|Center for Rural Health strengthens services to head injury individuals|
The federal Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded the North Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS) a grant to strengthen the coordination of services for individuals with traumatic brain injuries. The $118,000 award is for year two of a three-year project designed to help North Dakota better address the needs of military veterans, American Indians, and others with traumatic brain injuries.
DHS has partnered with the Center for Rural Health at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to administer the project. The center managed the state's original planning grant for traumatic brain injury. Additional funding partners include the Dakota Medical Foundation, the North Dakota Head Injury Association and the Anne Carlsen Center.
Nationally, the Centers for Disease Control estimates about two percent of the population is affected by traumatic brain injuries that disrupt the normal function of the brain. Using this estimate, about 12,800 North Dakotans have brain injury-related disabilities.
The main causes of such injuries include falls, traffic accidents and assaults. In North Dakota, tribal injury prevention experts have helped focus attention on brain injuries and the need to address the leading causes of TBI hospitalizations among American Indians. The North Dakota Administrative Committee on Veteran's Affairs says more soldiers are surviving traumatic brain injuries, and understanding their concerns and enhancing services is important.
Grant funds will be used to improve screening and referrals for needed services and service coordination. Other goals include strengthening cultural awareness, implementing a peer mentoring pilot program involving American Indians, promoting education and awareness through a statewide summit this fall, targeted medical education, and developing a resource library. Resources may also be used to explore ways to track the incidence of traumatic brain injuries in North Dakota.
"The Center for Rural Health has a 28-year history of connecting resources and knowledge to strengthen the health of people in rural communities,” said Rebecca Quinn, TBI program coordinator at the Center for Rural Health. “We look forward to enhancing the delivery of services to individuals and their families affected by traumatic brain injury."
-- Wendy Opsahl, Communications Coordinator, Center for Rural Health, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-0871