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Support Groups and Information

Rehabilitation Funding Option

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN)
Head and Spinal Cord Injury (HASCI) Division
Funding for Specialized TBI/SCI Post-Acute Rehabilitation

WHAT:
SCDDSN has limited state funding to pay for medical rehabilitation for uninsured or underinsured people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or spinal cord injury (SCI) in CARF-accredited inpatient/outpatient TBI/SCI Rehabilitation Programs. These funds may be used subsequent to, but cannot supplant or subsidize, any other funding.

WHO: Applicants must be residents of South Carolina and must be uninsured or unable to access sufficient post-acute rehabilitation through private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Worker’s Compensation, Veterans Administration, or any other payers.

If receiving or eligible for Medicaid, applicants must be 21 years of age or older. Applicants must have traumatic brain injury and/or spinal cord injury caused by external physical trauma and resulting in hospitalization or treatment in an emergency department or by a physician and not congenital or due to a chronic, degenerative, or progressive medical condition. (TBI does not include anoxic or hypoxic brain damage, aneurysm, stroke, or dementia. Traumatic SCI does not include spinal column fracture, disc injury, spinal stenosis, or demyelinating disease.)

Applicants must meet medical necessity and clinical level of care criteria. Applicants must no longer require acute care, be able to actively participate in and benefit from intensive rehabilitation, and be reasonably expected to achieve neurological recovery and/or improved functioning. Patients in coma, persistive vegetative state, or minimally responsive state are not eligible. Applicants must have viable and productive post-rehabilitation options.

WHEN: The intent is for specialized TBI/SCI post-acute rehabilitation to begin when acute care is no longer needed and upon discharge from a hospital or after diagnosis by a physician. 
 
WHERE: SCDDSN currently contracts with three entities to provide specialized rehabilitation:

· Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital (Greenville, South Carolina)
Telephone: 1-800-868-8871   TBI and SCI, Inpatient and Outpatient

· Carolinas Rehabilitation (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Telephone: 1-704-355-5869    TBI and SCI, Inpatient and Outpatient 

· Rehab Without Walls (Augusta, Georgia)
Telephone: 1-866-734-2296    TBI Home-based Outpatient 

HOW: Trauma centers, acute care hospitals, and physicians may refer patients to the entities above. Potential applicants or their representatives may also contact these entities for information.

If interested in contracting as a provider for this funding, other entities with CARF-accredited inpatient or outpatient TBI/SCI Rehabilitation Programs may contact the SCDDSN Head and Spinal Cord Injury Division at 803/898-9789. 

 

Caregivers in Need of Respite from Caring for a Disabled Love One can apply for a respite voucher from South Carolina Respite for the Lifespan Coalition. Please click here and complete your application. For more information, please call 1-866-345-6786.

TBI:The Invisible Injury - An Important Fact Sheet for Returning Service members and Veterans: Click Here (pdf)

A Word About Blast Injuries

Blast injuries are injuries that result from the complex pressure wave generated by an explosion. This causes an instantaneous rise in pressure over atmospheric pressure that creates a blast over-pressurization wave. Blast injury occurs from the body’s interaction with the over-pressurization wave. Air-filled organs such as the ear, lung, and gastrointestinal tract and organs surrounded by fluid-filled cavities such as the brain and spinal cord are especially susceptible to primary blast injury.

Over 90% of combat-related traumatic brain injuries are closed head injuries. 50% of injuries sustained in combat are the result of explosive munitions including bombs, grenades, land mines, missiles and mortar/artillery shells.

Brain Injury can cause a wide range of changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions such as:

  • Thinking- memory, concentration, slower thinking and reasoning.
  • Sensation- touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell.
  • Language- communication, expression, and understanding.
  • Emotion- depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, irritability, mood swings.
  • TBI can also cause seizure disorders, sleep disturbances, headaches, loss of balance, blurred vision, ringing in ears, and fatigue.

Support Info

Are you new to traumatic brain injury in South Carolina? Download this listing of useful SC resources by Clicking Here

Support Groups - as of March, 2014

Aiken: Support Group CSRA Dream Catchers “Central Savannah River Area”

https://www.facebook.com/groups/csradreamcatchers/  
Meeting Place:  Vincent Village in North Augusta in the Club House
218 West Five Notch Road
North Augusta, SC

Meeting Time: 1st Monday of each month, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Contact Person:  Les Paul Morgan
Phone:  866-793-3407 or 803-279-9611; Email: mycometpatrol@bellsouth.net
Contact Person:  Cyndy Milstead-Anzek
Phone:  803-279-9611; Email: cmilstead@waltonoptions.org

