Virginia Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative
The Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to improving the treatment and care of Virginians with traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injuries. Through the establishment of the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative (CNI) Trust Fund, administered by a governor-appointed Advisory Board, funds are available to Virginia-based organizations, institutions and researchers to address the needs of people with acquired neurotrauma. The Advisory Board disburses CNI funds through a grant application process for research proposals and innovative community-based rehabilitation programs.
History & Status
Link to the Code of Virginia (§): http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/
Current Status of the CNI Trust Fund
An amendment to Senate Bill 1132 was passed establishing that the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative (CNI) Trust Fund would be administered by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (§ 51.5-12.2.) "...for the purpose of preventing traumatic spinal cord or brain injuries and improving the treatment and care of Virginians with traumatic spinal cord or brain injuries," also "created in the state treasury a special nonreverting fund to be known as the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund, hereinafter referred to as the "Fund." For the purpose of administering, in coordination with the Commissioner of Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund established the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund Advisory Board, hereinafter referred to as the Advisory Board. Organizational staff support is provided to the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund Advisory Board by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (§ 51.5-12.3).
The Fund is a revolving fund that is administered by the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund Advisory Board, in cooperation with the Commissioner of Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. The Fund consists of grants, donations and bequests from public and private sources and funds collected as provided in § 46.2-411. These moneys are deposited into the state treasury to the credit of the Fund and are used for the purposes mentioned above.
In 1998, the General Assembly passed an amendment establishing a source of revenue for the fund. The source of revenue for the CNI Trust Fund is funds collected through a reinstatement fee that is charged before restoring an operator's license to any person whose driver's license has been revoked or suspended upon conviction for specified dangerous driving offenses (e.g., DUI-related offenses, hit-and-run, reckless driving, failure to comply with conditions imposed upon license probation for driving offenses, etc.). In these cases, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is authorized to collect an additional fee of $30 in order to reinstate an operator's license. Of this fee, $25 goes to the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund and $5 goes to the Department of Motor Vehicles; however, if the driving offense is DUI-related, the $5 goes to the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program Commission (§ 46.2-411).
The Fund is administered by the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. Moneys in the Fund are used to support grants for Virginia-based organizations, institutions, and researchers as follows:
- Forty-seven and one-half percent is allocated for research on the mechanisms and treatment of neurotrauma.
- Forty-seven and one-half percent is allocated for rehabilitative services.
- Five percent is allocated for the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services' costs for administering and staffing the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund Advisory Board.
Download more information on the History of CNI.
As specified in the Code of Virginia (§ 51.5-12.3), the Commonwealth Neurotruama Initiative Trust Fund Advisory Board is responsible for administering the CNI Trust Fund.
The Advisory Board:
- Administers the Fund in cooperation with the Commissioner of Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, in accordance with such regulations as established for the Fund by the Commissioner.
- Recommends to the Commissioner of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services the policies and procedures for the administration of the Fund, including criteria for reviewing and ranking grant applications, distribution of funds, and areas of research need (§ 51.5-12.2);
- Reviews and ranks or arranges for reviewers and technical advisers to review and rank grant applications for education, basic science and clinical research, and rehabilitative research and community-based rehabilitative services (the Advisory Board may appoint grant reviewers and other technical advisers to assist it in its duties. Such reviewers and technical advisers are to be appointed in such manner as to provide equal representation from Virginia's three medical schools. Whenever reviewers or technical advisers sit as a committee, the chairman of the Advisory Board or his designee will serve as chairman);
- And reports annually on October 1, to the Governor and the General Assembly, aggregate data on the operations and funding of the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative Trust Fund.
Additionally, The Commissioner of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services will promulgate regulations establishing procedures and policies for soliciting and receiving grant applications and criteria for reviewing and ranking such applications, including, but not limited to, goals, timelines, forms, eligibility, and mechanisms to ensure avoidance of any conflicts of interest or appearances thereof. The Commissioner will also receive the recommendations of the Advisory Board prior to promulgating or revising any regulations.
The Code of Virginia Section § 51.5-12.3(C)(4) requires the Commonwealth Neurotrauma Initiative (CNI) Advisory Board to “…report annually on October 1, to the Governor and the General Assembly, aggregate data on the operations and funding of the . . . [CNI Trust Fund]."
The Advisory Board consists of seven members:
- One person licensed to practice medicine in Virginia experienced with brain or spinal cord injury
- One person licensed by a health regulatory board within the Virginia Department of Health Professions with experience in brain or spinal cord injury rehabilitative programs or services
- One Virginian with traumatic spinal cord injury or a caretaker thereof
- One Virginian with traumatic brain injury or a caretaker thereof
- One citizen-at-large who shall not be an elected or appointed public official
- The Commissioner of Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
- The State Health Commissioner
The Commissioner of Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Health may appoint designees to serve on the Advisory Board. Board members are appointed by the Governor and serve four-year terms. Nominations for appointments may be submitted, at the discretion of the Governor, from relevant organizations.
Current Advisory Board
|David X. Cifu, MD, Chair (#1, see footnote below)||Richmond, VA||July 2016 – June 2020
|David Reid, Psy.D (#2, see footnote below)||Charlottesville, VA 22902||September 2016 – June 2017
(serving unexpired term)
|Scott Dickens (#3, see footnote below)||Richmond, VA||July 2013 – June 2017
|Raighne "Renny" Delaney, Esq (#4, see footnote below)||Arlington, VA||July 2016 – June 2020
|Patrik Sandas, Ph.D. (#5, see footnote below)||Charlottesville, VA||July 2013 – June 2017
|James Rothrock, M.A., LPC (#6, see footnote below)
Commissioner, Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
|Heather Board, MPH (#7, see footnote below)
Commissioner's Designee, Virginia Department of Health
|Richmond, VA||Standing Member|
**The Commissioner of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services and the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Health may appoint designees to serve on the Advisory Board.
