WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities Partners with Marshall University to Enhance Brain Injury Support Groups (WV UCEDD)

March 30, 2015

The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) has partnered with faculty from Marshall University College of Health Professions to offer local support groups for those with traumatic brain injuries. The Brain Injury Group (BIG) was created to provide support, education and information about services for individuals with brain injuries and the people associated with them.

Jennifer Tenney, program manager for the CED's traumatic brain injury group, said as the state's designated lead agency on traumatic brain injury services, the CED has specific responsibilities to the federal and state governments regarding service to survivors of traumatic brain injury as they navigate the complex servicedelivery system after experiencing such an injury.

"We felt that the Cabell County area has a significant need for this type of support group, especially with the location of the VA hospital in the area. We were excited when Dr. Carrie Childers and her team reached out to us in regard to starting this group in Huntington," Tenney said. "The Center for Excellence in Disabilities looks to create strong partnerships with Marshall University on many grant levels, and we feel that working with the university is critical to the success of the support group and any other traumatic brain injury-related work done in Cabell County."

The Brain Injury Group will have two groups at each meeting: one for individuals with traumatic brain injuries and one for those associated with them. Tenney said she hoped traumatic brain injury survivors and their family members would find the support group to be a place to share ideas, concerns and identify areas for more work to be done. Tenney said, most importantly, this is a place for traumatic brain injury survivors and their support systems to make connections with other families who are experiencing the same issues. The CED is also setting up four other Brain Injury Groups around the state in Beckley, Parkersburg, Morgantown, and Martinsburg.