Brain Injury Awareness Day March 20, 2018
Karyn Kling, RN (MossRehab), Carol Taylor, RN (MossRehab) and I (Elaine R Flynn, RN, MSN
MossRehab), traveled to Washington DC on March 20, 2018 to attend Brain Injury Awareness
Day. This was the 16th Brain Injury Awareness day coordinated by Rep Pascrell and Rooney. The
2018-day long Brain Injury Awareness program included a Brain injury awareness fair followed
by a research/outcomes briefing then closing with a reception celebrating the Congressional
Brain Injury Taskforce and Brain Injury Awareness Month. This year’s focus was “Looking
Ahead: Opportunities and Challenges in Brain Injury’. The Brain Injury Awareness Day program
was well attended by health care professionals and brain injury survivors.
While in Washington we met with 3 Pennsylvania Congressmen to discuss Brain Injury advocacy
and support. We scheduled appointments with Senator Bob Casey, Representatives Fitzpatrick
and Boyle. We actually met with Doug Hartman, Legislative Correspondent for Sen. Bob Casey,
Joe Knowles, Legislative Director and Counsel for Rep Brian Fitzpatrick, and Julie Nolan,
Legislative Aide Rep Brendan Boyle.
The meetings with the Congressional staffers went great. We spent 20-25 minutes with each of
the Legislative aides. They were very receptive to our request. Hopefully those brain injury
survivors and families we advocate for will reap the benefits of our political activism. We
discussed the following legislative agenda items:
1. Support for Chronic Care Reform
2. Support the requirement to a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home
3. Support and Promote Appropriate Quality and Outcome Measures Across the Post- Acute
4. Preserve Access to Quality Rehabilitation Services. Discuss ARN supports efforts to ensure that all individuals with disabilities and/or chronic illness have access to medically-necessary care, including rehabilitation. Reviewed constituents need to get access to most appropriate level of care and promote and improve transitions of care for patients by realizing the value and role that rehabilitation nurses play in healthcare delivery.
5. Increased funding for the HHS ACL Federal TBI State Grant Program to ensure funding for every State, Territory and the District of Columbia. Currently, less than half of the States receive a grant to improve and expand services for individuals with TBI and their families. The HHS ACL Federal TBI Protection and Advocacy Grant Program affords people with traumatic brain injury protection and advocacy (P&A) services to help them to access services, make sure their legal and human rights are protected, and to make sure they are free from abuse and neglect.
6. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as the result of the TBI Act, obtains much needed data on incidence and prevalence of traumatic brain injury to help States and the federal government plan for services and to develop prevention strategies, such as assistance with return to play guidelines pertaining to sports-related concussions.
The afternoon panel session theme was “Looking Ahead: Opportunities and Challenges in Brain Injury”. The panel presentations focused on rehabilitation and community services. The panel included Lance Robertson, Administrator for Administration for Community Living and Assistant Secretary for Aging, Dr. Drew Nagele, PsyD, Executive Director Beechwood NeuroRehab, Langhorne, PA, Karen Keating, Family Member; Community Development Coordinator for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina and Jerry Donovan, President and CEO of Robin Hill Farm, New Hampshire.
The Brain Injury Awareness Day program was well attended by health care professionals, researchers, politicians and brain injury survivors. The day concluded with a reception
Dr. Drew Nagele’s presentation on Brain Injury Research supported by the BIAPA focused on Brain Injury research study titled “The Under-Identification of Brain Injuries and the Relationship with Juvenile (and Eventually Adult) Criminal Justice” was recently published in the Brain Injury Professional. This study supports the need to evaluate incarcerate youths for brain injury and access to acute brain injury services. Health policy work is being done by the National Collaborative on Children’s Brain Injury (NCCBI).
The Brain Injury Awareness Day program was well attended by health care professionals, researchers, politicians and brain injury survivors. The day concluded with a reception celebrating the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force and Brain Injury Awareness Month.
Many brain injury advocates traveled to Washington D.C. to be a part of this important day and to educate Congress on the needs of individuals with brain injury and their families. There was a broad representation of states this year including Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Colorado, Missouri, Vermont, New Jersey, Texas, Alabama, Illinois, New Hampshire, Maine, Virginia, and New York. T
The weather in DC was cold and blustery but the Hill was buzzing with action