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Newsroom Public Forums Aim to Help Kansans with Brain Injuries Lead Full Lives
2/2/2010

The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS), in partnership with the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, are sponsoring the forums to develop a five-year strategic plan for the coordination and allocation of limited public and private resources to help people with traumatic brain injury (TBI). These injuries can result in physical, psychological, behavioral or emotional impairments and may be temporary or permanent. In Kansas, about 2,500 residents are hospitalized each year due to TBI and about 600 Kansans die each year.


"We want to get as much public input as possible for this project," said Betsy Johnson, executive director of the Brain Injury Association. "We know that people with TBI, as well as their friends, family, and caregivers, know best what services they need."


The forums are scheduled from 8:30 – 4:30. There is no cost to attend and breakfast, lunch, and snacks are provided free.


February 10 – Overland Park
10100 College Blvd
Doubletree Hotel


February 16 - Wichita
7001 W. 21st St. N
Education Building,
Sedgwick County Extension 


February 24 - Topeka
420 SE 6th Ave.
Ramada Convention Center


"We need to hear especially from members of the military and veterans, as well as older Kansans, because we don't have a lot of information on those groups," Johnson said. "But we welcome everyone to attend—from service providers to spouses. Anyone can participate and make a difference for Kansans with traumatic brain injury. Please come and make your voice heard."


The forums are engaging, enjoyable, and fast-paced, featuring lots of participant-driven discussion in small and large groups. In the morning, small groups will develop lists of needs people with TBI have. In the afternoon, the groups will use the lists to write strategic plan recommendations. Briefing materials about current and past MTBI services in Kansas are available to participants beforehand. 


Input gathered at the forums will be forwarded to the Kansas Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board, which will write the final strategic plan. The Advisory Board’s membership is comprised of people with brain injuries and their family members from across the state, as well as representatives from advocacy organizations, service providers, and state agencies.


For more information or to register to attend, please visit www.biaks.org/tbineeds or call the Brain Injury Association at (800) 444-6443. 


In addition to the forums, input will also be gathered through surveys, delivered by mail and online, for people with TBI, their family members and significant others, and organizations and state agencies that provide TBI services. Surveys are available at www.biaks.org/tbineeds. 


The TBI needs assessment and strategic planning project are funded by SRS through a grant from the federal government. Kansas completed its last needs assessment and planning project in 2002.


For media inquiries, please contact Betsy Johnson, Executive Director, Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, (913) 754-8883 ext. 3 or bjohnson@biaks.org