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Meeting Minutes

Virginia Brain Injury Council

January 26, 2007
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VIRGINIA BRAIN INJURY COUNCIL
Meeting Minutes
January 26, 2007
Prepared by Helen Butler, Secretary


Members Present:
Marianna Abashian Brain Injury Association of America
Paul Aravich, Ph.D Eastern Virginia Medical School
Karen Brown Brain Injury Services, Inc.
Donna Broshek, Ph.D. University of Virginia Health Sciences Center
Nancy Bullock, RN Virginia Department of Health
Helen Butler, RN Brain Injury Services of SWVA
Gary Chiaverotti Family member
Patti Goodall Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Page Melton Family member
Anne McDonnell, OTR/L Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Carole Norton, PhD Professional
Susan Rudolph, RN The Arc of Greater Prince William
Gerald Showalter, Ph.D. Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center
Pat Wilkins Family member
Jason Young Virginia Alliance of Brain Injury Services Providers
Nathan Zasler, M.D. Tree of Life Services & Concussion Care Centre of VA

Members Absent:
Paul Blais Survivor
Tia Campbell, RN, BSN, NCSN Virginia Department of Education
Dane DeMoss Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center
Sandy Dyche Survivor
Katherine Lawson Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
Michelle Nichols McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center
Russell Payne Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation & Substance Abuse Services
Paul Sharp, RN, NREMT-P Virginia Department of Health
Julie Triplett Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy
Nadia Webb, Psy.D. Adult and Pediatric Neuropsychologist

Board Staff:
Kristie Chamberlain Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services

Guests:
Laura Anglin Brain Injury Resource & Development Center, Inc.
Theresa Ashberry Family Member
Christine Baggini Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Lauren Carter Camp Bruce McCoy/Sheltering Arms Rehabilitation Hospital
Mary-Margaret Cash Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Jennifer Clarke Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Martha Cosgrove Camp Bruce McCoy
Ann Deaton, Ph.D. DaVinci Resources
Lorraine Justice Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Kathleen Mancini Survivor
Commissioner Jim Rothrock Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Lynn Scott Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Juanita Thornton Brain Injury Resource & Development Center, Inc.
Laura Schreffler Tree of Life
Susan Vaughan Brain Injury Consultant, National Association of State Head Injury Administrators
Kelli Williams Virginia Commonwealth University

The Virginia Brain Injury Council meeting was called to order at 1:10 p.m. Paul Aravich opened the meeting and announced that Patti Goodall and Anne McDonnell would be in and out of the meeting, as they were working on submitting the Continuation Application for Year 2 funding of Virginia’s three-year Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Act grant due by 5 p.m.

Public Comment:

Kathleen Mancini, survivor, shared her history of acquiring two brain injuries. She asked the Council for direction on how to go about improving the diagnostic process for persons with brain injury. Paul Aravich responded by encouraging the Council to look into the issue presented after the bylaws and mission process of the Council was completed.

Approval of the Meeting Minutes:
Donna Broshek made a motion to approve the October 27, 2006 meeting minutes; Pat Wilkins seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Remarks from the DRS Commissioner:
Commissioner Jim Rothrock provided the following updates and announcements:

1) The General Assembly (GA) is expected to complete business by February 25. The Brain Injury budget amendments are proceeding through committees in a positive direction. The Commissioner has received no inquiries from members of the GA regarding the amendments.
2) The DRS budget includes an increase of $500,000 for case management services; improvements in Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center; emergency preparedness education, and improving the application process for Medicaid.
3) Mary-Margaret Cash, Director of Community Based Services, is working on disaster relief for Virginians with disabilities.
4) Dane DeMoss and Gerald Showalter, on behalf of Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, are working to establish an interface between the Center and the nine brain injury providers in the state funded network of community based providers.
5) The Commissioner is working with Anne McDonnell and Patti Goodall to learn how individuals with brain injury find their way through the system for services. Commissioner Rothrock recently learned a constituent from Ridgeway contacted her Senator for help rather than DRS even though her son receives DRS services. One part of this effort is to evaluate the effectiveness of the current Virginia Central Registry for Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury outreach approach (i.e., mailing a tri-fold brochure to every person reported to the Registry). The first step, according to the Commissioner, is to find out how individuals who are currently receiving services have gotten to those services. This would include whether the individual received an outreach mailer through the Registry and if this helped them to connect with services. Commissioner Rothrock hopes to use funding that may be unexpended by the state-funded programs prior to the end of the fiscal year for this study. The Commissioner wants the Council to assist in improving the “pathway” by which individuals access services in the Commonwealth.
6) The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee is working with DRS on a report addressing “access to brain injury services in the Commonwealth.” This will include identifying causes and prevalence of brain injuries, the array of community-based services in Virginia for individuals with brain injuries, the extent to which private insurance pays for brain injury services / treatment, and how other states have addressed the needs of individuals with brain injuries. Commissioner Rothrock stated that the role of DRS is to be a steward of state funds and to partner with community-based service providers to meet the identified needs of Virginians with brain injury.
7) Council members, individuals with brain injury, and brain injury services providers are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming Emergency Preparedness workshops. Kristie Chamberlain will distribute workshop dates via email to members.

The Commissioner presented awards to members whose terms were ending to recognize their service to the Virginia Brain Injury Council: Karen Brown, Donna Broshek, Nathan Zasler, MD, Pat Wilkins and Paul Aravich, PhD. Paul will be moving into the position of Immediate Past Chair and will remain on the Council in this officer position.

Paul Aravich then turned over the chairmanship of the Council meeting to incoming chair, Anne McDonnell. Since Anne was working with Patti Goodall to submit Virginia’s federal TBI Act grant by 5 p.m., she asked Paul to continue to chair the meeting, as she would be in and out of the meeting.

General Assembly Update
Paul Aravich stated that legislation to repeal the motorcycle helmet law was introduced by Delegate Janis of the Richmond/Goochland area. Delegate Abbott’s proposed legislation lowers the penalty for not wearing a helmet as required by law from $250 to $25 and eliminates demerits given to violators. These provisions are consistent with pen