government relations

Announcement from Jordan Wildermuth

GPC Government Relations/Health Policy Advocacy

On June 27, The Coalition to Preserve Rehabilitation (CPR)/Habilitation and Rehabilitation Coalition (HAB)/Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid Coalition (ITEM) will be holding a joint Hill Day to highlight the importance of rehabilitation and habilitation benefits, services, and devices. The Hill Day will include a Congressional briefing, along with accompanying visits to Senate offices to emphasize the importance of habilitation and rehabilitation, especially in the context of essential health benefits (EHBs) and health reform. The schedule is as follows:

·         Hill Visits TBD (may be scheduled prior to or after the congressional briefing)

·         Congressional Briefing-11:30 AM to 2:00 PM in SD-106, Dirksen Building

Given your proximity to Washington, D.C. we invite you to participate on behalf of ARN.

There will be an informational webinar on Wednesday, May 31, 3 p.m. ET to be sure you know the issues related to health care reform before the Fly-in presented. The presentation will be by Peter W. Thomas, Principal, The Powers Firm. Registration for the webinar is free and available here.

If you are interested in attending the Fly-In or have questions please let me know.


 Jordan Wildermuth, MSW Manager, Health Policy & Advocacy

GPC Goes to Washington for Brain Injury Awareness Day March 22, 2017

Great day in Washington, DC. Kristine Longo, Sharon Murphy Potts, Robin Sheeran, Karyn Kling and myself traveled to Washington, DC. for 2017 Brain Injury Awareness day. While we were on the Hill, we met with the Health policy/Legislative aides (LA) for Reps Meehan, Boyle, Fitzpatrick, Sen. Toomey and Sen Casey. In the meetings we reviewed our (GPC ARN) Legislative agenda. At each meeting we provided and reviewed our Legislative agendas for Brain Injury care and Advocacy. Our resource packets included briefs on; Support for FY 2018 Funding Traumatic Brain Injury Act, Rehabilitation Research and Education at NINR, Preserving Access to Quality Rehabilitation Services, Support Chronic Care Reform, Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home and Appropriate Quality Measures and Outcomes across the Post- Acute Care Continuum. There is a link to the briefs on Government Relations Committee of GPC ARN website.

GPC Members L-R   Elaine Flynn, Kristine Longo, Robin Sheeran, Rep Pascrell, Sharon Murphy- Potts, Karyn Kling

GPC Members L-R   Elaine Flynn, Kristine Longo, Robin Sheeran, Rep Pascrell, Sharon Murphy- Potts, Karyn Kling

We attended the Brain Injury Awareness day. 2017 Brain Injury Awareness day is the work of members of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, which is co-chaired by Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., D-N.J., and Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Florida. The theme of events and activities this year is Faces of Brain Injury: The Invisible Disability Affecting Children and Adults. The purpose of the Brain Injury Awareness day is to update the public about brain injury prevention, product, services and research for those with brain injuries and their families. An additional goal of the program is as an outreach from the brain injury community to help de-stigmatize the brain injury, empower those who have survived, and promote the support prevention and research.

There was a 75-minute education program “Faces of Brain Injury: The Invisible Disability Affecting Children and Adults,” hosted by Representative Pascrell.  The presentations were brief overviews of brain injury research and stories of survival. There were 4 speakers that included Olivia Long a 18-year-old from New Jersey who discussed her journey of traumatic brain injury survival. She will graduate from high school in June and start college at a local community college in September. She was so brave and had a very powerful story of resilience. The program also included representatives from the CDC/ Active Military, Veteran Affairs and the Department of Defense presented briefs about programs and research that reduce the risk of traumatic brain injury. TBI statistics were reviewed from the 3/17/17 MMWR report shows that 3.5 million adults and children suffer an acquired brain injury every year – this excludes brain injuries that are not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. TBIs affect at least 2.5 million children and adults annually in this country, with 280,000 TBI hospitalizations and 50,000 TBI deaths recorded annually. This report describes the estimated incidence of TBI-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths during 2013 and makes comparisons to similar estimates from 2007. The highest rates of TBI-related ED visits, hospitalizations, and deaths were observed among persons aged ≥75 years; this suggests an urgent need to enhance fall-prevention efforts in that population.

The CDC representative discussed a pilot Concussion Surveillance project starting in May 2017. This project will look at the burden of TBI and lifetime prevalence. Also discussed was a plan to develop Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of TBI in pediatric population based on research.  Also overview of a community Senior’s Falls Prevention program “STEADI’ being used in Oregon. CDC also introduced “Rocket Blades”, the CDC’s Injury Center first-ever mobile game app on concussion safety for children aged 6 to 8. Through a futuristic world of galactic racing adventures children can learn the benefits of playing it safe and smart. Making this a fun way for kids to learn Brain Injury Prevention. We gleaned so much information about how our funds from NINR and CDC research grants are improving the science of brain injury prevention and care.

Flag Flying Above the Capital Building March 22, 2017 Brain Injury Awareness Day

Flag Flying Above the Capital Building March 22, 2017 Brain Injury Awareness Day

After the briefing was a reception hosted by Representative Pascrell to honor the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force and to celebrate brain injury awareness month. The reception was attended by TBI providers, survivors and supporters sha ring their stories of hope.  It was a great day.

Thank you Jordan Wildermuth, ARN Manager Health Policy & Advocacy for helping us prepare for the day.

