The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

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Meeting Minutes

Virginia Brain Injury Council

Virginia Brain Injury Council January, 2010 Minutes FINAL
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Virginia Brain Injury Council Meeting
Meeting Minutes
January 22, 2010

Members Present:

Carole Norton, Ph.D. Professional, Chair
Kelli Williams Gary, Ph.D Survivor, Vice Chair
Jason Young Professional, Secretary
Lisa Garvey Professional
Theresa Ashberry Family Member
Michelle Witt VA Alliance of Brain Injury Service Providers
Jeff Carpenter Survivor
Gerald Showalter, Ph.D. Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center
Scott Bender, Ph.D. University of Virginia
Patricia Goodall Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services
Mark Salisbury Family member
Anne McDonnell Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Tori Harding Lakeview Healthcare Systems
Linda Redmond, Ph.D. Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
Jeffrey Sherman Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice
Terry Miles Survivor

Members Absent:

Leigh Wion High Street Clubhouse
Julie Triplett Virginia Office of Protection and Advocacy
Russell Payne Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities
Paul Sharpe Virginia Department of Health
Nancy Bullock Virginia Department of Health
Alan Towne, M.D. Virginia Commonwealth University
Brian Shenal, Ph.D. Salem VAMC
Jenny Toth Brain Injury Association of America

Other in Attendance:
Mary-Margaret Cash Department of Rehabilitative Services
Barbara Seymour Department of Medical Assistance Services
Kristie Chamberlain DRS, Staff to the Council
Elizabeth Nicholls Williford Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice
Kristy Joplin Brain Injury Association of Virginia


Carole Norton, Ph.D., Chair, called the meeting of the Virginia Brain Injury Council meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Members and guests introduced themselves.

Approval of Minutes: Minutes of the October 23, 2009 were distributed and reviewed. Mark Salisbury made a motion to accept the minutes as written; Kelli Gary seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Meeting Agenda: The agenda for the January 22, 2010 meeting was reviewed and discussed. Anne McDonnell made a motion to accept the agenda as presented; Mark Salisbury seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Public Comment:
There was no public comment given during the Public Comment period.

Presentation of Certificates: James Rothrock, DRS Commissioner, presented certificates of appreciation to Theresa Ashberry and Scott Bender for their service to the Virginia Brain Injury Council. Theresa and Scott finish their three year terms in March 2010.

Commissioner remarks:
• Governor Kaine added $200,000 language correction to his budget, which brings the budget language in accordance with the actual budgetary figures for funding of the Brain Injury Services contracts.
• Governor Kaine included a proposed 5% budget reduction for brain injury services. While the House of Delegates rejected Governor Kaine’s budget, given the economic environment and the $4 billion dollar budget deficit, future cuts remain a possibility when the General Assembly and Governor McDonnell put together their final state budget.
• Dr. William Hazel has been appointed by Governor McDonnell as the Secretary of Health and Human Resources.
• Governor McDonnell is emphasizing job creation and efficiency and effectiveness of state government, so DRS as a state agency is paying closer attention to these areas. Commissioner Rothrock requested that everyone keep these goals in mind and to work in partnership with DRS.
• Governor McDonnell signed Executive Order 2 which commissions a twenty person gubernatorial-appointed citizen panel to look at all of state government agencies and operations and make recommendations. The panel will convene through the end of 2010.
• The Commissioner encouraged individual, non-profits, and advocacy organizations to continue to advocate for brain injury funding and services but reminded Council members that they could not “advocate” or “lobby” as a representative of the Virginia Brain Injury Council – but as citizens only.

Michelle Witt, Acting Chair of the Virginia Alliance of Brain Injury Services Providers (VABISP), asked the Commissioner for assistance in helping to restart the state level crisis work group which was spearheaded by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Development Disabilities (DBHDS). The work group has not met since July and cancelled the planned meeting in October. The Commissioner said that since there is a new Governor, new Secretary of the Office of Health and Human Resources (OHHR), and new acting DBHDS Commissioner, he advises that we let them get settled into their new roles and then re-approach the work group in a few months (March). The Commissioner will write a welcome letter once a new commissioner is appointed officially at DBHDS that mentions the work group and the brain injury community’s desire for it to continue.

New Business

Legislative Items of Interest: Michelle Witt of VABISP updated the Council on its current legislative agenda, which is an endorsement of the one developed by the Brain Injury Association of Virginia (BIAV). There are three primary issues:
1. No reductions to brain injury funding in the FY 11-12 state budget.
2. A request for a $321,854 budget amendment to bring several core “safety net” services up to base funding levels established by the General Assembly. Delegate Onzlee Ware and Senator Ralph Northram have agreed to patron this budget amendment.
3. A request that the Joint Legislative Audit Review Commission (JLARC) conduct a follow-up study on behavioral health issues in Virginia. Anne McDonnell, BIAV Executive Director met with Phil Leone, the Director of JLARC, about doing a “short paper” this summer on the state’s critical need for neurobehavioral health issues for people with brain injury. JLARC has asked the Alliance for specific questions that they would like them to study, as well as an estimate of the number of individuals who are in need of short-term crisis services and long-term residential placement due to complex neurobehavioral issues. BIAV is working with VABISP and the Brain Injury Services (BIS) providers to reach consensus by June 1st on the “primary issue” to be addressed by the JLARC study, as well as determine the number of people in need.

Other brain injury related bills:

The Alliance is supporting Senate Bill 652 sponsored by Senator Ralph Northram that sets standards for high school athletes that sustain concussions, as well as mandates education for coaches and players on sports concussion in high school athletics. The Brain Injury Association of Virginia is listed in the bill as one of the organizations with whom the Board of Education shall be required to work.

HB 85 patroned by Delegate Robert Marshall involves education of the public regarding the value of umbilical cord blood preservation. HB 411, patroned by Delegate Oder, would require education and distribution of information on shaken baby syndrome. BIAV supports both bills, and is following them closely.

“Brain Injury Awareness Day,” co-sponsored by BIAV and VABISP, will be held at the General Assembly from 9-11:00 a.m. on February 10. BIAV and VABISP anticipate that several busloads of survivors and advocates will attend this year. BIAV has secured an additional room this year to “brief” survivors, family members, and other advocates on the issues to discuss during their legislative visits that day.

Brain Injury Aware