MEDIA ADVISORY: UO’s Center on Brain Injury Research and Training receives nearly $1.3 million grant from Toyota’s Way Forward Fund

What: On Tuesday, Jan. 30, researchers in the University of Oregon’s Center on Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT) announced a new $1.3 million grant from Toyota’s Way Forward Fund. The funds will be used to develop a new roadmap for families, educators, and community partners that will initially be deployed in south Texas, though researchers plan to build on this model in other states. The TBI System of Support for Kids (TBI SOS 4 Kids) will introduce a four-part program and digital health platform: 

  1. Community outreach, including family support networks, will increase awareness with the goals of preventing and recognizing TBI and how to care for injured children. Outreach will be culturally focused to meet specific community needs. 
  2. Training for school personnel to better identify signs of TBI, adjust academic requirements, and assist with social connections to support a student in recovery. 
  3. A “one-stop-shop” app that connects school and communities to resources and opens communication between parents, doctors, and teachers to answer questions and facilitate comprehensive care. 
  4. Inform legislative action to improve service access to children with TBI, which includes permanent funding for state training programs. 

Contacts: Melissa McCart, Director, CBIRT ( / 541-543-6334); Megan Kunze, Assistant Research Professor. CBIRT ( / 210-386-3345) 
Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) from falls, sporting events, and car accidents is one of the leading causes of death and disability in children. Every year, TBI causes more than half a million emergency room visits and 60,000 hospitalizations in the US. But for many children, the injury is only the beginning, and it’s the road to recovery that is long and winding. 

About the Center on Brain Injury Research and Training (CBIRT) 
Under the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon, CBIRT staff conducts research and training to improve the lives of children and adults with traumatic brain injury. CBIRT’s research focuses on developing interventions to improve outcomes related to education, employability, and quality of life. Training activities promote the use of best practices among educators and other professionals who serve individuals with TBI. CBIRT was previously successful in getting Oregon House Bill 4140 passed, which requires the Oregon Department of Education to provide temporary accommodation forms for children recovering from TBI and remove barriers to access special education resources.