Written by Elaine Flynn, Chair, Government Relations Committee

Sharon Murphy-Potts Remed, Elaine Flynn MossRehab, Karyn Kling MossRehab and Kristine Longo Bryn Mawr Rehabilation

Sharon Murphy-Potts Remed, Elaine Flynn MossRehab, Karyn Kling MossRehab and Kristine Longo Bryn Mawr Rehabilation

Elaine Flynn Karyn Kling from MossRehab with Christopher Friese Health Policy Fellow for Sen. Robert Casey.

Elaine Flynn Karyn Kling from MossRehab with Christopher Friese Health Policy Fellow for Sen. Robert Casey.

Jordan Wildermuth, ARN Manager Health Policy & Advocacy, Sharon Murphy-Potts ReMed, Karyn Kling MossRehab and Kristine Longo Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation

Jordan Wildermuth, ARN Manager Health Policy & Advocacy, Sharon Murphy-Potts ReMed, Karyn Kling MossRehab and Kristine Longo Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation

Karyn Kling and Elaine Flynn, MossRehab outside Sen Toomey office.

Karyn Kling and Elaine Flynn, MossRehab outside Sen Toomey office.

President Obama Signs 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 34)

On Tuesday, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 34). In his remarks, President Obama recognized funding for biomedical research being conducted by the BRAIN Initiative which could lead to better treatment and outcomes for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI), Alzheimer's Disease, and other conditions. The Cures Act will provide $1.511 billion over 10 years for the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) role in the BRAIN Initiative. The Cures Act invests in a wide range of health priorities, including $1 billion in funding to address the opioid epidemic.

Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capital Hill 2017

The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force has announced that Brain Injury Awareness Day will be held on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The fair will be held in the Rayburn House Office Building Foyer and the briefing and reception will be held in the Gold Room (Rayburn 2168).

The Greater Philadelphia chapter ARN Government Relations committee will be planning a trip to the Hill that day. Please look for more details as the GRC plans our trip to Washington.

House Passes 21st Century Cures Bill

This week, the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act, H.R. 34, which provides funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct health research and for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to speed up the approval process for drugs used in regenerative medicine. The bill includes $1.6 billion over 10 years for NIH's role in the BRAIN Initiative, which is $53 million less than what was originally included. The intention is that this funding would be in addition to the BRAIN Initiative funding provided by the annual appropriations bill. The bill establishes the Precision Medicine Initiative to help researchers develop medicines tailored to individuals, rather than one-size-fits-all treatments. The bill also authorizes grants for suicide prevention and $1 billion to address the opioid epidemic.

Mental health provisions supported by Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) were included to reorganize and improve accountability for government mental health programs. The bill establishes a new assistant secretary for mental health in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as well as a chief medical officer. The bill generally requires states to use at least 10 percent of their mental health block grants on early intervention for psychosis, using a model called coordinated specialty care, which provides a team of specialists to provide psychotherapy, medication, education, and support for patients' families, as well as services to help young people stay in school or keep their jobs. Rep. Murphy is a psychologist who treats patients with PTSD and TBI at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The Senate is expected to take the bill up before adjourning this session.

Veterans Mobility Safety Act of 2016
On Nov. 17, the Senate unanimously passed the Veterans Mobility Safety Act of 2016, introduced by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kans.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), to assist veterans with disabilities in purchasing automobiles and adaptive equipment that accommodates their disabilities. The bill also authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to hire audiologists, ENTs, hearing aid specialists, and other stakeholder and industry groups to expand resources for veterans with hearing-related disabilities.

Congressional Leadership Changes
On Wednesday, House Democrats re-elected Nancy Pelosi to continue as the House Minority Leader in the upcoming Congress. Also elected this week was Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) to chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee, replacing Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who has termed out of the position. Health care legislation, including TBI legislation, comes before this committee. California Gov. Jerry Brown announced his appointment of House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra to succeed newly-elected Sen. Kamala Harris as the California's attorney general. Rep. Becerra's position as representative will be open until a successor is named.



Show the Power of the Nurses' Vote November 8, 2016

Life can be as unpredictable as this election year. But voting can be the easiest thing in the world in you've got a plan.

It's never been more convenient to fit voting into your schedule. Maybe you have time between shifts, or you're planning to take advantage of earlier voting in your state. Election Day is fast approaching. Whatever you need to do, its time to make sure voting is on your calendar.

Please use this resources you need to show the power of nurses this Election Day. If you need help with voting information, please contact us.

Click here for more information!

Thank you for making a plan to get out and vote!

Elaine Flynn and Betsy Schmidt, members of the Government Relations Committee

Up to THREE ARN NIWI Scholarships Available in 2017

Have you ever wanted to learn more about public policy or advocate for rehabilitation nurses on Capitol Hill?

The Nurses in Washington Internship (NIWI) provides nurses with the opportunity to learn how to influence health care through legislative and regulatory processes. The dates for 2017 are March 12-14th.


  • learn from health policy and government officials
  • network with other nurses
  • visit members of congress

Applications for ARN NIWI scholarships are now available. To learn more and apply, go to the ARN Website. The deadline for applications is January 9, 2017.

Learn more about NIWI 2017 here.

Interested in getting involved immediately?

Advocate for Rehabilitation Nursing

Take action by asking your member of congress to contact CMS and urge them to require a nurse in the nursing home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit ARN's Legislative Action Center here.