Brain Injury Connections To Expand

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November 16, 2018
Nonprofit To Add Services Page, Shenandoah
DNR 11/14/18
HARRISONBURG — A Harrisonburg- based nonprofit that supports people with brain injuries is expanding into Shenandoah and Page counties.
Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley announced Monday that it received state funding to bring its services north.
Founded in 2005, the nonprofit combines public and private resources to provide specialized services at no charge for people affected by brain injury.
During the last fiscal year, it served 83 people in its coverage area, which previously spanned from Rockingham, Augusta, Bath, Highland and Rockbridge counties and the cities located within, according to Tamara Wagester, its executive director.
Using funding provided by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the organization is expected to help at least an additional 15 people annually in Page and Shenandoah counties, Wagester said.
The organization will have space in the Stanley satellite office of James Madison University’s Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services. The two organizations became affiliated in 2007.
Brain Injury Connections primarily provides case management services. “What that means is that if individuals have a goal they want to work on ... our case managers help them identify resources in the community and help them identify the tools they will need to accomplish those goals,” she said, citing returning to work and healthy living as examples of goals.
Wagester said the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services will provide $40,000 annually to provide services into the two counties.
Kathryn Hayfield, the agency’s commissioner, said it “is committed to strengthening Virginia’s statewide network of brain injury services, particularly in those areas identified as underserved.” “This expansion of services and supports will greatly benefit individuals with brain injury and their family members, providing them a ‘safety net’ to help them move forward following an injury,” she said in a statement. Dr. Linda Meyer, president of Brain Injury Connection board of trustees, said
the organization helps people regain normalcy in their lives. “Often, an individual or family is left to navigate a complex, frustrating and disjointed system once they return home from the hospital or rehab setting,” she said in a statement. “They have recovered from life-threatening injuries only to discover that they have new sets of obstacles and challenges to face such as relearning activities of daily living, returning to school or work, or managing their finances.”