Turner tabbed ADRS state head injury coordinator

April Turner has been named the new Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services’ State Head Injury Coordinator. Turner replaces Maria Crowley, who recently retired.

ADRS Assistant Commissioner Karen Jenkins said she is excited about Turner’s promotion and confident in her ability to keep the program moving forward.

“April brings a wealth of experience to this position as an Auburn University graduate and an ADRS employee since 2001,” she said. “After starting as a welfare-to-work counselor, she then managed a transition and general counselor caseload in Troy before assuming a TBI Care Coordinator/Counselor caseload in 2011.”

Jenkins said Turner has been providing cognitive remediation and counseling, TBI awareness, psychosocial adjustment education, independent living skills, and community interaction opportunities to individuals with TBI and their families. Turner has also connected people to services through the TBI/SCI trauma registry, conducted training in TBI to service providers statewide, developed partnerships with community agencies, and assisted with grant activities to enhance the current system of care.

Turner has worked as an adjunct professor at Troy University in rehabilitation and employment and served as a liaison to county and state prisons and juvenile detention facilities. She has been a presenter for many years with the Auburn University at Montgomery College Prep program, Troy University, Auburn University, and Transition and MEGA conferences annually.

Turner said she was humbled and nervous when she learned she had been chosen as Director for Traumatic Brain Injury Services.

“I will be filling some big shoes as my mentor, Maria Crowley, and her mentor, Augusta Cash, were TBI pioneers both in our state and nationwide,” she said. “I hope to honor them and all the many consumers I have served in my 18 years with ADRS.”

Turner added that she is, “Privileged to work with a talented TBI team who enter homes every day to provide hope to Alabamians with TBI.”

She said she would like to continue that tradition and expand with more professionals, resources, and educational programs to cover a variety of needs for the special families who are dear to her heart.

“I am ready for this new challenge,” she said.

Turner said she has several goals moving forward, including:

  • Strengthen the partnership with ADMH Systems with the new two-year TBI Grant in order to address supports related to MH, SA, opioid disorders and the Alabama TBI population.
  • Promote more concussion management and education with a robust “Return to Learn Plan” for teachers. This includes piloting the Teachers Acute Concussion Tool (TACT) with many Alabama schools.
  • Continue to service Alabamians with TBI with a service delivery system under ADRS called the Interactive Community Based Model (ICBM) with Adult TBI Care Coordinators and Children’s Rehabilitation Pediatric TBI care coordinators.
  • Promote, monitor, and coordinate activities of the Alabama Head Injury Task Force and the Alabama Head and Spinal Cord Injury Registry and Service Linkage System with Public Health in order to identify and serve more individuals with TBI.
  • Collaborate and maintain relationships with advocacy organizations, state agencies, and community partners to reach and educate more providers, families, and individuals with TBI.
  • Promote regional and national Initiatives and programs in order to study new innovations, trends, and emerging issues regarding TBI.
  • Collaborate with the Alabama Head and Spinal Cord Injury Trust Fund Board, which promotes revenue to support a comprehensive system of service for Alabamians with head and spinal cord Injuries through the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation and Alabama Head Injury Foundation.