During the 11th annual Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) today introduced legislation that would broaden federal resources and provisions for people with traumatic brain injuries.
"Congress first passed the Traumatic Brain Injury Act in 1996 to help individuals with TBI, and their families, gain access to rehabilitation, long-term care, and support often needed to return to home, work, school and community activities," said Pascrell, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. "From overseas battlefields to small town ball fields, brain injuries can impact anyone at any time. The TBI Act of 2012 will sustain successful programs, provide better coordination of TBI research, and create a funding formula that will allow all 50 states to access state grants for TBI programs."
The TBI Act currently authorizes:
· Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to assist States in developing and expanding service delivery capacity for individuals with traumatic brain injury and their families,
· Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct surveillance, prevention and public education programs;
· National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct of research in TBI
· HRSA to make grants for the Protection and Advocacy for Traumatic Brain Injury (PATBI) program, which provides critical advocacy services to ensure that people with TBIs live full and independent lives free from abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.
2012 Reauthorization Proposed Changes:
CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control
· Provide CDC with the authority to collaborate with other agencies to issue reports based on national needs.
HRSA State Grant Program
· Transition HRSA State grants away from a "project" focus to options that support sustainability of programs. This change would allow for capacity building, continuum of care, and service delivery to individuals. Most States have implemented infrastructure from grants received in prior years and are ready to sustain and build programs.
· Support HRSA's development of a national plan on TBI in collaboration with other relevant agencies
HRSA Protection and Advocacy Grant Program
· Streamline PATBI reporting requirements to ensure that outcomes are based on relevant and appropriate data.
NIH Research Program
Authorize funding for research on children and youth with TBI; rehabilitation, short-term/long-term outcomes; identification/assessment issues
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 1.7 million sustain a TBI each year, and that TBI is a contributing factor to nearly a third of all injury-related deaths in the United States.