Anderson, Oconee, Pickens (AOP) Brain Injury Support Group

http://aoptbi.weebly.com
Meeting Place:  Anderson County Disabilities and Special Needs Board
212 McGee Road
Anderson, SC
Meeting time:  2nd Monday of each month, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Contact Person:  Richard DuBose
Email: rndubose@gmail.com
Contact Person:  Candy Jones
Phone:  864-260-4529

*Beaufort Brain Injury Support Group

Currently there is no active support group in Beaufort.
If you are interested in a support group in the Beaufort area, please contact BIASC or Robert Easter.
Contact Person:  Robert Easter
Phone:  843-441-6219; Email: reaster@hargray.com.  

Brain Injury Support Group of the Grand Strand (Conway/Myrtle Beach area)

http://www.hcdsnorg/HASCInewsBI.html
Meeting Place: New Horizons Center
150 Waccamaw Medical Park Court
Conway, SC
Meeting Time:  3rd Thursday of each month, 12 noon (pot luck lunch & meeting)
Contact Person:  Ellen Leftwich
Phone:  843-349-7250; Email:  leftwich@sccoastnet 

Brain Matters Support Group (Greenwood area)

Meeting Place:  United Way, Rotary Room
929 Phoenix Street
Greenwood, SC
Meeting Time: 3rd Thursday of each month, 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
Contact Person:  Kristy Lawson
Phone:  864-554-3607; Email:  brainmatters.sc@gmail.com  

Columbia Brain Injury Support Group

Meeting Place: HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital
2935 Colonial Drive
Columbia, SC
Meeting Time: 1st Thursday of each month, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Contact Person:  Rafe Ellisor
Phone:  803-401-1365; Email:  Rafe.Ellisor@healthsouth.com
Contact Person:  Colleen Coco
Phone:  803-788-6679

Greenville Brain Injury Support Group

http://www.facebook.com/gcdsnbhasci
Meeting Place: HASCI (Head and Spinal Cord Injury) Resource Center
Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Board
McAlister Square, Suite B-6
225 S. Pleasantburg Drive
Greenville, SC

Meeting #1: Survivor, Family, and Friends
Meeting Time: 1st Tuesday of most months, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 
Contact Person:  Anne and Richard Medlock
Phone:  864-230-7821 and 864-230-7820; Email:  greenvilletbi@gmail.com  

Meeting #2:  Caregivers/Parents Group
Meeting Time:  3rd Tuesdays in March, June, September, and November, 7:00p.m.-8:30p.m.
Contact Person:  Anne or Richard Medlock (see contact information above)
Kay Brooks 864-679-2400 x3711; Email:  Kbrooks@gcdsnb.org

Hartsville Brain Injury Support Group

Meeting Place: Hartsville Memorial Library
147 W. College Avenue
Hartsville, SC
Meeting Time: 2nd Tuesday of each month, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Contact Person:  Danny Weaver
Phone:  843-861-5413;  Email:  weav2206@bellsouth.net

 

Rock Hill Brain Injury Support Group

Currently there is no active support group in Rock Hill.  If you are interested in a support group in the Rock Hill area, please contact BIASC.
Contact Person: Heather Joy 
Phone: 803-731-9823; Email: hjoy.biasc@bellsouth.net

Spartanburg-Lyman Brain Injury Support Group

Meeting Place:  Bryant Center
SC Vocational Rehabilitation Department
180 Groce Road
Lyman, SC
Meeting Time:  2nd Tuesday of each month, 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Contact Person:  Tanya Lambert; Email:  tlambert1@scvrd.state.sc.us
Phone:  864-249-8048 or 864-249-8030

Trident Head Injury Support Group (Charleston area)

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trident-Head-Injury-Support-Group/174565579248756
http://thisg.org/
 
Meeting Place:  HASCI Community Opportunities Drop-in Center
Westwood Plaza, 1812 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Suite 6
Charleston, SC
Meeting Time:  1st Tuesday of each month, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Contact:  Marsha Mikell
Phone:  843-881-1214; Email:  mjmikell@live.com

Please call the contact person before attending your first support group meeting.
Groups may occasionally change a meeting time or location. Thank you!

Why Attend a Support Group Meeting?

