Now, I’m sure you are asking: “what exactly is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and why do I care?” Certified Brain Injury Specialists or CBIS, are providers who are trained to provide for the brain injury community. There is no other provider in the area, who deliver vocational services, that are Certified Brain Injury Specialists, and that’s not all, our Director of Client Services, Sarah Davis, is also a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer! This is just one of the things that sets the Brain Injury Foundation of Saint Louis apart.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America the “Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) is a credential for individuals who assist persons with brain injury to restore, maintain, and promote optimal health” (2021). The road to certification can be difficult for the providers and it is not simply handed out. To qualify for certification, candidates must meet certain academic requirements and possess at least 500 hours of brain injury service experience (2021). Even after they are certified they will continue their brain injury education and renew their credentials each year (2021). Sarah mentions that this credentialing process helps people identify well-trained brain injury specialists and to ensure individuals with brain injury receive quality, specialized services, and care.
Not only does this credentialing allow the providers a greater understanding of brain injury itself, but it also allows the provider to demonstrate their dedication to providing improved quality of care for persons with brain injuries (2021). When asked why it is so important, Sarah mentioned that it is important because individuals with brain injury require unique supports that are often overlooked by professionals without specific brain injury training. Speaking of Sarah, we asked her about her specific training, the CBIS-T. She mentioned that “the CBIS-T must demonstrate the ability to effectively teach and train others about brain injury using academy approved data. The CBIS-T is a professional equipped to train the next generation of brain injury professionals.”
Now, there is the question of “what makes this different?” or “what makes us different?” and the answer is simple, it’s all about the BRAIN. This credentialing (and our foundation) is dedicated to helping those with brain injury. It allows us to gain an understanding of different types of brain injury and the absolute best way to help those with brain injury. As we have mentioned, this credentialing allows us to be set apart from other providers by showing our complete dedication and commitment to the brain injury community. So often, brain injury is not visible to the casual observer, or it can be mistaken for other types of disabilities. This CBIS training and ongoing education ensures that the professional is addressing the specific brain injury characteristics that are frequently misdiagnosed or mismanaged due to lack of training in brain injury.
Becoming a Certified Brain Injury Specialist is an intense training endeavor that many of our staffing team have accomplished. This credential means more than just a few words or an acronym to put behind our name; it is a way to show our commitment, our dedication, and our devotion to the clients that put their trust into us to help them with their goals. Becoming a CBIS is encouraged and valued for the BIFSTL staff, and we look forward to continuing our education on brain injury.
Frequently asked questions. Brain Injury Association of America. (2021, May 10). Retrieved January 6, 2022, from https://www.biausa.org/professionals/acbis/about/about-faqs
Westfall, E. N. (2022, January 12). Sarah Davis. personal.