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Pascrell Cheers House Passage of Bipartisan Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act

Funding will further valuable TBI research and treatment programs across country and implement important CDC study

Washington, December 11, 2018 | Mark Greenbaum (1 (202) 225-5751)

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), the co-chairman of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, celebrated the passage in the House of Representatives of H.R. 6615, the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Program Reauthorization Act of 2018. The legislation extends federal TBI programs through 2023. It also authorizes resources to boost the CDC’s efforts to launch a National Concussion Surveillance System as a means to fill longstanding data gaps and provide a better estimate of the TBI burden.

“Helping people who have suffered these catastrophic injuries isn’t a political subject, which is why it has such strong sponsors and support from Democrats and Republicans in both ends of the Capitol,” said Rep. Pascrell, co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. “This critical funding will help federal agencies, states, and local providers continue to conduct breakthrough research, while providing support to service members on and off the battlefield, athletes on the ballfield, and patients and families across the country who are living with brain injuries. We have a long way to go, but the journey forward is clearer today with the passage of this bill. I will continue working to ensure that this legislation passes the Senate and swiftly makes it way to the President’s desk.”

“The brain injury community applauds the Congress for passing the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Act Reauthorization of 2018,” said Susan Connors, president and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America. “BIAA is grateful to Reps. Pascrell and Rooney co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force for shepherding this important legislation through the House of Representatives.”

“The National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) applauds the leadership of Congressmen Pascrell and Rooney to reauthorize the TBI Act,” said Rebeccah Wolfkiel, Executive Director of NASHIA. “The TBI Act is the only federal law dedicated to creating systems of support for individuals with brain injury, and their families. We are especially pleased to see the authorization of a concussion surveillance system at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This additional data will help to define true national estimates of TBI-related disability for the first time ever.”

The TBI Reauthorization Act provides funding to allow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to implement a study on the extent of brain injury for the first time. Additionally, this legislation will modernize how the federal government oversees TBI research, treatment options, and prevention measures. H.R. 6616 also provides an adjustment to account for the long overdue increase in funding for TBI that Rep. Pascrell fought to pass in the FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill earlier this year.

Earlier today, Rep. Pascrell spoke on the House floor in support of the TBI Reauthorization Act, which can be viewed here.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization of 2018 is supported by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA), and the American Academy of Neurology.

For two decades, Rep. Pascrell has been a leader in advancing brain injury policy on Capitol Hill. He co-founded the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force in 2001 and has served as task force co-chair since its inception. The Task Force works to increase awareness of brain injury in the United States, supports research initiatives for rehabilitation and potential cures, and strives to address the effects these injuries have on all Americans, including children, members of the Armed Forces, and athletes.

Reps. Pascrell also champions funding for programs at the Department of Defense that go towards TBI research and treatment, such as the Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Research Program, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence.

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