Recently I was at the Southwest Disability Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico and had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Anne Leopold, MSc of JBS International. Ms. Leopold’s presentation addressed the barriers to receiving post-acute rehabilitation services and the unmet needs experienced by individuals living with Traumatic Brain Injury. I found Ms. Leopold’s analysis of the problems consistent with my research into the problems faced by people living with brain injury in the years following the end of rehabilitation. Ms. Leopold identified four barrier domains: financial, structural, personal and attitudinal and “drilled down” into each of these domains to examine the issues related to funding resource availability; fragmented service delivery problems; the impact of the person’s disabling conditions on their ability to access care and barriers created by membership in a minority group, age and the payer’s perception of cost/benefit.
Ms. Leopold’s work brings considerable focus on the factors which may serve to enhance the disability of a person living with a brain injury. She provides an important “wake-up call” to people in position to implement change in our current system of care and to re-direct resources to help lessen the impact of brain injury disability for the person over the course of their lifetime.
Ms. Leopold is an accomplished researcher and I asked her to be a guest blogger on NeuroNotes to share her thoughts.