Alaska’s Division of Public Health received funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to initiate traumatic brain injury (TBI) surveillance beginning in 1998. This funding began to systematically quantify what had previously been believed anecdotally to be a significant and growing public health problem.
In 1999, the State of Alaska, Department of Health & Social Services, Division of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities, now known as Behavioral Health (DBH), successfully applied for HRSA TBI Planning & Implementation Grants. DBH held the grant for nine years. In 2009, Senior and Disabilities Services transitioned to the lead agency role.
The original HRSA grant required that Alaska fulfill the following:
- Identify a State Lead Agency: The State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Behavioral Health (then DMHDD)
- Establish a Statewide Advisory Board: Brain Injury Association of Alaska, (Formerly, the Alaska Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board)
- Conduct a statewide needs and resources assessment
- Craft an implementation plan (completed March 2003)
The Alaska Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Board (ATBIAB) was formed in 2000 to fulfill the requirements of the grant and conduct business as an advisory board, holding quarterly board meetings and inviting public comment. ATBIAB earned non-profit status in 2003 and changed its name to the Brain Injury Association of Alaska in 2006.
TBI Advisory Board (Incorporated 2003)
- Successfully advocated for over $4,000,000 in state funds to support traumatic brain injury programs
- Successfully advocated for Senate Bill 219 establishing a State of Alaska Acquired and Traumatic Brain Injury Program. (Enacted 2010)
- Hosted the 2010 Alaska Brain Injury Conference in partnership with North American Brain Injury Society.
- Visited 4 Alaskan communities each year since 2003, hearing Public Testimony from all over the state.
- Developed the Comprehensive “10 Year Plan for TBI in Alaska”
- Advocacy efforts resulting in Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Authorized Receipts and Authority Grant Funding for:
- TBI Advisory Board (FY01-FY11)
- TBI Resource Navigation (FY07-FY11)
- TBI Training (FY09-FY11)
- TBI Care Coordination (FY10-FY11)
- One-time funding for ATBI mini-grants (FY11)
- T/ABI Program Research Analyst Position (FY11-FY12)
- Operating and Outreach (FY13)
- Operating and Outreach (FY14)
- Operating and Resource Navigation (FY15)
- Operating and Resource Navigation (FY16)
- Organized the TBI Partnership with Military and Tribal entities.
- Recommended traumatic brain injury prevalence for the Comprehensive Integrated Mental Health Plan, Alaska Scorecard
TBI Resource Navigation (Established February 2007)
- Provided information and referral to more than 1300 Alaskans.
- Developed and maintains a Statewide TBI Resource Directory.
- Developed and distributed to Alaska hospitals a “hospital packet” of TBI information.
- Organized hundreds of trainings, workshops, and forums about brain injury.Provides technical assistance to agencies around the state, existing head injury support groups, and assistance to develop new groups.
- Obtained funding for a Rural Resource Navigator who, in collaboration with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, will travel across the state providing information and referral services to Alaskan’s in their own communities.