BI Care Network

Brain Injury Care Network of New Mexico

Brain injury affects people of any age or walk of life. Brain injury is far more common than many people think. The burden of brain injury on an individual, family, community, and society is enormous. Brain injury is not just a one-time event with temporary, evanescing symptoms. For people with long-lasting mild TBI symptoms and for people with moderate to severe TBI and their families, injury can be the start of lives changed forever. We invite you to learn and become part of the solution. Rehabilitation from brain injury is possible and necessary, and it starts with education.

Brain injury is not another silo
Brain injury is in every silo, often in significant numbers: homeless, incarcerated, domestic violence, substance use, youth who’ve been in foster care, children, adolescents, veterans, elderly, and more.

We offer training to healthcare providers, behavioral health providers, educators, first responders, and front-line staff of community agencies and domestic violence shelters.

Brain Injury Alliance New Mexico
3150 Carlisle Blvd NE, Ste. 208
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Email:  dvbicare@braininjurynm.org
Website:  braininjurynm.org

The Brain Injury Alliance of NM (BIANM) is seeking healthcare clinics and primary care providers who are – or wish to become – champions in identifying and treating brain injury (BI) including in residents of New Mexico including survivors of domestic violence (DV) or who want to become a champion. The Brain Injury Advisory Council (BIAC) has sponsored free training in identifying and treating brain injury, including in survivors of domestic violence, and free support in creating best practices care networks for BI and DV within communities through the efforts of the BIANM.

There is a desperate need for this training:  in New Mexico, roughly 360,000 adults have suffered a brain injury with loss of consciousness, and 60,000 adults live with a disability related to BI. Brain injury is widespread in NM, affects people of all ages and groups, and is considered by the CDC to be a chronic medical condition.

BI occurs at epidemic proportions in survivors of domestic violence (DV) and is a key risk factor for mortality. There are far more brain injuries experienced by survivors of domestic violence than veterans and athletes combined. One in three women and one in seven men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. DV survivors who have been choked or strangled — a common mechanism for brain injury— are seven times more likely to be murdered by their perpetrator within the year.

There are simple and quick screens to identify the possibility of a history of brain injury which can help prevent escalated violence and apply best practices to provide treatment to those who have a BI and continue to suffer from the effects of it. Community based organizations (including those that treat survivors of DV) and law enforcement are in desperate need of support from health care clinics and health care providers to create a care network to improve quality of life, decrease mortality, maximize health outcome, and minimize the need for additional intensive and costly care.

Training for Healthcare Providers, First Responders, and Front Line Staff is Crucial

The overarching goal of our project is to establish training programs for health care providers, first responders, and front-line staff in identification and management of brain injury

We are grateful to the Brain Injury Advisory Council to the NM Governor’s Commission on Disability and the NM Dept of Health, Epidemiology and Response Division for funding.

Goal 1
Train health care providers to identify and manage brain injury in patients in New Mexico, especially in survivors of interpersonal violence including those with hypoxic brain injuries from strangulation. See the training video on the left.

Goal 2
Train first responders to identify and manage brain injury in residents of  New Mexico, especially in survivors of interpersonal violence including those with hypoxic brain injuries from strangulation. You can help people who may appear to be drunk or on drugs but who actually suffer from brain injury. See the training video on the left. 

Goal 3 
Carry out research on the needs of domestic violence shelter staff so relevant training increasingly benefits the roughly 70% of interpersonal violence survivors who have experienced brain injury. Click on the video to the left for an important introduction to brain injury for front-line staff.

Goal 4
Provide training on treatment of people living with brain injury to behavioral health providers.

Goal 5
Train workers in community agencies to screen for brain injury and make or request referrals for appropriate rehabilitation therapies and supports and services.

Goal 6
Promote the training and certification of Brain Injury Specialists in health care, behavioral health care, DV agencies, and State and private agencies across the State of New Mexico.

Coming Soon:  Training through the Integrative Cognitive Rehabilitation Psychotherapy Institute (ICRP-I)

Developed in New Mexico for use with diverse New Mexico populations, this model of brain injury rehabilitation has been taught nationally and internationally. The institute will be launching training programs for all levels of brain injury care in 2024.

The purpose: To provide an accessible, online learning, educational, and consultation platform in integrative brain injury rehabilitation for health professionals to optimize life potential for their patients with brain injury. Educational resources will be available to clinicians, researchers, patients’  families, and community organizations to promote quality of life and cognitive and emotional health.

Please check back here for updates on training with the ICRP Institute.

The Brain Injury Alliance of New Mexico has sponsored free, introductory sessions of training in this model for several years. We encourage providers to continue training with ICRP-I when the training programs are launched.

The Domestic Violence Connection: Domestic Violence Survivors and Perpetrators

The lifetime incidence of domestic violence for women in NM is 37.6%; we are 23rd in the nation. The lifetime incidence of domestic violence for men in NM is 33.3%; we are 16th in the nation.

70% of female DV survivors report TBI, with over 60% saying they have had more TBIs than they can count. Non-fatal strangulation causes anoxic brain injuries; a single incident of non-fatal strangulation increases a woman’s risk of death within one year by the perpetrator by any means by over 750%.

60% of DV perpetrators are reported to have had TBI.

Since 2020, the Brain Injury Alliance of New Mexico has been instrumental in carrying out research and training with front-line workers of DV shelters in our state. We are available to provide training to staff of DV shelters to aid in screening for brain injury, making accommodations for DV survivors with brain injury, and making referrals to ensure proper care of those with traumatic brain injury or anoxic/hypoxic brain injury from strangulation. Please email your request to info @ braininjurynm.org.

Do You Know How Many People Live with Brain Injury? It’s an epidemic!

Everyone is at risk for brain injury. A fall, a MVA, an assault – these are all common causes of traumatic brain injury. Many groups are at higher risk or have a higher incidence than the general population:

More than one of two homeless or marginally housed persons.
From 1/4 to all incarcerated individuals, depending on the level of incarceration.
Two of three young adults with a history of being in foster care.
15% of high school students reported a concussion within the past year.
There is a high bi-directional correlation between TBI and substance abuse.

Risk and rates are high in these groups:
Every non-White racial group
The elderly
Abused children
Veterans
Athletes, and student-athletes
Children with ADHD

Four in ten adult New Mexicans are estimated to have experienced brain injury with loss of consciousness. About 59,000 are estimated to need care.
(References available upon request)

Traumatic brain injury is only one kind of brain injury. It is caused by a blow to the head. There are many other causes of brain injury including stroke, heart attack, infection, toxic exposure, and more.

References provided upon request.