Meetings & Minutes
2020 Meeting Schedule
Advisory Board Meeting
Date: Friday, April 24, 2020
Advisory Board Meeting
Date: Friday, June 12, 2020
Advisory Board Meeting
Date: Friday, September 18, 2020
Time: 9am - 12pm
Public may view live at the DARS YouTube Channel
Advisory Board Meeting
Date: Friday, December 4, 2020
Time: 9am - 12m
Public Comment: 9am
Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held at:
Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Central Office, 8004 Franklin Farms Drive, Henrico 23229.
Meetings are open to the public. For additional information or to request meeting accommodations, including ASL interpretation services, please contact Wanda Allen by email at: Wanda.Allen@dars.virginia.gov or phone 804-662-7154
Meeting Minutes & Other Documents
Current CNI Grantees
Option A Grantees
RFP #17-002 GRANT AWARD PERIOD: April 1, 2017 – June 30, 2020
Virginia Commonwealth University, PI: Alex Valadka, MD
“Comparative Evaluation of Mannitol and Hypertonic Saline in the Treatment of Experimental Traumatic Brain Injury.”
This proposal will compare effects of mannitol and HTS at different concentrations on ICP, brain water content, inflammation, and early neuronal cell death immediately after experimental TBI. This study will also compare neuroprotective properties of mannitol and different concentration of HTS by determining functional recoveries and brain tissue preservation after experimental TBI.
(Only Requested One and a half years of Grant Funding)
Download the Comparative Evaluation Powerpoint presentation.
Virginia Commonwealth University, PI: Kristy Dixon, PhD
“PAIN-T Alleviation Immediately after Neurotrauma Mediated via TNFR1.”
This project will build on preliminary data by examining that extent of injury-induced hippocampal plasticity and its association with the development of pain, and determine whether this is TNFR1-mediated. This proposal will also build on preliminary data by examining the mechanism as to how TNF induces hippocampal plasticity. The study will assess the efficacy of XPro1595 to alleviate pain and comorbid behaviors in mice following brain injury.
McGuire Research Institute Inc, PI: George Gitchel, PhD
“Targeted Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Cognitive Rehabilitation after Traumatic Brain Injury.”
McGuire Research Institute will assess efficacy of right frontal rTMS for cognitive rehabilitation of attention and learning after TBI. In the short-term, this study is expected to provide needed information on the efficacy of a potential treatment for TBI-related cognitive dysfunction and encourage larger trials to be conducted.
Download the Targeted Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Powerpoint.
Community Brain Injury Services, PI: on Young, MSW
“Evaluating Brain Injury Clubhouses and their effects on Neurobehavioral Functioning and Participation.”
CBIS will Implement a program level data collection system to standardize data concerning the injury and sociodemographic characteristics of people served, the level and duration of services provided, and outcomes generated by Virginia’s Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Clubhouses. This project will also describe and evaluate the effectiveness of ABI Clubhouses in meeting Virginia’s citizens’ needs. This program will compare the persons treated, services provided, and the outcomes generated by Virginia’s ABI Clubhouses to 3 ABI Clubhouses in the US and Canada to identify strengths and opportunities for growth.
Option B Grantees
GRANT AWARD PERIOD: June 1, 2015 - May 31, 2018
University of Virginia, Co-PI: Jeffrey T. Barth, PhD, ABCN and Donna K. Broshek, PhD
“Community Based Brain Injury Screening Initiative.”
University of Virginia Health System will develop and pilot a brain injury screening tool and protocol to be used by providers who do not specialize in serving people with acquired brain injury. This project will be implemented at eight (8) community sites across Virginia.
Download the related nbsp;Powerpoint.
RFP #18-061 Grant Award Period: August 1, 2018 - July 31, 2021
Virginia Commonwealth University, PI: Amy Armstrong, PhD
“Enhancing Parenting Skills (EPS) of Civilians and Veterans with TBI and their Non-injured Partners.”
Enhancing Parenting Skills (EPS) of civilians and veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury and their non-injured partners: A service-based program.
Virginia Commonwealth University, PI: Christine Groah, MEd
Using Cognitive support technology to assist women veterans and service members with Traumatic Brain and/or Spinal Cord Injuries to achieve postsecondary education and careers.
Virginia Commonwealth University, PI: Melody Mickens, PhD
“Virginia Spinal Cord Injury outreach and Services Clearinghouse.”
Creating a registry for collecting and monitoring the characteristics of Virginia with SCI and their Outcomes.
Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley, PI: Tamara Wagester
“Looking Out for Little Brains.”
Comprehensive pediatric case management to build the capacity of our local community to better respond to children (and their families and caregivers) who have sustained a brain injury, and support partner organizations who provide complementary resources.
Current CLOSED CNI Request for Proposals
(Option A-Research on the Mechanisms and Treatment of Neurotrauma)
The purpose of this Request for Proposals (RFP) is to solicit sealed proposals to establish contracts with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) through competitive negotiation, for research services that increase the understanding of the mechanisms of neurotrauma recovery or enhance the care to improve the short- and long-term outcomes for individuals from the Commonwealth of Virginia with a history traumatic spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, or both.
(search RFP 20-105)
Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services
8004 Franklin Farms Drive, Richmond, VA 23229
Email: Wanda Allen (804) 662-7154