HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Every year in Hawaii more than 2,000 people sustain brain injuries. Many survivors are treated in hospital trauma units and then move to the Rehab Hospital of the Pacific. There is not a place in Hawaii, however, that offers long-term daily services, programs, and rehabilitation for brain injury survivors, but a facility like that is being planned.
Brain Injury Association of Hawaii President Ian Mattoch describes it as a "clubhouse" for brain injury survivors.
"It will be a place where people with brain injury can go and participate in these programs. There will be a place to go on a daily basis," Mattoch said.
The Hawaii facility will be modeled after the Marin Brain Injury Network in Larkspur, California.
"We have ten different services and programs that we offer. We have an organic garden that surrounds our building. We have yoga, support groups, cognitive rehabilitation. We have a myriad of programs for survivors, but also for the families," said Patricia Bill, Executive Director of the Marin Brain Injury Network.
"By coming to our center it gives them (brain injury survivors) hope that they can improve, that they can reconnect with the community, and that they are with people who understand and really get what's it's been like to come near death and then kind of have to rediscover yourself," Gill added.
The state Department of Health has given the Brain Injury Association of Hawaii $121,000 toward opening the center. More money is needed and a location for the center must be secured, but if all goes as planned the facility up and running in 2013.