MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – There’s greater awareness of the dangers of head injuries in sports activities, but traumatic brain injury can happen off the field as well.

In fact, Jennifer Tenney, program manager for the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Implementation Partnership Grant Program at the West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities (CED), said the prevalence of TBIs in West Virginia is much greater than realized. Tenney, a certified brain injury specialist with the CED, said that is why the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration is funding grants to better serve this population.

The grant will provide the WVU CED with $241,630 for four years for a total of $966,520. It will allow the WVU CED to increase awareness of TBI and ways to prevent occurrence, as well as provide screening services, training and information, referrals to appropriate services, and resource coordination.

“We will be working at both the individual and systems levels to increase awareness about TBI and educate people on how to determine if someone has experienced a TBI or concussion,” Tenney said.

In 2009, the WVU CED was designated by then-Gov. Joe Manchin III as the state’s lead agency for traumatic brain injury services. The funding will augment existing funding provided by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities and the West Virginia Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver.

“The two awards better position the WVU CED to address barriers to services and support experienced by persons with TBI and their families,” Pat Moss, CED interim director, said.

Traumatic brain injury is one of the highest priorities for public health because of its magnitude, economic and human impact, and preventability. It is estimated that there are approximately 22,000 new cases of TBI reported annually in West Virginia.

Falls are the leading cause of TBI followed by motor vehicle crashes and sports and recreation related injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and teens are more likely to get a TBI, including concussion, and take longer to recover than adults.

Those who survive a TBI can face effects lasting a few days to disabilities which may last the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect the injured person but can have lasting effects on families and communities. Appropriate diagnosis, management, and education are critical for quick and full recovery.

For more information about the TBI program at the WVU CED, call 1-877-724-8244.

The CED provides leadership in the development of services and supports for persons with disabilities in West Virginia. For more information about CED programs and services, visit

For more information: Amy Johns, Director of Public Affairs, 304-293-7087
md: 07-02-14