The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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Meeting Minutes

Virginia Brain Injury Council

July 27, 2007
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Virginia Brain Injury Council Meeting
Meeting Minutes
July 27, 2007

Members Present:
Marianna Abashian Brain Injury Association of America
Paul Aravich, Ph.D. Eastern Virginia Medical School
Theresa Ashberry Family member
Scott Bender, Ph.D. University of Virginia Health System
Gary Chiaverotti Family member (by call in)
Patricia Goodall Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Anne McDonnell (Chair) Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Page Melton Family member
Carole Norton, Ph.D Professional
Susan Rudolph, RN (Vice Chair) The Arc of Greater Prince William
Micah Sherman Survivor
Gerald Showalter, Psy.D. Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center
Kelli Williams Professional
Jason Young Virginia Alliance of Brain Injury Service Providers

Members Absent:
Nancy Bullock, RN Virginia Department of Health
Helen Butler, RN (Secretary) Brain Injury Services of Southwest Virginia
Tia Campbell, RN, BSN, NCSN Virginia Department of Education
Jeanette DuVal Virginia Department Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services
Katherine Lawson Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
Russell Payne Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation, and Substance Abuse Services
Michelle Nichols McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center
Paul Sharp, RN, NREMT-P Virginia Department of Health
Julie Triplett Virginia Office of Protection and Advocacy
Nadia Webb, Psy.D. Professional

Board Staff:
Kristie Chamberlain Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services

Meeting Guests:
Christine Baggini Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Karen Brown Brain Injury Services, Inc.
Jennifer Clarke Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Marilyn Copeland Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Ann Deaton, Ph.D. Consultant on the TBI Action Plan
Lorraine Justice Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Earl W. Koepcke Family Member of an individual with a brain injury
Eric Messick Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission
Commissioner James Rothrock Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Joann Mancuso Commonwealth Support Systems
Leigh Wion Lakeview Neurocare
Whitney Sherman Micah Sherman’s sister


The Virginia Brain Injury Council meeting was called to order at 1:06 p.m. by the Council Chair, Anne McDonnell, MPA, OTR/L. Fellow council members introduced themselves and then guests. Gary Chiaverotti called into the meeting due to a traffic issue.

Approval of Minutes
Kelli Williams made a motion to approve the meeting minutes of April 27, 2007; Jason Young seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Agenda
Susan Rudolph made a motion to approve the meeting agenda for July 27, 2007; Gary Chiaverotti seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Kelli Williams, a member of the Council and research fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) spoke during public comment:
1. Juan Carlos Arango, Ph.D. and Kelli Williams both from VCU are trying to organize the first multidisciplinary conference on cultural / ethnic issues affecting the treatment, care, and access to services for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). The target audience for the conference will largely be professionals, researchers and providers etc. They are in the preliminary stages of the planning process to acquire funding. Please contact Kelli Williams ( if you have suggestions for funding.
2. VCU is also heavily recruiting for a family intervention project. VCU will work with brain injury survivors and family members to assist them with locating brain injury resources and navigating the “system”. If anyone is interested in referring candidates or if you would like more information, contact Kelli Williams:


Anne McDonnell, Chair, opened up the table to discuss possible education sessions/topics for the April 2008 meeting. She will generate a list of suggestions and ask council members to rank their top three. Suggestions volunteered in the meeting:
• A presentation by DMHMRSAS on how they work with individuals with brain injury and how their resources can be better utilized by providers
• A presentation by someone from the VA to discuss the issue of Veterans returning from war, how the VA system operates, and what can be done to encourage the use of community based brain injury providers
• Best Practices in other states—what do other states do well with brain injury: (e.g.) Rehab Waiver
• Bioethically based decision making
• Ethical issues and allocation of scarce resources
• Invite the Delegate who repealed the motorcycle law to come and talk to the council about why
• A presentation by the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association about their statewide helmet giveaway program
• Logic Model

Opening Remarks from James Rothrock, DRS Commissioner:

Commissioner James Rothrock addressed Council members. The following is a summary of his comments and announcements:

1) The Commissioner spoke of a meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Marilyn Tavenner, to discuss brain injury funding through the Governor’s office and the General Assembly. Present in the meeting were Jason Young, Anne McDonnell, Commissioner Rothrock, Commissioner Pat Finnerty and Terry Smith (Director of Long Term Care Services) from the Department of Medical Assistant Services (DMAS). The main purpose of the meeting was to talk about a brain injury waiver. Jason and Anne also talked about other funding initiatives that the Governor may consider now or in the future. The Governor will submit a significant financial overview to the House and Senate money committees in the coming months. The Commissioner urged Council members to talk with Patti Goodall if you have any financial/budget ideas.
2) The Commissioner spoke of an exciting project funded through the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative (CNI) Trust Fund for three years (through June 30, 2009) to look at substance abuse problems for folks with brain injury (BI) and spinal cord injury (SCI). Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) worked with VCU a year ago and did an assessment on where service provider/rehabilitation area doctors would refer someone with a BI/SCI to if they had substance abuse issues. The findings indicated that for individuals with SCI there were not many accessible 28 day programs. Drs. Luck and Capps (Principal Investigators for the CNI funded initiative) visited Remed Recovery Care Center in Philadelphia, PA to see how their rehabilitation program worked. Remed is hoping to partner with WWRC to create a treatment facility at Woodrow. This grant just began its second year of funding.
3) The Contract Modifications for the state-funded brain injury partners have been executed by the Commissioner.
4) The Commissioner and Patti Goodall are working with the Brain Injury Association of Virginia looking at how folks find resources (mailings, referral by physicians etc.) when they sustain a brain injury

Paul Aravich asked if the CNI Trust Fund will be affected (either positively or negatively) by the new traffic fines/fees that were passed in Virginia. Commissioner Rothrock responded that CNI is not seeing an increase in the proportion of the fees it receives as a result of the new fines.

Virginia Alliance for Brain Injury Service Providers spoke to the Commissioner on their Legislative Agenda f