The Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services (CRS) program, operated by the DARS Division for Rehabilitation Services (DRS), provides services for people who have experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and/or spinal cord injuries (SCIs). The program works to ensure that Texans who have TBIs and/ or SCIs receive individualized services to improve their ability to function independently in their home or community.
Counselors, consumers and family members work collaboratively to identify rehabilitation goals for the person who has a TBI and/or SCI and determine what services the person needs in order to support increased independence. Services may include inpatient comprehensive rehabilitation services, outpatient rehabilitation services and/or post-acute brain injury services.
To receive CRS services, a person must have a TBI and/or SCI that results in impediments to mobility, self-care or communication; be at least 15 years old; be a resident of Texas; be sufficiently medically stable to participate in treatment; be willing to accept treatment; and not be enrolled in another DRS program.
CRS implemented new rules and policies for budgeting and projections, oversight of expenditures, waiting list removals, staffing strategies, policy, case reviews, rate-setting methodologies and other operational processes.
CRS Redesign Project
As part of the CRS Redesign Project, CRS implemented new rules and policies to improve CRS program operational processes. DARS received input, feedback, and recommendations from stakeholders and partners about changes to the CRS program. New rules and policies improve budgeting and projections, oversight of expenditures, waiting list removals, staffing strategies, policy, case reviews, rate-setting methodologies and other operational processes.
Michael Engineers His Way to Vice President
Michael McDonald, 32, of Amarillo is an example of how DARS services can help consumers reach their goals. In 2005, Michael was involved in a motorcycle accident. Michael's accident resulted in a spinal cord injury that caused him to lose the ability to walk.
Immediately after his accident, Michael was referred to the DARS CRS program. CRS staff helped Michael receive inpatient treatment from a team of doctors, nurses and physical therapists who provided physical and occupational therapies, as well as other services, in a hospital setting. The services Michael received helped him regain independence and learn new strategies for doing activities of daily living, allowing him to begin receiving outpatient services. CRS staff also helped Michael get a wheelchair. "I would never have gotten out of bed if it were not for the CRS program," Michael explained.
Michael not only got out of bed, but he made so much progress through the CRS program that, in 2007, he was referred to the DRS Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program. Michael told his vocational rehabilitation counselor (VRC) that he always wanted to work as an engineer, and his VRC encouraged him to pursue his goal.
Michael started his engineering training at a local university and took on a part-time job to support himself and his daughter while he was completing school. Michael gained valuable job experience and learned first-hand about the construction business through his part-time job. As Michael continued to work and progress through his engineering classes, he worked with his VRC to ensure that he met his goals and stayed on track. When Michael experienced a setback with the onset of depression, he and his VRC worked together to secure the appropriate services to help.
Today, Michael puts his engineering education and skills to use on a daily basis as the vice president of Lone Star Services, a construction company he started with an old friend. The company has grown and Michael now earns an annual salary of $70,000 and receives health insurance for himself and his family. Michael is proud of his job and is very grateful for the services that helped him achieve such great success. He stated, "I am so appreciative of everything you have done for me over the years. You have been a safety net for me."