Work finds me in Nashville, TN, this week. Yesterday I had the honor of lunching with Marjorie Bristol, a healthcare attorney who works for a non-profit organization. She represents some hundred and twenty TBI survivors seeking treatment–a drop in the bucket given the thousands of Tennesseans who need brain injury services.
She told me that the governor has recently cut 290,000 people from Medicaid, so the prospects are truly grim for those seeking healthcare. Currently, the only state-sanctioned TBI program offered in TN is a database of all its survivors. That’s it. If you have a brain injury in Tennessee, then you get your name on list. There’s no waiver, no guarantee of follow-up, and not even the prospect of finding treatment anywhere in state lines. Consequently, many of the state’s mental health hospitals are teaming with inappropriately placed TBI survivors.
Bristol’s caseload is far past burdensome, but she continues to make slow strides by occasionally helping a TBI survivor find care outside of the state. Tennessee obviously needs more advocates like Bristol, so if you’re able to contribute time or money towards brain injury care in Tennessee, contact the brain injury association as well as the state head injury administrator.