The Center for Head Injury Services

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The Center for Head Injury Services (commonly referred to as The Center, or CHIS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who offers a comprehensive continuum of services in Missouri for persons having sustained a brain injury. They have 15 specialized, community-based programs with over 60 full- and part-time dedicated staff who deliver services to individuals with brain injuries and their families at a 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) facility in St. Louis, Missouri. The Center is an independent, internationally CARF-accredited non-profit organization that meets the Better Business Bureau’s Charity Accountability Standards.


In 1986, the St. Louis Chapter of the National Head Injury Foundation created the first community-based day program for adults with head injuries. At the time, no care or therapy options existed for survivors, and most people would spend their days at home, alone, with nothing to do. This small program grew and now offers a variety of specialized services known as The Center for Head Injury Services.

The current executive director of The Center for Head Injury Services is Donna Gunning.


Medical Rehabilitation Services
This program provides specialized brain injury rehabilitation services for those with traumatic brain injuries or non-traumatic brain injuries, including physical, occupational and speech therapies. A neuropsychologist works closely with the team to provide valuable assessment information to be used in the treatment program. The Medical program is focused on goals that are important to each individual – whether that be improving strength, memory, independence at home or gaining the skills to return to work or school.

Adult Day Program
People who sustain a brain injury maintain a strong sense of self and often become frustrated because they remember what they could do before their injury. The Center’s Day Programs provide them with a friendly, stimulating and safe environment where they can get together, improve their skills and have fun. Day programs also provide families with some much-needed respite time. Services can include nursing care, assistance with daily living activities, cognitive (or thinking) enrichment activities, social skills training, pre-vocational activities and community outings.

Vocational Program
Often, people are unable to return to the careers they pursued before a brain injury, but employment is an important goal for them. Evaluating strengths, weaknesses, interests, and needs, we help individuals explore different job opportunities, rebuild work skills, learn appropriate workplace behavior and develop strategies to promote successful employment.

Community Living Skills
The activities of daily living can be a challenge for those with a brain injury. The Center’s Community Living Skills program helps individuals become more independent, both at home and in community activities. Skills range from dressing oneself, cooking, cleaning, and budgeting, to time management, grocery shopping, banking, and keeping medical appointments.

Supportive Employment Program
People with brain injuries require special support obtaining and retaining employment. Together, they explore career opportunities through evaluations and real-life experiences at area businesses. They work closely with individuals to find the right job for them. They provide on-the-job training to help new employees learn their tasks. Work related coaching encourages the development of compensatory strategies, relationship management with co-workers, and supervisors, establishment of a support network. They continue follow-up with employees and employers to ensure success on the job well into the future.

The effects of a brain injury on a person and their loved ones can be devastating. Counseling can assist with the changes and adjustment issues that can occur.

Equip Your Neighbor Partnership
This program receives gently used durable medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and hospital beds and redistributes them to those in need, often without insurance coverage for these vital items. This is a partnership established with each of our major hospital systems, local and state elected officials, and local television stations and newspapers. Since its establishment in the St. Louis area, the Equip your Neighbor Partnership has expanded to Cleveland, Ohio.

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