Williamsport, PA- With the return of fall sporting activities in schools and colleges, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by Williamsport area medical professionals, called for action on his legislation to combat traumatic brain injury (TBI). Nearly 2.5 million experience TBI in the U.S. each year, with over 50,000 dying from those injuries. Casey’s bill, the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2014, will address the need for increased coordination of state and federal resources and increased public awareness of the condition, and call for a review of brain injury management in children.
“Over 60,000 children will sustain brain injuries requiring hospitalization each year,” said Senator Casey. “This bill will help improve the prevention, accurate diagnosis and treatment of victims of TBI so that students can safely return to the classroom and continue to learn effectively.”
The Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization Act of 2014 (S. 2539) reauthorizes the Prevention of Traumatic Brain Injury program (PHSA Sec. 393B) and the National Program for Traumatic Brain Injury Surveillance and Registries (PHSA Sec. 393C). The prevention program funds educational programs and materials for health departments, community-based organizations, parents, teachers and coaches; and research into effective prevention strategies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also conducts surveillance work to identify TBI rates of death and rates of hospitalization, and is working to develop pediatric mild TBI guidelines.
S 2539 also reauthorizes the following two grant programs operated by CDC:
- The State Implementation Partnership Grants fund the development and implementation of statewide systems that ensure access to comprehensive and coordinated TBI services. Since FY 1997, 48 States, 2 Territories and the District of Columbia have received funding under the TBI State Grant Program. There are 20 states currently funded under the TBI State Grant Program with an average grant of $250,000.
- The Protection and Advocacy Grant Program for Individuals with TBI funds 57 states and territories with an average grant amount of $50,000 to prevent abuse and neglect and safeguard the well-being of individuals with TBI living in institutions, nursing homes, jails and prisons and community-based settings. All P&A agencies monitor, investigate, and attempt to remedy adverse conditions in public and private facilities.
S. 2539 also requires HHS to develop a Traumatic Brain Injury Coordination Plan (Sec. 5), for federal activities with respect to TBI, which shall review existing interagency coordination and identify areas for improvement. Finally, Sec. 6 requires CDC to conduct a review of the
scientific evidence relating to brain injury management in children, identifying ongoing and
potential further opportunities for research, and provide to Congress the results of this review within two years.