The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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Meeting Minutes

Virginia Brain Injury Council

1/25/2008 Meeting Minutes-FINAL
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Virginia Brain Injury Council Meeting
Meeting Minutes FINAL
January 25, 2008

Members Present:

Paul Aravich, Ph.D. Eastern Virginia Medical School
Theresa Ashberry Family member
Scott Bender, Ph.D. University of Virginia Health System
Helen Butler, RN Brain Injury Services of SWVA
Tia Campbell, RN, BSN, NCSN Virginia Department of Education
Gary Chiaverotti Family member
Anne McDonnell, MPA, OTR/L Brain Injury Association of Virginia
*Via Teleconference as an accommodation
Page Melton Family member
Carole Norton, Ph.D Professional
*Via Teleconference as an accommodation
Patti Goodall Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Susan Rudolph, RN The Arc of Greater Prince William
Micah Sherman Survivor
Gerald Showalter Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center
Jenny Toth Brain Injury Association of America
Julie Triplett Virginia Office of Protection and Advocacy
Jason Young Alliance of Brain Injury Service Providers

Members Absent:
Kelli Williams Professional
Nancy Bullock, RN Virginia Department of Health
Katherine Lawson Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
Michelle Nichols McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center
Nadia Webb, Psy. D. Professional
Russell Payne Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation & Substance Abuse Services
Paul Sharpe, RN, NREMT-P Virginia Department of Health

Board Staff:

Kristie Chamberlain Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services

Others in Attendance:

Karen Brown Brain Injury Services, Inc.
Mary-Margaret Cash Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Jennifer Clarke Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Marilyn Copeland Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Commissioner Jim Rothrock Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Harry Weinstock Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services


The Virginia Brain Injury Council meeting was called to order at 1:08 p.m. by Helen Butler, Secretary who agreed to chair the meeting, as Anne McDonnell was participating via teleconference as an accommodation. Acting Chair, Helen Butler, invited guests to join Council members at the table, as space allowed. Council members and guests introduced themselves.

Approval of Minutes

Anne McDonnell noted a few corrections to be made in the October 26, 2007 meeting minutes:
1. Secretary Tavenner’s name was spelled incorrectly;
2. Clarification that BIAV received CNI funding to research more effective approaches to outreach to individuals who sustain a brain injury; also, contract ends June 2009 not 2008.
3. In regard to BIAV’s “in-kind” contribution sheet, “Clark” should be “Clarke.” Also, the form tracks the hours spent on Council activities including travel but not meals.
4. Gerald Showalter’s last name has one “w” instead of two.
Micah Sherman made a motion to accept the minutes with the corrections, Scott Bender seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Agenda

The January 25, 2008 agenda was distributed and adopted with no changes.

Public Comment:

No public comment was given during the Public Comment period. Acting Chair, Helen Butler indicated that public comments would be accepted throughout the meeting as requested by guests and recognized by the Chair.

Member and Officer Terms Ending: Susan Rudolph’s term as Vice Chair ended, and Carole Norton assumed this officer position, effective immediately. Susan was thanked for her hours of dedication in her position as Vice Chair and in serving as Chair of the Nominations & Elections Committee. Commissioner Rothrock thanked other members whose terms were ending at the conclusion of the meeting (see below).

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

1) The Commissioner recognized Council members whose terms were ending at the conclusion of the meeting. He thanked them for their contributions and dedication to the Council in attending meetings and serving on committees: Susan Rudolph, RN, Vice Chair and licensed professional; Gary Chiaverotti and Page Melton, family members; Nadia Webb, Pys.D., licensed professional; and Jeanette DuVal, professional (Ms. DuVal resigned from the council early due to a heavy workload).
2) The Commissioner discussed helmet legislation currently being considered in the General Assembly. Senate Bill (SB) 698 (introduced by Senator Chap Petersen) provides for a $25 civil penalty for the conviction of a motorcyclist who fails to wear a helmet. At present, a violation is a traffic infraction and punishable by a fine of up to $250… The Commissioner encouraged Council members to share their opinions – as individuals – regarding the bill (not as a member or representative of the Virginia Brain Injury Council, a public body). The Department of Rehabilitative Services will be invited to comment on the bill once it goes to the House.
3) House Bill (HB) 1173 (introduced by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter): “Motorcyclists: Allows certain persons at least 21 years of age to ride without helmets” was introduced and failed. Delegate Charles Carrico, Sr. from the counties of Carroll, Grayson, Smith and Wythe & City of Galax (a retired state policeman) spoke out very strongly against the bill. His seatmate and close friend is the delegate who patroned the bill. The Commissioner recommended that the Council send him a letter of gratitude for courageous leadership in voicing his opinion.
4) There is legislation in the House and Senate with budget amendments in both houses that would direct the Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS), the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (DMHMRSAS), and the Virginia Department of Veterans Services (DVS) to develop a strategic plan for working with returning veterans who have substance abuse and mental health issues as a result of injury There is hope that there will be funding to purchase services through the community services boards, through community based brain injury services providers.
5) The Commissioner spoke about the budget amendments developed by the Virginia Alliance of Brain Injury Services Providers to expand the brain injury network. Governor Kaine just announced that Virginia will not have the revenue it had originally forecasted, thus the likelihood of any budget additions is unlikely. At the same time, the General Assembly is very interested in issues associated with the Virginia Tech shooting and there will probably be mental health advancements. Veterans’ issues remain a hot topic in the General Assembly.
6) The Commissioner stated that national political cartoonist Gary Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury, is currently focusing on a character who is a veteran with a brain injury named Toggle. Past comics can be found in the archives.
7) The Commissioner reminded the Council of its primary duty to provide his office (DRS) with advice on how to spend brain injury state general fund dollars when said funds become available. The language amendment states that the Commissioner’s office shall consider recommendations from the VA Brain Injury Council regarding new funds allocated for brain injury services and administered through DRS. He asked that as the Council participates in its various tasks and duties that it remains aware of their number one role to provide recommendations on the spending of state<