Regions Hospital: Our contact is Sara Leahy, who has received our information and is currently arranging a group meeting with other social workers. As a Level One Trauma Center, they will also be discharging TBI patients to Bethesda for continuing care.
Bethesda Rehabilitation Hospital: From the initial stay at a Level One Trauma Center, most TBI cases will continue their recovery in either the Respiratory or Brain Injury wards at Bethesda. Once stabilized, but if not emerged from low consciousness levels, patients will feed into the programs at Red Wing Healthcare or other traditional nursing homes. Social Worker Kim Gulbranson-Hersk arranged for Carol to meet with a group of eight social workers to inform them of the Granite House program, and offered encouragement and support. The team confirmed the need of our type of housing, and assured us that our beds would be filled.
Washington County Social Services: We are working on our initial Community Residential Setting licensing with Washington County now that we have our 245D licensing with the Department of Human Services; this work will ensure a timely process after Granite House is built. They will distribute our support group flyers and will endorse Granite House as a residence after we are licensed and operational. Anyone who receives any kind of medical assistance in Washington County goes through this organization.
Department of Human Services Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Committee (TAC): Carol Insley served a two-year term from 2015-2017 with this committee, made up of case managers, therapists, and medical professionals from hospitals, agencies, and brain injury specialty groups. It continues to be an opportunity to advocate for people living with severe and permanent brain injury while educating a growing circle of professionals about the existence and the needs of this population.
Singing Heart: Katie Corbett, MT-BC, MAMT, NICU-MT is a board-certified music therapist who specializes in working with people with developmental disabilities and brain injuries. Besides the ability to provide relaxation and sensory stimulation, music therapy is widely used to stimulate the brain functions controlling movement, speech, cognition and emotions. Katie displays our brochures and Support Group flyers at Singing Heart and will provide services to Granite House.
Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance (MN BIA): Distributes Granite House literature and refers families to us for support group services. MN BIA will endorse Granite House as a residence when licensed and operational, provide TBI training for staff, provide guest speakers, and assist with our support group and education efforts in the wider community. Through events hosted by the MN-BIA such as Family & Consumer Conferences and the Citizens Advocacy Academy, new friendships and contacts have been made. Granite House has participated in their annual fundraiser, the Walk for Thought, for four years, raising over $3200 for brain injury research. Executive Director David King is keeping up with our progress and is always eager to talk with our representatives at events.
A family-focused long-term care residence
Bluestone Physicians Services: We have met with Sarah Keenan, President and Katherine Redmon, Projects and Research Specialist. Bluestone will be managing monthly physician visits and coordinating benefits for other services. They are very excited about working with our group and are helping to spread the word of our mission to their contacts within the Twin Cities area.
Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Center, Stillwater: We have met with Aimee Stanton, LSW, who has our brochures and put them and the Support Group flyers on display. Being right in our service area, we hope to maintain a close relationship with them.
Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC): Our contact is Carol Ann Smith, a nurse at HCMC who is the Program Coordinator for their TBI Center. They have families interested in housing and support groups that contact them months or years after they have been to HCMC and ask for referrals. HCMC has assured us that there are residents are out there and we will have plenty of people to fill the beds and create a pool of support group families. They believe that Granite House will be the beginning of a new type of housing, and are very excited about our work.
Mary Fruetel, Healing Massage and Bodywork: Mary is nationally certified in massage and bodywork, and she will make on-site visits to Granite House. She has been an independent contractor with Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute for 9 years. She will provide deep tissue, Swedish massage and myofascial release for dystonia and spasticity. Mary also is trained in Healing Touch holistic energy work to restore harmony, energy and balance.
Department of Human Services (DHS): We are working closely with DHS to clarify licensing, and to make sure our residents are being cared for in the appropriate setting. Alexandra Bartolic, Director of the Disability Services Division, and former Assistant Commissioner Jennifer DeCubellis, Community Supports Administration, visited the Insley home to meet Aaron and see how he is cared for in his own home. We recieved a letter of support from Alex Bartolic recently, stating that "...we believe this home will meet an unidentified need to support adults living with brain injury in a community based setting." Also, that Granite House "...is an option that isn't currently available to meet the demand."
Lakeview Homecare: The Insleys have maintained a close relationship with Lakeview Home Care for seven years, utilizing skilled nursing visits, physical and occupational therapy, and speech-pathology therapy for their son, Aaron, in his home. This valuable service has enhanced Aaron’s health and well-being, and made a decisive difference in the ability of the family to care for him within their home. Arrangements have been made with Denise Plourde, manager, to provide this service for Granite House. Bimonthly home care nursing visits and physician-directed programs of physical, occupational and speech-pathology therapy will be provided to all residents.
Stillwater Medical Group: We are fortunate to have Dr. Donna Koning, Neurology, serving on our initial Board of Directors. Once the residence is complete, Dr. Koning will be a member of our admissions team to screen potential candidates through the county intake process. Upon admission of each new resident, Dr. Koning will make an initial Neurological assessment, and on an ongoing basis will provide quarterly home visits to Granite House for care of all the residents.
Red Wing Healthcare, part of Welcov Healtcare: Red Wing Healthcare has been one of our resources for residents and provides brochures and Support Group flyers to families. The most severe TBI cases start at Regions or HCMC, then go to Bethesda Rehab, then to Red Wing. If they do not emerge from consciousness after a year post-injury, they are discharged to long-term care or family homes. Dr. Robert Karol, Ph.D., L.P., ABPP-RP, CBIST is our contact and has been advising us since early summer of 2014. He is confident that our mission is important, it fills a real need, and that our beds will be filled.