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Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC) Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP)

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC) Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP)

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC) has several ongoing efforts to reach out to Iraq and Afghanistan (OIF/OEF) veterans who may have sustained a combat-related concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Last week, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission’s (MRC) Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) offered screening clinics to veterans at the Chelsea Soldiers Home.

Head injuries are most often caused by exposure to blasts from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) or other combat-related events, and MRC works closing with veterans’ services and centers to screen and treat these serious injuries. If a screening indicates a positive finding, the veteran is referred comprehensive assessments and application to SHIP is facilitated by an MRC veteran program coordinator.

Held at the Chelsea Soldiers Home, participating veterans were seen by senior level clinical neuropsychologists, who conducted confidential, diagnostic interviews and administer neuropsychological screening tests specifically developed for the assessment of concussion and related impact.  Informational materials developed to help veterans during stand-downs, post mobilization, and military family support group events were also available.

MRC looks forward to continuing to organize free screening clinics at multiple sites including Vet Centers, VFW posts, and Veterans’ homeless shelters. All veterans who may have sustained a TBI, whether from combat or other non-combat related events like motor vehicle accidents or falls, are also welcome to participate in these screening clinics.

This clinic is funded by a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant and is offered without cost to participants. For additional information or assistance, please contact Felisha Bennett at MRC’s Statewide Head Injury Program at (617-204-3852) or Felisha.Bennett@mrc.state.ma.us.

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