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Mary Bea Drummond | 918-594-8223


Sean Kennedy | 918-594-8360

OSU-CHS named state, regional lead for Sarah Jane Brain Project

TULSA, Okla. – OSU Center for Health Sciences has been selected as the state lead for the Sarah Jane Brain Project, a national effort to build a comprehensive network of care for children who suffer from acquired brain injuries. Additionally, OSU-CHS will serve as regional lead for Adult Transitions, one of the seven categories of care identified by the Sara Jane Brain Project.

Traumatic brain injuries suffered during childhood are the leading cause of death and disability for children and young adults through age 25 in the United States, according to the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation. The foundation and project are led by Patrick Donohue, whose five-day-old daughter was violently shaken by her baby nurse, resulting in severe brain injury. She turns four-years-old this month and still cannot walk, talk, crawl or sit up on her own.

Donohue founded the project because he found no existing standard or convenient system for families to tap into to access consistent, long-term quality care. The foundation is enlisting existing expertise from across the country to develop a national plan to address education/prevention, provision of care, family support and research.

Kayse Shrum, D.O., chair of pediatrics at OSU Center for Health Sciences, agrees that the need exists. “The system for caring for pediatric acquired brain injuries is fragmented, and without a comprehensive system in place, physicians are faced with reinventing the wheel with each case. The Sarah Jane Brain Project will allow for the development of an organized network of care to ease the process for families and improve quality of life for young patients. We can establish effective means of education and outreach to prevent pediatric acquired brain injuries, and conduct collaborative research on a national level to determine effective treatments and improve long-term health outcomes,” says Dr. Shrum. “We are honored to join this national effort.”

OSU-CHS, as state lead, will be responsible for developing and implementing a statewide master plan in partnership with other state healthcare and educational institutions and organizations. Additionally, OSU-CHS can utilize its telemedicine expertise, as well as the mobile telemedicine clinic, for rural outreach efforts. OSU-CHS research facilities include a hyperbaric chamber and a biomedical research department available for translational studies with clinicians.

The foundation on Friday will announce the 52 lead centers, one from each state, plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Additionally, the foundation has identified regional leads for seven categories of care. OSU-CHS will serve as regional lead for Adult Transitions, for older youth transitioning into adult systems of care. Other states in the South-Central region are Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas.

More information about the Sarah Jane Brain Project is available at http://www.thebrainproject.org/2009-06-05.asp.

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa offers programs in osteopathic medicine, biomedical sciences and forensic sciences. Since its beginnings more than 30 years ago, OSU-CHS has grown to offer nine graduate degrees. On-campus programs, distance learning and OSU partnerships train osteopathic physicians, research scientists and health care professionals with an emphasis on serving rural and under-served Oklahoma. OSU operates six clinics, five in Tulsa and one in Enid. More information about OSU Center for Health Sciences is available at www.healthsciences.okstate.edu.