Brain Injury Services, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, has been awarded a grant from the Potomac Health Foundation to establish a new community-based program to enhance treatment for individuals who have experienced residual effects from a stroke and other acquired brain injuries. The Collaborative Rehabilitation to Enhance Stroke Treatment (CREST) is a specialized model to insure individuals have the supports needed after this catastrophic event. The program will utilize innovative team-based services, cutting-edge technologies, and specialized trainings to assist survivors in discovering individualized solutions so independence, proficiency, and dignity can be maintained or improved.
The program headquarters will be in eastern Prince William County serving that location as well as, Lorton, and North Stafford communities through the Potomac Health Foundation’s Howard L. Greenhouse Large Grant Program. The Howard L. Greenhouse Large Grant Program addresses the Foundation’s mission to improve the health of the community by awarding grants to programs that strengthen access to primary health care for medically underserved residents, reduce the impact of preventable illness and disease, and support innovation around emerging health needs.
More than three and half million people sustain a brain injury annually in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke, an acquired brain injury, is a leading cause of serious long-term disability. Over 25 years ago, many of these individuals would have died but due to advanced emergency medicine, progressive technology, and increasingly rapid response systems, people are surviving this injury today but at a COST. The aftermath for some of these individuals with long term cognitive, behavioral and physical deficits is an inability to function in their community and the need to “redefine themselves”. This devastating disability can create enormous confusion and debilitation that drains them and their families financially. Brain injuries steal the future from youth: deprive a family of a parent and wage earner; deplete the financial and human resources of a community.
According to the Greater Prince William Community Needs Assessment 2013, even amongst the general population “it is not unusual for a patient to walk out of his/her physician’s office confused and unsure where to go, or even what questions to ask… Even highly educated healthcare consumers can meet with seemingly insurmountable barriers to care when information is provided in a less than understandable way.” One can only imagine how impossible this process must seem to a person who survived a stroke and experiences impairment in areas such as memory, communication, problem-solving, information processing, etc.
Brain Injury Services (BIS) was established in 1989 as the first community-based organization dedicated to serving individuals with brain injuries in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In the last twenty-six years, the agency has gained considerable expertise in developing and providing innovative services to this population and shared this expertise not only in the local area but also nationally and internationally. BIS has a history of creating innovative and successful programs. At any given time, BIS serves approximately 500 survivors of brain injury in northern Virginia. These clients turn to BIS for services run by highly skilled staff members to support their continued recovery and reentry into the community.