October 21, 2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation (OVC) at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has been named as the designated lead agency for planning and policy related to brain injury for the state of Ohio. The Brain Injury Program will hold its first meeting at the Ohio Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 24.

Previously at the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission, the Brain Injury Program was transferred to Ohio State with the signing of the budget bill by Gov. John Kasich earlier this year.

“The Brain Injury Program is charged with improving access to quality services for Ohio families and survivors of brain injury,” said OVC Director John Corrigan, director of the division of rehabilitation psychology and a professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Ohio State University.

“The program will promote coordination of services, explore options for new service delivery option, and establish the basis a traumatic brain injury surveillance system to collect information on the incidence and prevalence of brain injury in Ohio,” Corrigan said.

The Brain Injury Program also seeks to promote practices that will reduce the incidence of brain injury, develop training programs for professionals to better understand brain injury, and expand resources for survivors and families with brain injury.

“We will initially be emphasizing three high-priority public health issues: childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) particularly concussions in sports, support for living in the community versus in institutions, and the needs of service members who have experienced TBI,” Corrigan said.

Founded in 1992 at Ohio State, the OVC has developed research and community education efforts that have resulted in better assessment and treatment of this patient population. Substance abuse treatment is a key research focus, along with treating other problem behaviors, and measuring long-term outcomes from brain injury.

The Brain Injury Program for Ohio is advised by the Brain Injury Advisory Committee (BIAC) which is composed of directors of state departments or their designees and 12 additional members who will be appointed for two-year renewable terms by Dr. Charles Lockwood, dean of Ohio State’s College of Medicine.

During the past year, the BIAC evaluated several potential new “homes” for the Brain Injury Program in Ohio, based on the Health Resources and Services Administration benchmarks. By unanimous committee approval, the BIAC recommended that the administrative responsibility for the Ohio Brain Injury Program be transferred to Ohio State.

“Ohio State’ Wexner Medical Center has the expertise, talent and scope of practice to efficiently administer the Brain Injury Program, which will ultimately help prevent, and improve the outcomes of Ohioans with these unfortunate injuries,” Lockwood said.

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Contact: Eileen Scahill, Wexner Medical Center Public Affairs and Media Relations, 614-293-3737, or Eileen.Scahill@osumc.edu

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