about TBI was identified as an ongoing issue of particular importance when approaching the legislature.

HRSA Grant Experience: Washington State’s Challenges and Successes

Washington State experienced difficulties in coordinating agencies and organizations on its statewide TBI advisory board and in finding an appropriate lead state agency “home” for the state TBI program in the initial stages of its Planning Grant from HRSA. The loss of the Brain Injury Association of Washington as an organization and statewide TBI advisory board participant also challenged the state’s TBI-related efforts.

Nonetheless, Washington State was able to complete numerous products and trainings with the help of committed participants and collaborations with other community-based organizations. The state has produced products and educational materials through the implementation grant and is currently working on a TBI waiver to address the specialized housing and service needs of persons with TBI that are in or likely to be placed in state hospitals. The state’s grants from HRSA succeeded in leveraging resources with close collaborators, Washington Protection and Advocacy, and the University of Washington’s TBI Model System funded by NIDRR. As of the summer of 2005, new leadership was rebuilding and reinvigorating the Brain Injury Association of Washington.

Washington Protection and Advocacy has been and continues to be an active collaborator with community-based TBI organizations in Washington State. It identified three legislative victories in rehabilitation: (1) a 7-year effort involving 125 organizations leading to passage of a mental health parity law; (2) legislative successes in the area of guardianship and the right to vote; and (3) a bill on court accommodations relating to abuse among people with disabilities.

As of the summer of 2005, there was interest in Washington State in pursuing development of a TBI trust fund. The state’s TBI advisory board was also working on a Medicaid waiver request.

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