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January 14, 2011

Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center among 52 top healthcare institutions for brain injury

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The Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center has been designated the state lead center in Virginia for the Sarah Jane Brain Project (SJBP)- a national initiative formed to develop and implement a national Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) Plan. As the state lead, Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center will serve as a level one SJBF Center, creating a state-wide master plan to provide seamless, standardized, evidence-based care for all children and young adults in Virginia who acquire a brain injury.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to advance the work we have already been doing in the field of brain injury,” says Peter Patrick, PhD, neuropsychologist at Kluge Children’s Rehab. “For example, we specialize in treating children and adolescents who come to us in a low response state and conduct research on pharmacological therapies for disorders of consciousness.”

In January of this year, more than 60 of the top pediatric neurologists in the country came together in New York City and drafted the first national PABI, which called for the development of a national system of collaboration to address the treatment of brain injuries. The Sarah Jane Brain Project held an open application period in March for children’s hospitals, research universities and other healthcare organizations seeking to become state leaders in implementing the National PABI Plan. Finally, a selection committee of scientists and rehabilitation experts across the country reviewed the applications and selected one institution in every state, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, to lead this effort.

“We are so honored to have Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center as the state lead center for Virginia and as part of this national network of the best healthcare institutions in the country,” states SJBP founder Patrick Donohue.

He adds, “It is shocking to realize that despite brain injury being the leading killer and disabler of our children, nothing has ever before been done to develop a nationally standardized medical or even an educational plan to address it, and there is very little public awareness of pediatric brain injury.”

Donohue started the SJBP in October 2007 after his daughter Sarah Jane was shaken by her baby nurse, causing a severe brain injury.

The National PABI Plan is estimated to cost $125 million annually to implement across the country and will address each of the seven categories of care for every aspect of brain injury treatment – prevention, acute care, rehabilitation, adult transition, rural/telehealth, mild TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), and the virtual center.

The national announcement of all 52 participating healthcare organizations will be made at a press conference on Capital Hill at 11 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, 4 th Floor, Room 2345.

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