Office of Acquired Brain Injury
About the Office
The mission of the Office of Acquired Brain Injury is to serve as the lead agency in Texas providing guidance, consultation, referral and service coordination for survivors of acquired brain injuries and their families, including returning combat veterans, to ensure a comprehensive system of care through federal, state and local resources.
The Office of Acquired Brain Injury serves as the lead department in Texas providing guidance, consultation, referral and service coordination resource for survivors of brain injuries and their families, including returning combat veterans, through referrals and greater coordination of federal, state and local resources.
How to Contact Us
Tel: 512.706.7115, Bettie Beckworth (Director)
or 706.71136, Pauline Oruonyehu
Mail: 1106 Clayton Lane, Suite 202W, Mail Code 1531, Austin, TX 78723
March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month
Brain Injury is the leading cause of death and disability in persons under 45 years of age, occurring more frequently than breast cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury combined.
The only cure for brain injury is prevention.
National Brain Injury Model Program
The OABI is nationally recognized for its outreach and advocacy, educational and training programs and innovative projects, is considered a national model for the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Federal TBI Program. It partners directly with the Texas Military Forces, the Department of Defense Centers of Excellence in Psychological Health and TBI, the Defense and Veterans’ Brain Injury Centers, including Broke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and Walter Reid Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., to coordinate services for wounded warriors in their home areas and to provide training for family members and reintegration specialists.
Texas Juvenile Justice TBI Partnership Project
A one-of-a kind, one million dollar federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has enabled the office to form a partnership with the Texas Youth Commission and the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission to conduct a four year pilot study on youth in the Texas juvenile justice system who may have undiagnosed brain injuries that contributed to misbehavior and criminality. Necessary therapy and treatment will be coordinated through existing and new collaborative efforts through the grant. The pilot project for juvenile offenders has never been conducted anywhere before, placing Texas at the forefront of discovery, diagnoses and treatment. The goal is to provide individual attention to each youth that will give them the opportunity to leave the criminal path and to become productive, responsible citizens bettering their lives and that of society.
Feasibility Study for Providing Community Support and Residential Services for Individuals with Acquired Brain Injury
The 81st Texas Legislature, Regular Session, directed the Health and Human Services Commission to conduct a feasibility study on the need for a system of community support and residential services for individuals with acquired brain injury. The eight-month comprehensive study included statewide stakeholder needs and resources a survey that resulted in the direct input of brain injury survivors, family members, caregivers, and treatment professionals from every region of the State. [Read the report]
About Brain Injury
An ABI is an injury to the brain that occurs after birth, is non-congenital and non-degenerative and prevents the normal function of the brain. It may be caused by external blows, jolts or penetrating wounds (also known as TBI); stroke; heart attack; infections producing high temperatures; brain tumors; loss of consciousness; loss of oxygen to the brain from choking, near drowning or other anoxic conditions. According the Epilepsy Foundation and the World Health Organization, brain injuries may cause some forms of epilepsy.
Brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in persons under 45 years old, occurring more frequently than breast cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury combined, according to the Brain Injury Association of America.
The annual economic cost of Traumatic Brain Injury is estimated to be $6.8 billion in the State of Texas. This estimate is based on data from the Texas Trauma registry and the CDC. It includes emergency room visits, hospitalizations, lost earnings of the survivor and death. It does not include lost earnings of caretakers, uncompensated medical and non-medical costs, publicly funded program (Medicaid, mental health/substance abuse, homeless programs, etc) costs, treatment in schools, or criminal justice costs
Brain Injury in Texas
- More than 144,000 Texans sustain a TBI each year. These figures include only TBI cases that are reported to be seen by physicians, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, hospitals or other medical facilities. That’s one every four minutes.
- More than 5,700 are permanently disabled annually, and an estimated 440,000 Texans (2% of the population) live with a disability from TBI. (These figures do not include service members with brain injury returning from Iraq or Afghanistan.)
- More veterans and active military service members are treated for TBI than in any other state. (See Resources for veterans)
- Approximately 440,000 Texans live with a disability from TBI.
- More people sustain brain injury from strokes than any other cause.
- Most brain injuries occur to people ages 0 to 4; 15 to 30, and 65 and older.
- The annual economic cost of TBI is estimated to be $6.8 billion.
Leading Causes of Brain Injury in Texas
Acquired Brain Injury: stroke, heart attack, near drowning, choking, toxic exposure to chemicals and gases, substance abuse, brain tumors, infections, electrical shock.
Traumatic Brain Injury: falls, traffic accidents, assaults.
References: Texas Department of State Health Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics; Feasibility Study for Providing Community Support and Residential Services for Individuals with Acquired Brain Injury, 2010, Office of Acquired Brain Injury, Texas Health and Human Services Commission Texas Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council, Report to the Governor-2007, Brain Injury Assoc of America.