May 2019 Message- Let's work together to close gaps in treatment, including teaching government and other providers that gaps exist.
As many have said before Traumatic Brain Injury has been called "the silent epidemic". In 2019 there are still many challenges to survivors of Traumatic Brain Injuries, strokes and trauma that are notably absent or substandard. Unfortunately it is people and their families affected by these challenges that must deal with the reality of the gap between what's needed and what exists.​

There is a comprehensive Medicaid Waiver TBI program available through New York State Department of Health for those individuals 18-64 at the time of application who are a survivor of TBI, are  Medicaid eligible and have a certain degree of disability. Services are comprehensive and person-centered. 

Despite the availability of these services there are gaps, some large, that exist and need to be addressed; in hospitals, rehabs, providers, insurance companies and coverage. Years after recognizing that brain injury has profound effects:
  • Several clients with TBI have gone to emergency rooms, one in Rockland, one in Orange County, and were accused of having drug or alcohol problems without conducting a history or neurological exam nor ordering urinalysis or bloodwork. I view this as inappropriate and negligent.
  • Medical training and protocols have to be examined. I have personally referred several people for screening to rule outTBI, a number of whom had seen their physician during the previous weeks. All those referred had now been diagnosed with neurological problems after my referral; two with TBI, one with Multiple Sclerosis. The fact that a Clinical Social Worker (with Brain Injury Certification) is the one referring rather than an MD is disappointing and disturbing- the medical professionals should have been the ones noticing it. In fairness, I recognize I and my staff see clients for a longer period, but it still is a concern.
  • Therapists get trained in working with a variety of difficulties but not Traumatic Brain Injury and other  medical and neurological disorders. A therapist working in these areas should be trained and/or clinically supervised by someone trained so that they could determine the biological, psychological and environmental factors and treat appropriately.
  • 100%, yes all of the clients and families I have met with that have been treated at hospitals and rehabilitation centers throughout several states have NOT received education on TBI and its effects on the clients and family and minimal information about where to received services. It is a glaring deficit in treatment that many times has done well in other ways, but leaves clients stuck, isolated and confused.
  • Children and those under 18 may not have come to treatment, not been appropriately diagnosed, or shown symptoms after some time has passed. There is also a lack of treatment services for children and teens. There is no Waiver program I know of, nor referral source post-rehab that addresses these issues.

Beacon Place has made it our mission to address these, among the other needs that exists. While we provide other services we remain dedicated to providing information and education about Traumatic Brain Injury and treatment. Wew are developing our medical, psychological and insurance based services to close the gaps in services noted above. Nobody should have to take this journey alone.

We have provided education to other agencies, organizations, conferences, community groups and spoken at the VA's locally. We are able to speak to organizations and groups in addition to individuals and families. Whether treatment is provided at our agency or others we are dedicated to making a difference in people's lives. I would love to work with individuals, families, persons with companies that would be interested in beginning a non-profit to help close these service gaps- when there is no Medicaid Waiver and insurance won't cover----- whether someone comes to Beacon Place or not.. There needs to be an option.

Please spend some time exploring our site. Feel free to make suggestions or ask for more information. The site is a work in progress. We want it to be a helpful resource and welcome feedback.

Warmest regards,
Executive Director Randy Bleiwas, LCSW, MA, CASAC, CBIS, CHt

If you have questions or concerns please feel free to send me an email at [email protected] or call me at (845) 827-6680. 
Randolph Bleiwas, LCSW, MA, CASAC, CBIS, CHt
Executive Director
Beacon Place
Where hope never ends...