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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 9:06 am | Fair 48º


CSU Channel Islands Students to Offer Free In-Home Service for Latina/os With Traumatic Brain Injury

CSU Channel Islands has teamed up with Brain Injury Center of Ventura County to provide in-home services to locals suffering from a traumatic brain injury.

CSU Channel Islands health science students are seeking Ventura County Latina/os with a traumatic brain injury to take part in a free, in-home service called “Trabajadora de Salud.”

Assistant Professor of Health Science Kristen Linton, Ph.D., started the project, which will provide a series of home visits from lay health workers to help families get the resources necessary for those with traumatic brain injuries.

The service is open to any Ventura County family with a member who has a traumatic brain injury, but the emphasis, Linton said, is on Latina/o families.

Research has shown that Latina/os with traumatic brain injury experience worse disabilities than others and are less likely to receive the rehabilitation they need so they can return to work or resume other normal activities.

“Studies have shown that Latinos are less likely to ask for help,” Linton said. “There may be barriers because of language or lack of resources. Caregivers may have more of a burden.”

Linton has selected five upper-level health science students to conduct home visits during the duration of the three-month pilot program, which will begin January 2016.

“When the trabajadora is visiting the family, he or she is there to relieve caregiver burden,” Linton said. “The trabajadora will offer education, sympathy and resource connection.”

Linton is launching the “Trabajadora de Salud” or “health worker” program with a $5,000 grant she received from the Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Association (SFBTA), an organization dedicated to finding swift and effective treatments for a variety of mental and physical health issues. 

The worker will be connected with the family for three months as “it’s meant to be empowering,” Linton said. “It’s between 5 and 15 visits.”

Linton has already tested home visit intervention programs in Los Angeles and Kern Counties with success, but this is the first time the program has been offered in Ventura County.

As the students visit the homes during the pilot program, they will test the effectiveness of this kind of intervention and perhaps use it as a springboard for similar programs.

Linton is currently recruiting families in need through the Brain Injury Center of Ventura County, but welcomes contact from anyone in need of help for someone with a traumatic brain injury, especially Latina/o families.

If you are interested in participating in the lay health worker home visit program, contact Linton at [email protected].

Kim Gregory is a communications specialist at CSU Channel Islands.

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