U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Tom Rooney (R-FL) today announced the re-launch of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force (CBITF) for the 113th Congress. The task force, a bipartisan caucus of more than 120 members of Congress, advances brain injury policy on Capitol Hill.
"Brain injuries can impact anyone at any time, which reinforces the need for increased advocacy," said Rep. Pascrell. "I am proud to have fought for the last 11 years to protect our athletes on the ball field and our brave soldiers in the battlefield from TBI. I look forward to working with Rep. Rooney along with my other colleagues on the task force in continuing to raise awareness for this devastating injury while helping to promote research and improve access to rehabilitation and care."
"I'm honored to join Rep. Pascrell, a longtime advocate for victims of brain injuries, as a co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force this year," Rooney said. "I look forward to working with the task force to improve treatment and services for victims of traumatic brain injury, particular our troops and veterans."
Rep. Pascrell founded the CBITF in 2001 and has served as task force co-chair since its inception. Rep. Rooney joins him as a co-Chair this year.
The task force serves as an information source for Congress and the public. The mission of the CBITF is to further education and awareness of brain injury (incidence, prevalence, prevention and treatment) and support funding for basic and applied research on brain injury rehabilitation and development for a cure.
The CBITF will kick off its efforts for the 113th Congress on March 13, 2013 with Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill. The day's events will include an awareness fair with hundreds of participants from around the country, followed by a briefing and reception. The briefing will highlight the investment Congress has put into federal programs for TBI and the need for private/public partnerships to advance the care for civilians and returning service members with TBI.
Approximately 1.4 million Americans experience Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each year and an estimated 3.2 million Americans are living with long-term, severe disabilities as a result of brain injury. Another 360,000 men and women are estimated to have been inflicted by a TBI in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.