The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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Meeting Minutes

Virginia Brain Injury Council

Virginia Brain Injury Council Meeting Minutes July 25, 2008 FINAL
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Virginia Brain Injury Council Meeting
Meeting Minutes DRAFT
July 25, 2008

Members Present:
Paul Aravich, Ph.D. Eastern Virginia Medical School
Scott Bender, Ph.D. University of Virginia Health System
Karen Brown (proxy for Lisa Garver) Brain Injury Services, Inc
Helen Butler, RN Brain Injury Services of SWVA
Tia Campbell, RN, BSN, NCSN Virginia Department of Education
Kelli Williams Gary, MPH, OTR/L Professional
Anne McDonnell, MPA, OTR/L Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Carole Norton, Ph.D. Professional
Patricia Goodall Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Victoria Harding Lakeview Healthcare
Katherine Lawson Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
Terry Miles Survivor
Mark Salisbury Family member
Micah Sherman Survivor
Gerald Showalter, Psy.D. Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center
GiGi Szelesta Family member
Alan Towne, MD, MPH Virginia Commonwealth University
Julie Triplett Virginia Office of Protection and Advocacy
Jason Young Alliance of Brain Injury Services Providers

Members Absent:
Theresa Ashberry Family member
Nancy Bullock, RN Virginia Department of Health
Michelle Nichols McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center
Jenny Toth Brain Injury Association of America
Russell Payne Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services
Linda Redmond, Ph.D. Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
Paul Sharp, RN, NREMT-P Virginia Department of Health

Board Staff:
Christine Grauer Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services

Others in Attendance:
Laura Anglin Phoenix Star Clubhouse
Paul Blais Survivor
Jennifer Clarke Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Marylin Copeland Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Valerie Evans Fort Lee Ombudsman
Commissioner James Rothrock Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
John Szelesta Family member
Marianne Talbot, Ph.D. National Rehabilitation and Rediscovery Foundation
Leigh Wion High Street Clubhouse


The Virginia Brain Injury Council meeting was called to order at 1:05 a.m. by Anne McDonnell, Chair. Council members and guests introduced themselves.

Approval of Minutes:

Minutes of the April 25, 2008 meeting were distributed and reviewed. Paul Aravich made a motion to accept the minutes; Mark Salisbury seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Agenda

The July 25, 2008 agenda was distributed and reviewed. Paul Aravich made a motion to accept the agenda as prepared; Scott Bender seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Public Comment:

No public comment was given during the Public Comment period.

Remarks from the Department of Rehabilitative Services (DRS) Commissioner:

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

1) The Commissioner announced that a Request for Proposals (RFP) for brain injury services on the Eastern Shore and in Virginia Beach was issued and that a review of submitted proposals is underway. This RFP was issued because the current contractor declined to its contract for FY ’09.

2) The Commissioner announced the allocation of new funding to contracted services in the South Boston / Emporia areas. A total amount of $30,000 is allocated for a staff person to serve as a Regional Resource Coordinator (RRC) for Southside Virginia.

3) The Commissioner discussed the recent allocation of $2 million to the Department of Veterans Services (DVS) to provide coordination of services to returning soldiers and veterans, using community partners such as Community Services Boards and Brain Injury Services Providers. An Executive Director has been hired for Virginia’s Wounded Warrior Program and it is anticipated that three regional coordinators will be hired in the Fall. A Wounded Warrior Conference is scheduled for November 2008 at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center. The focus of the conference will be on post traumatic stress disorder following brain injury. Persons with brain injury and their families are encouraged to attend.

4) The Commissioner commended the Council on the completion of the Neurobehavioral Committee’s “White Paper” and stated that it would be shared as recommended by the committee.

5) The Commissioner announced a slow down in departmental purchases in response to the state’s below budget revenue growth. It is hoped the housing market will pick up so that state revenues may rebound.

6) The Commissioner reminded Council members to keep its focus on working with DRS on funding allocations and invited the Council to consider the issue of program evaluation / outcomes for the programs receiving state funding.

7) Jason Young raised the issue of lack of intervention by Community Services Boards (CSBs) when a person with a brain injury is experiencing a mental health crisis. Commissioner Rothrock felt that the most appropriate course was to send him a letter, informing him of these issues, expressing concern, and asking DRS to address it.

Following the Commissioner’s remarks, Jason Young made a motion that the VBIC Secretary draft a letter to Commissioner Rothrock for the Chair’s signature expressing concern about the lack of responsiveness from CSBs when people with brain injury are in crisis (i.e., they are in imminent danger to themselves or others) and requesting that DRS look into the matter. Terry Miles seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Annual Report/State Agency Report-out

Anne reminded Council of its decision to host a “state agency report out” day to share the work of the Council with other state agencies and to learn what other agencies are doing in the area of brain injury. She suggested a half day session. Anne asked for volunteers to form a committee. Kelli Williams Gary, GiGi Szelesta, Anne McDonnell, and Patti Goodall will serve on the committee.

Repeal of Motorcycle Helmet Law

Jason Young announced a study from the University of Pennsylvania showing the extremely negative impact of Pennsylvania’s decision to repeal its motorcycle helmet. Jason motioned VBIC to distribute the report to Virginia legislators to educate them on the effects of repealing a helmet law. The motion was withdrawn when he agreed to table the issue until the January meeting.

Educational Topics for 2009

Anne reminded Council members that it had agreed to set aside a portion of every April meeting for educational topics for Council members and asked for suggested topics. Topics included: 1) Captain Catherine Wilson, Executive Director of Virginia’s Wounded Warrior Program; 2) Overview of substance abuse services specifically for persons with brain injury; 3) States of consciousness, Nathan Zasler, M.D.; 4) State funding allocations to brain injury service providers; and 5) Guardianship issues.

Appointment of Nominations & Elections Committee

Anne announced that the Secretary and Chair positions expire in December, necessitating officer elections during the October meeting, with terms effective at January meeting. At-large member elections are conducted in January, with terms beginning at April meeting. Carole Norton offered to chair Nominations and Elections Committee. Kelli Williams, Terry Miles, Mark Salisbury, and Tori Harding volunteered to serve on the committee and Patti Goodall and Christine Grauer will provide staff support.