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Release: Feb. 17, 2000

NOTE TO EDITORS: A medical center or organization in your area is involved in this project. The participating sites are listed below. For additional information regarding this project, contact Elayne Sexsmith, assistant administrator at University Hospital School, at (319) 356-0768.

UI statewide brain injury project will provide resources for families

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University Hospital School, Iowa's University Affiliated Program, has formed a partnership with (name of participating center) in (city) and four other sites on a statewide pilot project for Iowans with brain injuries and their families.

Each year 2,000 Iowans are hospitalized with brain injuries. The lifetime effects of brain injury -- such as memory loss, depression, and behavior problems -- affect not only the survivors, but also their families, friends, teachers and employers. The return to community life after injury and hospitalization can be traumatic. For some Iowa families, this experience can feel like "walking off a plank." They don't know what to expect or where to turn for help.

As part of the project, (name of participating center) will provide helpful resources to persons who have experienced a brain injury and their families. Books on living with brain injury, videos and information on Iowa brain injury services will be included in a package for patients and their families to take home. Using the project's new statewide support network (name of participating center) staff will link families with other families for support. Support and information from people who have "been there" was identified as a critical need by families in (city) and the other project sites.

The Iowa Department of Public Health directs the three-year project, in collaboration with the Iowa Advisory Council on Brain Injury and the Brain Injury Association of Iowa. Iowa was one of 32 states awarded a grant by the Traumatic Brain Injury Demonstration Program of the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau.

EDITORS: Following are the centers in Iowa taking part in this project:

Covenant Medical Center, Waterloo
Iowa Health System, Des Moines
Marian Health Center, Sioux City
On With Life, Ankeny
University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City