The prevention, rehabilitation and treatment of spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries are among the most difficult and costly challenges to Ontario’s health system. The Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (the “Foundation”) is committed to reducing the incidence, prevalence and impact of neurotrauma injuries.
In May 1998 the Foundation was awarded a grant of $25,000,000, over five years, from the Ontario Ministry of Health. The terms of the grant require the Foundation to match $1 from other sources for each $1 granted by the Ministry of Health.
The Foundation operates to provide funding to injury prevention, rehabilitation and biomedical research projects in Ontario.
One of the many Foundation grant recipients is the Toronto Area Acquired Brain Injury Network (the “Network”). The Network is a group of 17 partners, which includes acute care hospitals, rehabilitation centres and community agencies. The Network undertook the auspicious task of bringing together all publicly funded Toronto service providers for persons living with the effects of an acquired brain injury, to develop a comprehensive model of care for persons with a brain injury.
With its initial Foundation grant, the Network developed a “best practice” model or guidelines for the care of persons with acquired brain injury. Development of the best practice model included the most current and proven effective approaches to treatment and rehabilitation of brain injury survivors. The best practice model includes 11 recommendations for the care and treatment of persons with acquired brain injury. The purpose of the best practice model is to ensure that persons who have sustained a brain injury have the best possible care and treatment, regardless of which facility or agency provides service; therefore resulting in the best possible outcome for each individual.
In the second phase of its work, the Network collected feedback from the service agencies about the best practice model and, through a panel of experts, it selected a number of consistent, valid and reliable outcome measures that will be used throughout the Network’s partners.
Phase III of the best practice model has also received the support of the Foundation. While the initial phases of the project involved yielding information regarding the current practices and recommendations for standardized assessment and outcome measurement, Phase III starts implementing the best practice model in various agencies.
It is anticipated that implementation of the best practice model across service providers will allow for the best possible treatment of persons with acquired brain injury; from initial contact in the hospital emergency room to reintegration support in the community.
Without the support of the Foundation, it would not have been possible for the Network to develop the best practice model or to begin its implementation. For more information, visit the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation website at www.onf.org or e-mail the Toronto Acquired Brain Injury Network at firstname.lastname@example.org.