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Programs & Services

Brain Injury Services Program

The Brain Injury Services Program works to improve the lives of Iowans living with brain injuries by linking those individuals and their families to needed information, services and support as well as training service providers and other professionals on how to best work with people who have sustained a brain injury.

Acquired brain injuries (ABIs) describe all types of brain injuries, which can be caused by conditions such as trauma to the brain, strokes, infections, poisoning or toxic exposures, or lack of oxygen to the brain. Brain Injuries are not hereditary or degenerative. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are caused by an external force such as hitting your head during a fall or car crash, from a collision with an object or another person during activities such as participating in sports or when assaulted. Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury. Non-traumatic brain injuries are caused by an internal condition, such as a lack of oxygen, an infection, or strokes.

Advisory Council on Brain Injuries

Iowa's Advisory Council on Brain Injuries seeks to reduce the impact of brain injury by recommending policies and programs to prevent brain injury and to improve outcomes for those who have sustained one.


Need information or support following a brain injury? The Iowa HHS Brain Injury Services Program contracts with the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa to provide a free service called NeuroResource Facilitation to provide education, support, and advocacy for individuals who need assistance related to brain injury. Talk to their staff by calling 855-444-6443 or emailing

Screening Tools from Your Life Iowa

Iowa's brain injury screening tools are now available online for providers who wish to screen clients for a lifetime history of brain injury! Using a password-protected, fillable format found at Your Life Iowa (YLI), results are instantly emailed to the screener.  To register an account, email

Questions regarding implementing the screening tools can be sent to or by calling Jim Pender at 515-204-7978.

Falls Prevention Awareness Resources

Falls continue to be the number one cause of traumatic brain injury in Iowa. The Brain Injury Service Program, along with the Advisory Council on Brain Injuries, partners with the Iowa Falls Prevention Coalition to raise awareness about falls prevention activities in Iowa.

Bicycle Helmet Distribution

The Advisory Council on Brain Injuries (ACBI) wants to decrease the number of TBIs caused by falls off of bicycles by promoting helmet use in all populations, especially among children. One activity of the ACBI prevention task force has been to distribute bicycle helmets across Iowa in collaboration with the Iowa HHS Children's EMS program.

Other Resources

Important Links

  • Falls Prevention in Iowa - a collaboration between the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, Iowa Department on Aging, and the Iowa Falls Prevention Coalition, this website is a starting point for healthcare professionals and members of the public who are seeking information about preventing falls in Iowa.
  • SafeKids Iowa - Based on the needs of the community, this coalition implements evidence-based programs, such as car-seat checkups, safety workshops and sports clinics, that help parents and caregivers prevent childhood injuries.
  • Concussion tools for coaches - Aimed at high school coaches, the purpose of this kit is to provide strategies for reducing the concussions that can occur in any high school sport.
  • The National Bike Safety Network - The National Bike Safety Network exchanges information on bike safety programs, legislation, and research; develops national programs on bicycle safety; and shares resources. An estimated 140,000 children are treated each year in emergency departments for head injuries sustained while bicycling.
  • All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety - The University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital has ATV safety information including an ATV safety pledge and safety booklet.
  • The Child Passenger Safety Fact Sheet - This fact sheet provides information on child passenger injuries and injury prevention strategies.

Traumatic Brain Injury Screening Tools

Brain injuries are often a multi-occurring condition with mental health, substance abuse, unemployment, corrections involvement and homelessness.  Screening for a brain injury is best practice when responding to, and/or planning clinical and community based responses for clients served in health, community, and corrections services.  Therefore the Advisory Council on Brain Injuries has recommended and approved a screening tool for implementation in Iowa.  The tool is simple and can be used by providers to assess if an individual may have had a brain injury, though the tool does not provide a diagnosis or indicate an absence of a brain injury.  Once completed, if warranted, a referral may be made to the Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa for further consultation.  Note:  A pediatric screening tool is currently being adapted for Iowa.  When completed, it will be added to this website.

Brain Injury Screening Tool for Adults

The screening tool is now also available in the following languages:

Brain Injury Screening Tool for Youth