The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center's Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Recovery Support Program (RSP) ensures that its clients are supported and connected — and stay connected — to appropriate resources as they progress through the entire continuum of care to recovery.
Since 2007, DVBIC’s TBI Recovery Support Program, formerly known as the Regional Care Coordination Program, has been providing medical and non-medical services and resources to service members, members of National Guard and reserves, and veterans who have sustained a TBI, as well as family members and caregivers, as they negotiate complex systems of care. The program’s Recovery Support Specialists (RSSs) are assigned to 14 regions throughout the United States and Germany to provide a nationwide network for care coordination.
Why Participate in the TBI Recovery Support Program?
Due to physical, cognitive or psychological symptoms, as well as complex treatment programs, service members or veterans with TBI may be at risk of dropping out of treatment or getting lost in the many systems of care. They can experience:
- Difficulty successfully participating in their treatment and confusion about treatment recommendations
- Difficulty remembering appointments or medications
- Emotional symptoms, such as mood swings, irritability and frustration
- Behavioral symptoms, such as aggressiveness and lack of self-control, potentially causing fear, confusion or discomfort for patients and their family and friends
Eligible participants include:
- Service members
- Members of National Guard and reserves
- Family members
You can enter this program if you:
- refer yourself
- are referred by a family member
- screen positive for a TBI at a military treatment facility or VA hospital
- are referred by a health care provider or case manager
Once you are enrolled in the program, we will reach out to you regularly. We will provide advice and support, keep track of your symptoms and make sure that you are connected to medical and non-medical support services.
We can make sure you receive follow-up care, whether you return to duty or transition out of the military.
What’s the Difference Between a TBI Recovery Support Specialist and a Case Manager?
A TBI recovery support specialist (RSS) and case manager work together to provide extra support to you and your family.
Your case manager directly manages your care at a treatment facility, developing and implementing your multi-disciplinary recovery care plan. Your TBI Recovery Support Specialist (RSS) follows you throughout the care system, making sure you stay connected and know about TBI-specific services, treatments and resources. Your RSS helps you identify military, veterans and community resources that will help your continued recovery.
The TBI recovery support program is a nationwide network and if you move, your RSS transitions your care to a RSS in your new location.
What Services Are Offered?
Recovery support specialists establish ongoing relationships with clients to empower them with resources that advance their care and understanding of TBI. When a client enters the program, a RSS will speak with them by phone or in person about issues they’re having in treatment, other medical or psychological health conditions, strengths and limitations, family issues, changes in duty status, and other relevant issues.
- The RSS provides follow-up services by completing regular check-in calls to provide support and track TBI symptoms and recovery for 24 months
- The RSS assists in finding and accessing TBI and psychological health clinical care, supportive services and information as a client enters the rehabilitation stage of care, returns to duty or transitions to civilian life
- The RSS ensures that a client stays on the path to recovery as they move between military posts or stages of recovery and serves as a point-of-contact to access TBI resources in communities where the client lives. If the client moves, the RSS transfers the client to a RSS in the new location
Additionally, the TBI RSP provides information about TBI resources, trainings and research to case managers and providers as they meet the clinical needs of TBI clients. The program also serves as the primary TBI resource to other military and veteran care coordination systems, including Warrior Transition Units, each of the services’ wounded warrior programs, and the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs joint Federal Recovery Coordination Program.
Onsite or video teleconferencing presentations about the TBI Recovery Support Program are available to clinics, programs and military treatment facilities. Email DVBIC to schedule a presentation.