History of CATBI - California Association for Traumatic Brain Injury

History of CATBI based on Historical RFA Documentation from the Department of Rehabilitation for the State of California

History of CATBI: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is typically defined as a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the function of the brain (Brain Injury Association of America 2006). While recent attention has been brought to TBI because of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, more awareness about the prevalence and prevention is needed. TBI is an issue of major public health significance both nationally and throughout California. There are approximately 350,000 TBI survivors in California (extrapolated from Centers for Disease Control data). Medical and mental health care costs for a single TBI often exceed 4.6 million dollars (California Dept. Health Services’ 2007 statistics). The societal effects of a mild, moderate or severe TBI multiply significantly. Now more than ever, TBI services are needed.

In 1988 California passed Senate Bill 2232 (Chapter 1292, Statutes of 1988) which authorized minimal funding for a TBI pilot project dedicated to providing a continuum of services for TBI survivors and their families. These seven TBI sites offered the following core services to people with Traumatic Brain Injury: information and referral; supportive living services; community re-integration; and public-professional education and at some sites, outreach and prevention education.

To strengthen the statewide system of TBI services, the seven TBI sites formed a coalition in 2004 called The Traumatic Brain Injury Services of California (TBISCA). The mission of TBISCA was to provide a unified voice for TBI survivors, their families, and the community through collaborative partnerships, legislative advocacy, and TBI education.

In 2005, TBISCA was awarded a capacity building grant from The California Endowment. TBISCA used the grant to develop and implement an effective sustainability and growth plan. At the conclusion of the grant period in the spring of 2008, TBISCA had established viable strategic and operational plans; launched a statewide TBI coalition; hosted a statewide conference on TBI; revised the TBISCA brochure; developed TBI Fact Sheets; submitted budget augmentation requests; and became involved in state-level public policy efforts.

In 2010, Administrative oversight was transitioned from the California Department of Mental Health to the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) through the passage of AB 398. This legislation also put into effect a competitive bidding process for the grant funding. Around 2011 CATBI was developed with all sites receiving grant funding to collaborate to provide and improve services.