Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) State Partnership Grant Program

For more information about the TBI State Partnership Program, visit:

What is a TBI?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can happen when an external force causes severe damage to the brain. Common causes of TBI include falls, automobile accidents, and sports injuries. There are many different names for TBI such as concussion, Shaken Baby Syndrome, head injury, or anoxia (loss of oxygen) due to trauma. Data from NIDILRR-supported research finds 1.56 million TBIs are sustained in one year. 

TBI can affect many parts of a person's life. People living with TBI and their families often require a range of services and supports. Individual needs are different and can change over time, so it is important that systems provide person-centered services and supports.

Other Resources:


December 18, 2020: Telehealth During a Pandemic: Maintaining Accessible Services

Webinar details and materials.

About the TBI State Partnership Grant Program

The TBI State Partnership Grant Program provides funding to help states increase access to services and supports for individuals with TBI throughout the lifetime. This grant program is one component of the federal TBI Program, along with Protection & Advocacy, which is expected to:

  • Help states expand and improve state and local capability so individuals with TBI and their families have better access to comprehensive and coordinated services.

  • Generate support from local and private sources for sustainability of funded projects after federal support terminates. This is done through state legislative, regulatory, or policy changes that promote the integration of TBI-related services into state service delivery systems.

  • Encourage systems change activities so that individual states can 1) evaluate their current structures and policies and 2) improve their systems as needed to better meet the needs of individuals with TBI and their families.

Current Grantees





Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

Judy Dettmer

Regina Rodriguez Sisneros


Iowa Department of Public Health

Maggie Ferguson




Indiana State Department of Health

Katherine Hokanson

Rebecca Chauhanl

Laura Trexler

Laura Trexler



Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

Sandy Biber


Gabriela Lawrence-Soto



Nebraska Department of Vocational Rehabilitation

Keri Bennett




University of Oregon, Center for Brain Injury Research and Training

Laurie Powell

Ann Glang


Dave Kracke


Laura Beck


Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Family Health, Division of Community Systems Development and Outreach


Cynthia Dundas


Nikki Adams


Tennessee Department of Health

Jean Doster


Paula Denslow


Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services

Patti Goodall


Donna Cantrell


Center for Excellence in Disabilities at West Virginia University


Teresa McCourt


Sara Miller


Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

Danielle Reed


Karen Heath


Alex Olah


Curtis Smith


Arkansas Trauma Rehabilitation Program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Center for Distance Health

Terri Imus


Kim Lamb


California State Department of Rehabilitation


Carrie England


Phil Subia


Georgia Department of Public Health, Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund Commission

Craig Young


Kenisha Tait



Idaho State University, Institute of Rural Health

Russ Spearman


Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services

Michele Heydon


Amy Gaier


Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Marnie Mountjoy


Lala Williams


Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration

Anastasia Edmonston


Stefani O'Dea


Minnesota Department of Human Services


Eileen Kelly


Andrea Werlinger



Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Division of Community and Public Health

Jennifer Braun


Rhode Island Department of Health

Carmen Boucher


Jeffrey Hill


Jolayemi  Ahamiojie



North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health


Scott Pokorny


Mya Lewis



Mandy Cohen


Utah Department of Health, Violence and Injury Prevention Program

Anna Fondario


Traci Barney


Deanna Ferrel


Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living

Megan Tierney-Ward

Sara Lane

Andre Courcelle


Authorizing Legislation

The current authorizing legislation is the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018 (P.L 115-377; (42 U.S.C. 300d–52). It raised the authorization levels for the TBI State Partnership Program and TBI P&A and officially designates ACL as the administering agency for both programs. Also, the new provision for partners at the Centers for Disease Control will allow them to implement and analyze concussion prevalence and incidence data, filling a longstanding data gap that will bolster all TBI programs.

See this page for information about the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2018.

TBI Programs Transition to ACL

The TBI Reauthorization Act of 2014 allowed the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary to review oversight of the federal TBI Program and reconsider which administration should lead it. With support from TBI stakeholders, the Secretary found that the federal TBI Programs' goals closely align with ACL's mission to advance policy and implement programs that support the rights of older Americans and people with disabilities to live in their communities. As a result, the federal TBI Program moved from the Health Resources and Services Administration to ACL on Oct. 1, 2015.

State Grantee Information

Grants to States

Federal TBI Program grants to states have undergone several changes since the TBI Act of 1996 mandated the program. The most recent state grants were awarded in 2014 and require that grant activities increase access to rehabilitation and other services. 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

  • Facilitating access to needed services through resource facilitation

State Partnership Grants (SPGs) cannot be used to support primary injury prevention initiatives, research initiatives, or the provision of direct services. Funds may be used, however, to educate the public about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of TBI.

Between 1997 and 2018, 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia received at least one state agency grant. For the current funding cycle (FY 2018-2021), 24 states receive funding for State Partnership Program grants. See "Current Grantees" above. 

TBI Coordinating Center

In January 2019, the Administration for Community Living asked for submissions of thoughts and ideas from TBI stakeholders regarding the future contract for the TBI Technical Assistance and Resource Center. ACL received thirteen submissions with recommendations. Here are some of the common themes from these responses as well as the full text redacted for identifying information.

The TBI Coordinating Center helps demonstrate the federal TBI Program’s success in providing long-term benefits to public health and provides grantees access to resources that will help them build partnerships, promote positive outcomes, increase access, and build capacity.

The TBI Coordinating Center:

  • Provides grantees with individualized technical assistance to help plan and develop effective programs that improve access to health and other services for individuals with TBI and their families

  • Shares promising practices and lessons learned on implementing project activities and creating and/or incorporating TBI services, funding, etc.

  • Communicates TBI-related information and research findings

  • Offers best practices and tools for grantees to conduct state needs and resource assessments

  • Responds to questions about the federal TBI Program and facilitates participation in program-related events


Recognizing the large number of individuals and families struggling to access appropriate and community-based services, Congress authorized the federal TBI Program in the TBI Act of 1996 (PL 104-166). The TBI Act of 1996 launched an effort to conduct expanded studies and to establish innovative programs for TBI. The Act gave the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) authority to establish a grant program for states to assist it in addressing the needs of individuals with TBI and their families. The TBI Act also delegated responsibilities in research to the National Institutes of Health, and prevention and surveillance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-206) reauthorized the programs of the TBI Act of 1996. The 2000 Amendments (PL 106-310—Title XIII of the Children’s Health Act) recognized the importance of protection and advocacy (P&A) services for individuals with TBI and their families by authorizing HRSA to make grants to federally mandated state protection and advocacy systems. As a result of the TBI Reauthorization Act of 2014, the TBI Program transitioned from HRSA to ACL on October 1, 2015. The fiscal year 2015 appropriation was $9.321 million.

Last modified on 01/06/2021

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