In collaboration with the WVU Center for Excellence in Disabilities, Associate Professor Amanda Acord-Vira, EdD, MOT, OTR/L, CBIS of the WVU School of Medicine's Division of Occupational Therapy was awarded a one-million-dollar grant ($200,000 x 5 years) from the Administration for Community Living TBI State Partnership Grant Program.
Through this federally funded grant, West Virginians will continue to have access to a traumatic brain injury program that focuses on improving quality of life after a brain injury, preventing brain injuries, and raising awareness for existing resources in the state. The grant provides funding to help states increase access to services and supports for individuals with TBI throughout the lifetime. Specifically, the states must address four barriers to needed services by: screening to identify individuals with TBI, building a trained TBI workforce by providing professional training, providing information about TBI to families and referrals to appropriate service providers, and facilitating access to needed services through resource facilitation.
Of the twenty-three states receiving these grants, Dr. Acord-Vira is the only occupational therapist principal investigator. Among the more recent initiatives of this project is establishing the foundation to implement a "return to learn" program for children and adults recovering from concussion.
Dr. Acord-Vira received her Masters of Occupational Therapy and Doctorate of Education in Educational Psychology from WVU. She also obtained her Graduate Certificate in Special Education and Traumatic Brain Injury from George Washington University and co-authored the Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury with Dr. Steven Wheeler, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA. In addition, Dr. Acord-Vira is a co-investigator on a grant for adapting a fall prevention program for individuals with traumatic brain injury and another grant for preparing physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) students for their roles in physical activity and life/leisure skills education for persons with opioid addiction. She also serves as the editor for the American Occupational Therapy Special Interest Section for Work and Industry and is the co-chair of the WV TBI Advisory Board.
For more information on the WV Traumatic Brain Injury program visit http://tbi.cedwvu.org/.