September 3, 2012 — Vol. 28 No. 31
Idaho State University-Meridian researcher Russell Spearman has been awarded a $31,000 supplemental grant to study the mortality rates of Idahoans who've suffered traumatic brain injuries in motor vehicle accidents.
Spearman, a senior research associate in the Institute of Rural Health, and his team will also assess the needs, resources and services available to TBI survivors and their families in Idaho.
The funding -which comes from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau-supplements a $1 million grant awarded to Spearman and the ISU Institute of Rural Health in 2009. HRSA has designated ISU the state's lead agency for TBI education and research.
With the supplemental funding, Spearman and his colleagues will complete a statewide needs and resources assessment. They'll explore how needs and resources may have changed over time and why TBI survivors are not getting the support and services they need today.
Finding answers can improve "knowledge about TBI and help allocate scarce state resources to maximize the health of TBI survivors and their families," said Spearman.
The team will also analyze data from the Idaho Office of Vital Statistics to determine the link between motor vehicle accidents and TBI fatalities, then compare that data with national statistics. The information will help Idaho draft legislation to establish a trust fund to provide financial support for TBI survivors and their families.
HRSA awarded ISU the supplemental funding Aug. 10. Idaho was one of two states receiving money out of 21 states eligible to apply. For more information, contact Russell Spearman, 208-373-1773.