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ISU Institute of Rural Health seeks comment on statewide traumatic brain injury plan

August 20, 2018

MERIDIAN—Idaho State University’s Institute of Rural Health has received a $450,000 grant from the federal Administration for Community Living to continue the development of a statewide action plan to address the needs of citizens living with a traumatic brain injury or TBI.

From now through Aug. 31, citizens can review and comment on the plan at www.idahotbi.org/2018/08/13/five-year-traumatic-brain-injury-plan/ or by visiting the Brain Injury Alliance of Idaho website at www.biaid.org/news/.

An estimated 35,000 Idahoans are living with a severe brain injury—defined by medical officials as a blow or trauma to the head that can affect various levels of cognitive function, according to Russell Spearman, the ISU-Meridian researcher in charge of the grant.

Spearman and his project team encourage Idahoans living with a TBI, their families, caregivers, advocacy groups, community stakeholders and the medical community to review the plan.

“Public feedback is vital. We want to make sure we address the needs of the underserved and their families,” Spearman said, noting comments will be reviewed and incorporated into the statewide plan where appropriate.

The $450,000 grant was awarded in June and will run through May 31, 2021. It’s the sixth grant  awarded to Spearman and the Institute of Rural Health for TBI research.

In addition to creating a statewide action plan, goals through the next grant cycle include expanding screenings, connecting individuals via Idaho’s time sensitive emergency response system upon hospital discharge and connecting patients to existing services.

Spearman and his team will offer free brain injury screenings at nine community health events  through next spring. Seven of the screenings will occur in the Treasure Valley and two in Pocatello. Since June 2014, ISU researchers have screened more than 700 people for a TBI with 38 percent of them likely to have experienced one.

ISU is the state’s lead agency responsible for developing a comprehensive support system for TBI survivors, their families and caregivers.

For more information, contact Spearman at the Institute of Rural Health, ISU-Meridian, 208-373-1733 or spearuss@isu.edu.



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