TBI Unit
Acquired Brain Injury Services
An Integration of Community Services for DMHAS Consumers with Brain Injury

Definition of Acquired Brain Injury:  An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain that has occurred after birth, which results in any combination of focal and diffuse central nervous system dysfunction, both immediate and/or delayed at the brain stem level and above.  This dysfunction of the central nervous system is acquired through the interaction of any external force and the body including blows to the head and violent movements of the body (Traumatic Brain Injury); as well as through oxygen deprivation; infection; toxicity; surgery; and vascular disorders not associated with aging.  This dysfunction is not congenital, developmental or degenerative.

Overview of Services:

The mission of the ABI Community Services is to facilitate PERSON-CENTERED RECOVERY and encourage personal empowerment for persons living with acquired brain injury and mental illness.
  • Personal Dignity
  • Individual Choice
  • Power through Knowledge
  • Community Inclusion

  • Accepted For DMHAS services and currently receiving qualifying services
  • Has a qualifying Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) as determined through appropriate documentation
  • Does not have a primary diagnosis of a degenerative cognitive disorder
  • The dysfunction of the central nervous system is not congenital, developmental or degenerative 
  • The services are accepted voluntarily



The regional Community Integration Specialists (CIS) provide services to persons with brain injury through the LMHA network.  The CIS is responsible for processing all referrals to the ABI Community Services Program within the designated services area; serving as a link for clients to in-patient services; arranging for clinical consultations; assisting in the development of treatment plans; serving as liaison to private/public services within the appropriate community; providing monitoring of services for DMHAS ABI clients; and providing support to consumers, family members and conservators.  The CIS receives continuous training regarding brain injury services available within the particular geographic region.  The CIS coordinates with other programs within DMHAS and with other Departments within the State/local services constellation that can provide services, funds, etc., to the person with brain injury.


The DMHAS ABI Community Integration Specialist serves clients who are 18 years of age or older, are receiving services through DMHAS and have a qualifying ABI as determined through appropriate documentation.

The ABI Services has Community Integration Specialists (CIS) stationed across the DMHAS Local Mental Health Network.  The Community Integration Specialist holds a Master of Social Work Degree and Certification as a Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS).  The CIS is the primary staff/point of contact regarding qualification for services as well as issues pertaining to individuals who have an Acquired Brain Injury.

The Community Integration Specialist has the training and knowledge necessary to provide quality, efficient and effective service.  This is accomplished through clinical supervision with the ABI Community Services Clinical Supervisor, monthly CIS leadership meetings, and on-going training specific to Acquired Brain Injury treatment and rehabilitation.


  • Consultation Services
  • ABI Substance Abuse Services 
  • Training and Education
  • Advocacy Supports

Erin Leavitt-Smith, MA, LPC, Clinical Director,
860-262-6966, erin.leavitt-smith@ct.gov

Terry Holley, Administrative Assistant,
860-262-6725, Terry.Holley@ct.gov

Keith Arnold, LCSW, CBIST, Supervising Clinician, Education and Training Program, 860-262-6767, Keith.Arnold@ct.gov

Dorine Brogan, LCSW, CBIS, Supervising Clinician, Referrals and Intakes, Consultation and Diversion Program, ABI Substance Abuse Program,
860-262-6728, Dorine.Brogan@ct.gov

Diane Whipple, R.N. CBIS, Supervising Clinician, Community Residence Program,
860-262-6737, Diane.Whipple@ct.gov

Fairfield County
Christopher Hale, Ed.D, LCSW, (203) 551-7035, christopher.hale@ct.gov
Greater New Haven/Middletown/Meriden
Elizabeth Van Leer, LCSW, CBIS, (203) 974-7260, elizabeth.vanleer@ct.gov
Greater Middletown/Meriden Area
Brooke Wenz, LCSW, CBIS, (860)-262-5578, brooke.wenz@ct.gov
Southeastern CT
William McEwen, LMSW, CBIS, (860) 859-4694, william.mcewen@ct.gov
Northeastern CT
Rachel Epstein, LMSW, (860) 456-2261 ext. 3639 Rachel.epstein@ct.gov
Greater Hartford Area/West of the River
Agnes Black, LCSW, CBIS, (860) 293-6302, agnes.black@ct.gov
Greater Hartford Area/East of the River
Latora Hall, LMSW, CBIS, (860) 262-6973, latora.hall@ct.gov
Western CT Greater/Danbury/Waterbury Area
Sarah Carlson-Allwood, LCSW, (203) 805-6425, sarah.carlson-allwood@ct.gov
Western CT Greater Torrington Area
Rita Brzozowski, LCSW, (860) 496-3792, rita.brzozowski@ct.gov


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