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Brain Injury Awareness Month 2018: Change Your Mind

March 13, 2018

Brain Injury Awareness Month 2018:      Change Your Mind

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. For more than three decades, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has proudly led the nation in observing Brain Injury Awareness Month by conducting an engaging public awareness campaign in March of each year. The theme for the 2018 to 2020 campaign is Change Your Mind.

Join us to help raise awareness with the #ChangeYourMind campaign to:

  • De-stigmatize brain injury through outreach within the brain injury community 
  • Empower those who have survived brain injury and their caregivers
  • Promote the many types of support that are available to people living with brain injury

To honor Brain Injury Awareness Month at Craig, we will be highlighting stories of people living with brain injury, their caregivers, and workers in the brain injury field. We will also be sharing helpful brain injury resources.

About Brain Injury

Brain injury is a term that can be as mysterious as the injury itself. What experts agree on is that no two brain injuries are the same, and treatment is different for each patient, depending on the type and severity of the injury.

Brain injuries can be classified as mild (concussion is the most common), moderate, or severe. The cause of injury can be traumatic or non-traumatic.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI), is the result of a very severe brain injury and may be caused by a fall, motor vehicle accident, gunshot wound, etc.  

A non-traumatic brain injury results from something going on inside the body -- a stroke, tumor, lack of oxygen, etc. These types of brain injuries are seen in 1 to 5 percent of Craig patients. Craig provides rehabilitation for both types of brain injuries but is more widely known for its groundbreaking rehabilitation work and research into traumatic brain injury.

Brain injuries can result in devastating physical, mental, and emotional impairments that prevent a person and their family from participating in their regular daily activities.  Rehabilitation can help people who survive brain injury put their lives back together again, which is what we do at Craig.

Dr. Alan H. Weintraub, M.D., the Medical Director of the Brain Injury Program at Craig says, “The brain is the most complicated biologic computer there is, and it is required to work at Pentium speed to deal with processing visual, audio and motor functions, and integrating the software of life’s challenges. Unfortunately, this computer with its billions of circuits and connections may face challenges when unexpected things happen including catastrophic accidents.”

Why Craig?

Patients are referred to, and will be transferred to Craig, sometimes as quickly as a few days after injury, and will remain here for inpatient rehabilitation from 1 to 3 months, depending on the severity of the injury. Once discharged from the hospital, Craig patients can continue with outpatient treatment, home and community-based services, and long-term follow-up.

One of Craig’s strengths is emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach. The team, experienced in treating adolescents and adults with moderate to severe brain injuries, includes rehabilitation nurses, rehab techs and behavior attendants, neuropsychologists, speech and language pathologistsphysical therapistsoccupational therapiststherapeutic recreation specialistsrespiratory carea school tutordriving evaluators, dietitians, a community reintegration specialist, patient and family service counselors, a broad-based medical consulting staff, and case managers.  

Craig’s goal is to work with patients who have sustained a brain injury, both as inpatients and as outpatients, to help them achieve as much independence and life quality as possible. This goal can best be attained through the interdisciplinary team, as each person has a specific role in the patient’s ongoing rehabilitation and recovery. These experts have the training and experience to guide the patient’s care, as well as work closely with the family and/or caregivers to ensure the best possible outcome. 

Did you know Craig is a Model System Center?

Craig is part of the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) program, made of 16 national centers and sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) , Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2016, (NIDILRR) awarded Craig a $3.3 million, five-year research grant to serve as the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems (TBIMS) National Data and Statistical Center (NDSC) for the third time since 2006.

Research

You might be able to participate in a research study!

The Craig Hospital Research Department currently has a staff of 22 with an annual budget of $3.8 million in federal, state, foundation, and industry-sponsored grants devoted to conducting a wide variety of applied spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation research. Learn more about research opportunities for people with brain injury.

Resources

  • Read more about brain injury, as well as Craig graduates’ inspirational stories.   
  • Watch videos that explain TBI using the Rancho Los Amigos Scale, which is an observational and descriptive scale that rehab professionals may use to describe a person’s evolving and improving patterns of behavior, and their thinking or emotions as they recover from their TBI.
  • Visit our resource library to search more TBI resources