Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bush Eliminated Traumatic Brain Injury Program in 2006 Budget

The text below is from the homepage of the Federal Traumatic Brain Injury Program, which assists families to support their loved one who sustained brain injuries similar to Terri Schiavo.

George Bush eliminated this progam entirely in his 2006 budget proposal.


Current estimates state that at least 5.3 million individuals live with a TBI1. These individuals and their families are often faced with challenges, such as improper diagnosis, inability to access support or rehabilitation services, institutional segregation, unemployment, and being forced to navigate complicated and cumbersome service and support systems.

Recognizing the large number of individuals and families struggling to access appropriate and community-based services, Congress authorized the Federal TBI Program in the TBI Act of 1996 (PL 104-166). The TBI Act of 1996 launched an effort to conduct expanded studies and to establish innovative programs for TBI.

It gave the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) authority to establish a grant program for States to assist it in addressing the needs of individuals with TBI and their families. It also delegated responsibilities in the areas of research, prevention, and surveillance to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention respectively.

Title XIII of the Children's Health Act of 2000 (PL 106-310) reauthorized the programs of the TBI Act of 1996. The TBI Act reauthorization also recognized the importance of protection and advocacy (P&A) services for individuals with TBI and their families by authorizing HRSA to make grants to State P&A Systems.

The HRSA Maternal and Child Health Bureau administers the Federal TBI Program. Fiscal Year 2003 funding for the program was $9.3 million.

Assist States in expanding and improving State and local capability which, in turn, will enhance access to comprehensive and coordinated services for individuals with TBI and their families;

Use existing research-based knowledge, state-of-the-art systems development approaches and the experience and products of previous TBI grantees in meeting program goals; and

Generate support from local and private sources for sustainability of funded projects after Federal support terminates, through State legislative, regulatory, or policy changes which promote the incorporation of services for individuals with TBI and their families into the State service delivery systems.

Program Vision
All individuals with TBI and their families will have accessible, available, acceptable, and appropriate services and supports.

What Does the Federal TBI Program Do?
Grants to States: Since 1997, 49 States, Territories, and the District of Columbia have received at least one grant. The Program administers three types of grants to State Agencies:
Planning grants are available for up to two years and allow States to build infrastructure through the Program's four core components-establishing a TBI Statewide Advisory Board, identifying of a Lead Agency, conducting a Needs and Resources Assessment, and developing a TBI State Action Plan.

Implementation grants are for three years and up to $200,000 per year for the purposes of improving access to services for individuals with TBI and their families.

Post-demonstration grants, authorized by the Children's Health Act of 2000, are for one year and up to $100,000 to States that have completed three years of implementation. These grants support specific activities that will help States build TBI capacity.

Grants to Protection and Advocacy Systems: The P&A grant program is a formula-based program that allows 57 States, Territories, and the Native American Protection and Advocacy Project to assess their State P&A Systems' responsiveness to TBI issues and provide advocacy support to individuals with TBI and their families.

Traumatic Brain Injury Technical Assistance Center (TAC): The Federal TBI Program supports a TBI TAC at the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators. The TBI TAC was established to help States in the planning and development of effective programs that improve access to health and other services for individuals with TBI and their families. TBI TAC staff specialists provide States with individualized technical assistance. Additionally, the TBI TAC develops and disseminates a variety of specialized documents and initiatives for the Federal TBI Program.

For example, TBI TAC has developed a set of benchmarks that can be used by grantees to assess their progress in meeting Program goals and objectives. The TBI TAC is also developing outcome measures that the Program will be able to use to better assess the impact TBI State and P&A Grants have on person-centered services and sustainable systems change.

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