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Pascrell's Traumatic Brain Injury Act Approved in House Energy & Commerce Committee

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Pascrell Awarded North American Brain Injury Society Award for Public Policy

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) the founder and co-Chairman of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force applauded today's passage of the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Act in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Passage of the legislation comes one day after the successful conclusion of Pascrell's 7th Annual Congressional Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill.

"I thank the Energy and Commerce Committee for moving with a sense of urgency to improve services and care for brain injured civilians and soldiers," stated Pascrell. "The thousands of brain injury survivors who return home from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan will join about 5.3 million similarly afflicted Americans here at home. Considering such statistics, it is more critical than ever that Congress prioritize quality TBI services and care. Between committee approval of the TBI Act and the success of this year's TBI Awareness Day, I am pleased with the attention Congress is beginning to dedicate to brain injury survivors and their families. Congress has an opportunity to give a voice to those who suffer from the ‘silent epidemic' by approving the TBI Act. I again commend the Committee's action and urge immediate consideration of the TBI Act in the full House of Representatives."

Originally passed in 1996 and reauthorized in 2000, the TBI Act represents a foundation for coordinated and balanced public policy in prevention, education, research and community-living for people with TBI. The TBI Act specifically allocates federal funds for programs supporting individuals with brain injury to federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institute for Health (NIH) and the Health Resources Administration (HRSA).

TBI is the leading cause of death and disability in young Americans. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with long term, severe disability as a result of brain injury. The annual incidence and prevalence of TBI is higher than Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury and HIV/AIDS combined.

Founded by Rep. Pascrell in 2001, the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force's mission is to further provide 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 of a cure. The Task Force is bipartisan and made up of over one hundred members of Congress.

Committee approval of the TBI Act follows the Task Force's annual Congressional Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill. This year's Congressional awareness campaign was dedicated to the impact that TBI has on the family, community and society.

The Task Force was pleased to be joined by Col. Loree Sutton, the Chief of the Department of Defense's new Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury; Dr. Jean Langlois, a Senior Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Sgt. Ted Wade and Spec. Jeremy Feldbusch who both sustained combat related TBIs, and others.

At a ceremony following the TBI Awareness Day's events Pascrell was awarded the North American Brain Injury Society (NABIS) Award for Public Policy. NABIS is a society comprised of professional members involved in the care or issues surrounding brain injury. The principal mission of the organization is moving brain injury science into practice. NABIS was created specifically to address the needs of professionals dedicated to brain injury - providing education programs, scientific updates and a platform for communication and professional exchange.

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