidation of Applications for State Programs; Head Injury Program Regulations; and Resource Development (including discussions with survivors). The subcommittees developed recommendations, submitted them to the Board for approval and then submitted to the Department for review, approval and implementation. In 2005, four new subcommittees were formed. They include State Action Plan Update and Improvement; Statewide Summit/Conference Planning; Public Awareness/Prevention/ Linkages; and TBI Board ByLaws. These four subcommittees will submit their final recommendations for approval by the Board and then forward to the Department. State Action Plan: From the results of the survey, discussion groups, and discussions at the many meetings, the Advisory Board developed a recommended State Action Plan. The Department reviewed and submitted the Advisory Board’s recommendations to develop more effective systems of care for individuals who have sustained a TBI and which support the following initiatives: 1) Creation of a key point of entry for TBI information and referral; 2) Enhancement of local service systems for persons with TBI by developing linkages between existing programs; 3) Provision of TBI training and technical assistance to the wide variety of people affected by and involved in TBI; 4) Growth in awareness of the abilities of individuals with TBI and the risk factors for TBI through public awareness; and 5) Improvement of the quality of care and services

The State Action Plan guides the state of Pennsylvania toward the following vision. Vision: The overall vision, of the Department of Health is that there will be culturally sensitive, effective systems of care for a person with a traumatic brain injury and his or her family that will: • Improve self-esteem by empowering the utilization of all services available/needed • Assist with coping with adjustment issues • Help decrease frustration by removing barriers to services • Provide an opportunity to maintain a positive outlook by having options to choose from to reach the highest level of function possible • Enhance community inclusion and reduce isolation Goals: To fulfill this vision, the Department of Health recommended the following four goals: 1) Create a clearinghouse for TBI information, referral, and support, accessed by a tollfree number and through the Internet. Personnel trained in TBI will staff this clearinghouse and will have an up-to-date resource directory and information library available to them. 2) Enhance local service systems for persons with TBI by developing linkages between existing programs, and by sharing information with advocacy organizations. 3) Provide TBI training and technical assistance to the wide variety of people affected by and involved in TBI, including injured persons, families, public and private service providers, educators and legislators. 4) Reduce the number of brain injuries in Pennsylvania by increasing public awareness about risk factors, and providing education and strategies to reduce the incidence and prevalence of TBI. This should be accomplished through a coordinated system of education and information dissemination. Implementation Grant: The Department was awarded a Three-Year TBI Implementation Grant from HRSA for the period April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2006. Year 1 saw very little activity. Year 2 Accomplishments: Funded four public school districts and one city health bureau to provide education and awareness of the causes of TBI as a result of sports or other activities. Funding supports educational activities related to causes and consequences of concussions/mild-severe TBI and will teach how to prevent and identify the next steps in the event that children and youth sustain concussions, which could result in mild to severe head injury. Funded four TBI support groups across the state to promote education and networking at the grass roots level focused on TBI and to provide support to individuals and families dealing with brain injury.

Through a contractor, provided Pre-enrollment Assistance services for over 110 individuals, who sustained a head injury, to enter the system and receive the necessary assessment, rehabilitation and case management services in as timely a manner as possible. Created a toll free Brain Injury Help line (1-866-412-4755) at the Health and Human Services Call Center to provide TBI information and referral in an efficient manner for individuals with TBI, their families and others interested in brain injury. Increased staffing at the Call Center to include a separate TBI line; established a resource library; purchased a TBI database, resource directory and staff training specific to brain injury; and developed a TBI website at https://www.helpinpa.state.pa.us with links to the existing Department of Health website. Year 3 Accomplishments: The specific focus in Year Three was on the ongoing maintenance of the Information and Referral Clearinghouse, and providing education by sponsoring a Statewide Summit/Conference for social service agencies, prison personnel, school personnel, and individuals with TBI, their families, and others interested in TBI in order to increase knowledge and awareness of TBI and support for individuals and families. Other TBI education was provided through Sports Injury Education and Awareness and the creation and expansion of TBI support groups. With the assistance of a Support Group Coordinator, these activities were expanded in Year Three. In addition, the Department continues to enhance local service systems for persons with TBI by completing its analysis between existing programs and identifying new services. The Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Department of Health, began to provide Pre-enrollment Assistance. This assistance was designed to help families navigate through the various service systems to identify resources, and complete Head Injury Program (HIP) applications for service.

Funded 20 public school districts, hockey and soccer associations, a city health bureau, and rehabilitation facilities, to provide education and awareness of the causes of TBI as a result of sports or other activities. Funding supported educational activities related to causes and consequences of concussions/mild-severe TBI and taught how to prevent and identify the next steps in the event that children and youth sustain concussions, which could result in mild to severe head injury. Funded ten TBI support groups across the state to promote education and networking at the grass roots level focused on TBI and to provide support to individuals and families dealing with brain injury. Through a contractor, provided Pre-enrollment Assistance services for an addition 24 individuals, who sustained a head injury, to enter the system and receive the necessary assessment, rehabilitation and case management services in as timely a manner as possible.

Maintained a toll free Brain Injury Help line (1-866-412-4755) at the Health and Human Services Call Center to provide TBI information and referral in an efficient manner for individuals with TBI, their families and others interested in brain injury. Increased staffing at the Call Center to include a separate TBI line; established a resource library; purchased a TBI database, resource directory and staff training specific to brain injury; and developed a TBI website at https://www.helpinpa.state.pa.us with links to the existing Department of Health website. Funded a Statewide Support Group Coordinator, through the Brain Injury Association of PA, to identify and establish a regional speakers’ bureau which is accessible to local support groups and to develop new support groups in underserved areas. The Coordinator provides technical assistance and resources to TBI support groups across the state. Sponsored a Statewide Summit on November 29, 2005 in order to increase knowledge and awareness of TBI and support for individuals and families.

Next TBI Implementation Grant ($100,000 per year for a three year period starting April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2009) The Pennsylvania Department of Health (Department) will expand public knowledge regarding TBI and increase coordination and integration within the existing service delivery system, thereby enhancing the infrastructure needed to assist persons with TBI and their families. Through this grant, the Department will address the need for training specific groups of professionals around issues related to TBI and to increase knowledge about the nature and extent of TBI. The grant will also address the Department’s commitment to coalition building, crossdisability initiatives, and partnerships to leverage state resources; create a less fragmented system of care; and develop improved public policy toward services for individuals with TBI and their families.


				
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