MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued a proclamation urging all citizens to join him in observing March 2013 as National Brain Injury Month. The Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED) at West Virginia University is designated as the state’s lead agency for coordination of services for West Virginians with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and maintains the state TBI registry.

Each year, there are approximately 22,000 new TBI cases reported in West Virginia. Many of those are mild to moderate cases, but each one has an impact on the individuals and their family after they leave the hospital.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least three TBI’s occur every minute in the United States, and 5.3 million people live with TBI-related disabilities. Nationally, falls are the leading cause of TBI followed by motor vehicle/traffic crashes, being struck by objects and assaults. Known as the “Silent Epidemic” among civilians, TBI is also known as the “Signature Wound” among veterans. It’s estimated that up to one-third of veterans returning home from combat have a TBI or post-traumatic stress disorder.

“There are people available to help explain and answer questions about traumatic brain injury services and resources in West Virginia. We want TBI survivors and their family members to take advantage of these services by simply calling our state TBI hotline at 1-877-724-8244,” Jack Stewart, assistant director of the CED, said.

The mission of the Traumatic Brain Injury Services program at the CED is to increase independence and improve the quality of life for persons with traumatic brain injury and their support systems. Education, awareness and dedicated funding for services are needed to promote the fullest recovery, productivity and life satisfaction among those who have sustained a TBI.

For more information, visit www.tbi.cedwvu.org.
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For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
md: 03-06-13