CABIA began in 1985 when a group of concerned parents and professional began meeting as a support group. This group of individuals had a direct influence in the founding of the Brain Injury Association of Tennessee. Since then, the support group has grown into what is now known as the Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association (CABIA). CABIA provides services to survivors and the families of persons with brain injuries in southeast Tennessee counties (Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie) as well as to several northwest counties in Georgia and northeastern counties in Alabama.
In 1994-95, Dr. Nicky Ozbek was instrumental in strengthening and shaping the support group into CABIA, receiving a 501(c)3 non-profit status and forming the first Board of Directors for the Association. Since that time, the CABIA has continued to evolve and is one of the strongest entities addressing traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the State of Tennessee.
Beginning in the early 1990s, Tennessee’s General Assembly established the Traumatic Brain Injury Program through the Tennessee Department of Health and Human Services. Through this department, small grants have been established to provide service coordination across the state of Tennessee. The Service Coordinator’s role is to work with survivors and their families to assess their current resources and needs. The service coordinator:
- Develops a comprehensive plan of care
- Provides referrals to available resources
- Coordinates services for individual client advocacy
- Bridges gaps in the service delivery system.
The goal of the service coordination project is to improve the quality of life for persons with a brain injury and their family members. The service coordinator will assist with “filling in the gaps.” Services are provided free of charge.
In 1995, CABIA received its first grant from the Tennessee State Department of Health and Human Services to fund the Service Coordinator position. The CABIA Board of Directors diligently works towards additional funding to provide educational resources, support groups, and prevention activities in our community for all age groups.