Missouri Traumatic Brain Injury Implementation Partnership Project Wins National Award in 2012 (MO UCEDD)

April 28, 2012

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a tremendously challenging disability, both for the people who experience it and their families. It is arguably the most difficult of any disability to navigate services and predict outcomes. Finding information about where to go, what to do, and how to plan for the best chances of recovery requires great amounts of energy. But now, Missouri is leading the way in making progress towards helping these individuals and families, thanks to an award-winning new project aimed at strengthening the systems that exist to help survivors of TBI.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), has awarded the 2012 "Collaboration and Coalition Building Award" to Missouri Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Implementation Partnership Project.  The award, presented by the Federal Traumatic Brain Injury Program division of HRSA, recognizes Missouri as a national leader in establishing strategic partnerships for the sharing of resources to positively impact survivors of TBI.  

The project is a joint effort of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, University of Missouri - Kansas City Institute for Human Development (UMKC-IHD; MO UCEDD), University of Missouri - Columbia, and other state partners.  It was established to promote strong partnerships between agencies and organizations at the state and local level, key to improving access to systems of care for TBI survivors and their families.

According to HRSA, one of the great strengths of the Missouri project is its use of a "level of collaboration tool." The tool, also employed by other IHD research projects, measures both the number and strength of partnerships within the system. The survey will continue to be used by the Missouri TBI project to monitor ongoing relationships between the state and partner organizations, as well as the emergence of new relationships.

Other aspects of the TBI project supported through UMKC-IHD include performing project evaluations, conducting a comprehensive needs assessment of the state TBI response system, providing cultural competency training, and facilitating development of a five-year strategic plan to continue improving outcomes for TBI survivors.

Project coordinator Melody Boling, MSW, recognizes the key role her UMKC-IHD colleagues played in winning this award.

"This is an outstanding team to work with. Their efforts have made this project a success. The federal program has recognized the ingenuity of the evaluation design, and now other states are looking to us as an example," said Boling. 

Boling, Tom McVeigh, Waheeda Hossain, and Christy Miller provide IHD expertise for the evaluation and partnership strengthening aspects of the project. Derrick Willis provides leadership for the project's cultural competency training, and Mike McCarthy leads strategic planning.

Congratulations to the MO TBI Implementation Partnership Project team, UMKC Institute for Human Development, and our many valued partners.

For more information, contact Danielle Underwood, UMKC Institute for Human Development Media Relations Specialist, at (816) 235-5359.

University of Missouri-Kansas City
Institute for Human Development
215 W. Pershing Road, 6th Floor
Kansas City, MO 64108-4308