The purpose of a support group is to learn more about brain injury and available services by meeting with others who are facing or have faced similar challenges. The essential elements of a support group are:

  • Gather information
  • Share common needs and strengths
  • Provide a place to meet new friends and find new connections in the community
  • Provide a safe place to find courage and take risks
  • Provide an opportunity to socialize
  • Provide and environment where positive and negative views can be expressed without being judged

TBI Facts

The Silent Epidemic

Traumatic Brain Injury in South Carolina

#1 Cause of Death for Persons Ages 1 to 44 Years

61,000 South Carolinians Have TBI-related Disability

61,000 residents live with permanent disability due to TBI after being discharged alive from hospitals with TBI. TBI related disabilities include physical, cognitive, and behavioral limitations. Imagine sitting in the end zone at the University of South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium or Clemson Memorial Stadium for a football game. It would take 3 out of every 4 seats (76%) to accommodate these TBI residents...

To illustrate the magnitude of death related to TBI in South Carolina, in 2006, for ages 1 to 44 years, 598 persons died from TBI. For the same ages and same year, 322 persons died from cancer and 345 persons died from heart-related diseases.

Causes of TBI in South Carolina:

  • Falls: 28%
  • Motor vehicle crashes: 23%
  • Struck by/against events: 8%
  • Assaults: 10%

Each year in South Carolina:

  • Over 1,300 people will sustain a life long TBI related disability
  • Approximately 1000 people of all ages die as a result of TBI
  • TBI continues to rank as the number one cause of death for people ages 1 to 44 years
  • Approximately 3,000 people with new TBI are hospitalized and discharged alive from hospitals
  • 12,000 people with new TBI are treated and released from Emergency Departments (ED)
  • Societal willingness-to-pay (WTP) estimate accounting for direct and indirect cost for SC is $3 billion
  • (Economists refer to WTP as intangibles. Example - the value lost for an avid worker because of losing his/her abilities to do the job)

To download this info in PDF format CLICK HERE


Data herein obtained in part from the Division of Injury & Violence Prevention, S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control; Department of Biometry & Epidemiology, Medical University of South Carolina; and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

National TBI Facts and Statistics

What is a traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of such an injury may range from "mild," i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to "severe," i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. A TBI can result in short or long-term problems with independent function. 

How many people have TBI?

Of the 1.4 million who sustain a TBI each year in the United States:

  • 50,000 die;
  • 235,000 are hospitalized; and
  • 1.1 million are treated and released from an emergency department.1
  • The number of people with TBI who are not seen in an emergency department or who receive no care is unknown.

What causes TBI?

The leading causes of TBI are:

  • Falls (28%);
  • Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (20%);
  • Struck by/against (19%); and
  • Assaults (11%).1
  • Blasts are a leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in war zones.2

Who is at highest risk for TBI?

  • Males are about 1.5 times as likely as females to sustain a TBI.1
  • The two age groups at highest risk for TBI are 0 to 4 year olds and 15 to 19 year olds.1
  • Certain military duties (e.g., paratrooper) increase the risk of sustaining a TBI.3
  • African Americans have the highest death rate from TBI.1

What are the costs of TBI?

  • Direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity of TBI totaled an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 1995.4

What are the long-term consequences of TBI?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least 3.17 Million Americans currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a TBI.5

According to one study, about 40% of those hospitalized with a TBI had at least one unmet need for services one year after their injury. The most frequent unmet needs were:

  • Improving memory and problem solving;
  • Managing stress and emotional upsets;
  • Controlling one's temper; and
  • Improving one's job skills.6

TBI can cause a wide range of functional changes affecting thinking, language, learning, emotions, behavior, and/or sensation. It can also cause epilepsy and increase the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other brain disorders that become more prevalent with age.7,8

References

1. Langlois JA, Rutland-Brown W, Thomas KE. Traumatic brain injury in the United States:
emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2006.

2. Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC). [unpublished]. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Defense; 2005.

3. Ivins BJ, Schwab K, Warden D, Harvey S, Hoilien M, Powell J, et al. Traumatic brain injury in U.S. army
paratroopers: prevalence and character. Journal of Trauma Injury, Infection and Critical Care 2003;55(4):
617-21.

4. Finkelstein E, Corso P, Miller T and associates. The Incidence and Economic Burden of Injuries in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

5. Thurman D, Alverson C, Dunn K, Guerrero J, Sniezek J. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: a public
health perspective. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 1999;14(6):602-15.

6. Corrigan JD, Whiteneck G, Mellick D. Perceived needs following traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2004;19(3):205-16.

7. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Traumatic brain injury: hope through research.
Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health; 2002 Feb. NIH Publication No. 02-158. Available from: www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/detail_tbi.htm.

8. Ylvisaker M, Todis B, Glang A, et al. Educating students with TBI: themes and recommendations.
Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 2001; 16:76-93.

Remember: Brain Injury is the “Silent Epidemic”,
but you and I can give it a voice!

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