The Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center, Charlottesville, Va, has been designated the state lead center in Virginia for the Sarah Jane Brain Project (SJBP)—a national initiative formed to develop and implement a national Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) Plan, says Kluge. As the state lead, Kluge will serve as a level one SJBF Center, creating a statewide master plan to provide seamless, standardized, evidence-based care for all children and young adults in Virginia who acquire a brain injury.

In January, more than 60 of the top pediatric neurologists in the country came together in New York City and drafted the first national PABI, which called for the development of a national system of collaboration to address the treatment of brain injuries, according to Kluge. The Sarah Jane Brain Project held an open application period in March for children’s hospitals, research universities, and other health care organizations seeking to become state leaders in implementing the National PABI Plan. Finally, a selection committee of scientists and rehabilitation experts across the country reviewed the applications and selected one institution in every state, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, to lead this effort.

SJBP founder Patrick Donohue says he finds it "shocking to realize" that despite brain injury being the leading killer and disabler of children, nothing has been done to develop a nationally standardized medical or educational plan to address it—and there is very little public awareness of pediatric brain injury, according to Kluge.

Donohue started the SJBP in October 2007 after his daughter Sarah Jane was shaken by her baby nurse, causing a severe brain injury.

The national PABI Plan is estimated to cost $125 million annually to implement nationwide and will address each of the seven categories of care for every aspect of brain injury treatment—prevention, acute care, rehabilitation, adult transition, rural/telehealth, mild TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), and the virtual center, says Kluge.

[Source: Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center]