Brain Injury Services of SWVA (BISSWVA) has received a grant from Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to provide a unique tele-health program, the Community Living Connection (CLiC) for veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI), to overcome the diverse challenges of the complex condition. WWP's Grant Program, now in its fourth year, is expanding the availability of programs and services that provide support to this generation of injured service members.
CLiC for Vets will incorporate an appropriate curriculum based on a holistic approach to the veteran and his or her loved ones with the optimal goal of promoting independence and an improved quality of life. CLiC for Vets will blend cognitive rehabilitative exercises with practical skills (e.g., doing household chores, managing money, preparing meals) and deliver information on available benefits and resources to advance personal goals and reintegration into the community.
"CLiC for Vets will deliver needed rehabilitative and support services to veterans across Virginia suffering from the effects of TBI," said Krystal Thompson, executive director of BISSWVA. "We are proud to receive a grant of this magnitude allowing us to expand our services to those whom we have been unable to reach due to limited resources. This is a tremendous accomplishment, and we are honored to have been selected by Wounded Warrior Project."
Established in 2000, BISSWVA provides case management services, CLiC, and life skills training for children, adolescents, and adults who have an acquired brain injury caused by an external force resulting in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning. It identifies, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates individual needs with a focus on maximizing recovery and reintegration back into the community. Because brain injury is a complex condition, a wide range of tools, from cognitive and speech training to recreation and socialization opportunities, are commonly used. BISSWVA typically serves 280 individuals each year.
"Working together with these excellent organizations, we are expanding and strengthening the network of support we can provide to our warriors, free of charge," said Steve Nardizzi, chief executive officer at WWP. "Side by side with WWP, our grant recipients are creating and deploying critically needed, specialized programs and services across the country, ensuring that no warrior falls through the cracks."
WWP focuses on providing grants to organizations that operate in underserved areas or provide services outside the scope of WWP's 20 free programs and services. BISSWVA was selected as a grant recipient because it delivers services that address long-term care, a funding priority that WWP selected based on direct feedback from injured veterans in WWP's Annual Alumni Survey. Since 2010, WWP has been using survey data to identify gaps in existing services and support. The results help WWP gauge the top issues that injured veterans, their families, and caregivers struggle with as they transition from military to civilian life.
It is estimated that over 50,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in recent military conflicts; another 320,000 have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment, and as many as 400,000 additional service members live with the invisible wounds of war, including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).