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About Nashia

Dear Web Site Visitor:

In 1990, the first State of the States in Head Injury was organized and held by State government employees administering programs for individuals with brain injury and their families. Four years later, conference participants organized the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) providing a forum to address State government's significant role in brain injury. Serving as the premier source of information and education for State Agency employees who are responsible for public brain injury policies, programs, and services, NASHIA provides information on national trends, best practices, and State contacts to Federal governmental agencies, national associations and TBI stakeholders. Through its membership, NASHIA provides collective representation as the voice of State government in Federal TBI policy issues.

About 2.4 million Americans seek treatment for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year as the result of a car crash, fall, sporting injury or other contributing factor resulting in problems with thinking, memory, emotions, language, physical, mobility and sensory, which affects how a person is able to return to school, work, home and community. Brain injury is a significant public health problem resulting in a substantial number of deaths and permanent disability among Americans. It can happen to anyone at any time and can cause a wide range of functional short-or long-term changes affecting thinking, memory, language, behavior, personality, emotions, sensory and motor skills. These resulting problems can affect all aspects of an individual's life as he or she returns to school, work, home and community after injury.

Such complexities challenge States' ability to respond to the needs of individuals often in a timely fashion – right services at the right time. As no two brain injuries are alike, no two States are alike in terms of how they are organized and how they provide services and supports. Individuals may need services that cross multiple programs including Medicaid, vocational rehabilitation, employment, education, home health care, mental health, substance abuse, and long-term care programs. Without coordinated systems of care, individuals are often placed inappropriately into nursing homes or left to the families to care for without much support or assistance. When families are no longer able to care for these individuals, the families turn to the State, which is generally the only resource for these crisis situations. As the signature wound of the Iraq and Afghanistan War, TBI presents additional challenges to researchers, clinicians, and public programs.

NASHIA welcomes all State Agency employees who interact with individuals with brain injury, as well as TBI advocates, professionals, and organizations with an interest in State and local policy and service delivery. Please feel free to contact me to find out how you can become involved in NASHIA's activities.

Stefani O’Dea,
NASHIA President

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