Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

Michigan Brain Injury Association Annual Conference

The Brain Injury Association of Michigan's Annual Conference will take place this year on September 11- 12 in Lansing, Michigan.

The purpose of this two-day conference is to provide state-of-the art information about brain injury treatment and therapies, which will foster maximal rehabilitation and a good quality of life. This conference is designed to benefit persons engaged in therapies with persons recovering from injury as well as caregivers and persons with brain injury.

 For further information, click here.

 

August 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts

Parent's Guide to Concussions-Free Webinar

The Brain Injury Association of New York State is offering a free Webinar, A Parent's Guide to Concussions in the Classroom on   Thursday, August 28, 2014 from 3:00-4:15 p.m. EST

Topics to include:

What to do when my child sustains a concussion?
What is the school district’s responsibility when a student is concussed?
Neurocognitive testing, what is it for?
Return to play protocols
Return to school protocols|
Available resources for managing a complex concussion

Click here to register

 

August 14, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

August 2014 brain injury legislative update

The following August federal brain injury legislative update was prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA):

TBI Act Reauthorization

The United States Senate planned to pass TBI Act Reauthorization this week but further action on the bill will be taken in September. BIAA thanks Sens. Harkin (D-Iowa), Alexander (R-TN), Hatch (R-UT) and Casey (D-PA) for their continued leadership on passing this important legislation to the brain injury community.

Assisted Living TBI Pilot Program Extension

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed a $16 billion overall to the Department of Veterans Affairs Thursday night which included a three year extension to the Assisted Living TBI Pilot Program. Sens. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury Extension Act, S.2607. The AL-TBI Extension Act authorizes the continuation of a critical VA program that provides intensive care and rehabilitation to veterans with complex brain injuries. AL-TBI consists of community-based residential/transitional rehabilitation programs around the country in which veterans are immersed in therapies for movement, memory, speech, and gradual community reintegration. This model of care allows veterans facing similar challenges to live together while receiving 24/7 care, which has yielded impressive results and helped rehabilitate hundreds of veterans from severe injuries that are notoriously difficult to treat. BIAA thanks Sens. Booker and Heller for their leadership and to Congress on extending this vital program to our Veterans with TBI.

U.S. Department of Education

On Tuesday, BIAA staff attended a meeting with Michael Yudin, Assistant Secretary of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services and other senior leadership at the Department to discuss New York State's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver extension which included a provision to test students with disabilities two grades below their enrolled grade level. On Thursday, the Department approved New York's ESEA Waiver Extension without Amendment 1. Amendment 1 was the provision that would have allowed NY to test students with disabilities at two grades below their enrolled grade. BIAA could not be more pleased that this provision was not included in the waiver - its removal means that thousands of students with disabilities including brain injury won't be taken off the track to graduation.

SAFE PLAY Act Introduced

On Thursday, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA-24) introduced the Supporting Athletes, Families and Educators to Protect the Lives of Athletic Youth (SAFE PLAY) Act, a bill that would promote youth safety in athletic activities.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, participation in organized sports is on the rise. Almost 30 million children participate in youth sports in the U.S. This increase in participation has also led to an increase in injuries - more than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year, 21 percent of all traumatic brain injuries among U.S. children are associated with sports participation, and children ages 5 to 14 account for nearly 40 percent of all sports-related injuries treated in hospitals.

To address this, the bill would take a multipronged approach of research, community education, and federal support for school district to adopt best practices to keep kids safe, focusing on several areas, including heat exposure, CPR and AED training, concussion response, and energy drink consumption, to ensure children's safety in athletics and on campus.

Specifically, the SAFEPLAY Act would direct the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to:

•         Develop recommended guidelines for the development of emergency actions plans for student athletes

•         Develop information on the ingredients used in energy drinks and the potential side effects of energy drink consumption

•         Recommend guidelines for the safe use of energy drink consumption by students

•         Report to Congress on the number of sports related fatalities and catastrophic injuries and the cause

•         Develop and disseminate information about the health risks associated with exposure to excessive heat and humidity, and how to avoid heat-related illness

•         Assist schools in developing and implementing an excessive heat action plan to be used during all school-sponsored athletic activities that occur during periods of excessive heat and humidity

The bill would also help local education agencies develop and implement safer schools. The bill would provide assistance for school districts to develop and implement a standard plan for concussion safety and management and set up concussion management teams to respond to incidents on campus. It would also support schools by providing access to critical resources to teach students across the country the life-saving skills of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to use automated external defibrillators (AED).

Congress is out of session for the month of August and will return to Washington D.C. on September 8, 2014. Policy Corner will resume on September 12, 2014.

August 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information

Brain Injury Association of America Legislative Update

Here is the most recent legislative update from the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) who deserves our thanks for all of their efforts on behalf of individuals with brain injury and their families

TBI Act Reauthorization

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), lead by Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN) approved the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Reauthorization Act of 2014 as part of a package of bipartisan bills. S.2539 was introduced by Sens. Robert Casey, Jr. (D-PA) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

First enacted in 1996, the TBI Act is the only federal law that authorizes agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct research and public education programs and to administer grants to states and protection and advocacy organizations to improve service system access and coordination for the 2.4 million civilians who sustain traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. each year.

The authorization bill includes an increased focus on brain injury management in children and gives the HHS Secretary discretion to determine which agency within the department will administer the grant program for states and protection and advocacy organizations.

The United States Senate is likely to vote on the bill next week before Congress breaks for August recess. The House of Representatives voted to reauthorize the TBI Act in a floor vote on June 24, 2014. BIAA thanks Sens. Harkin, Alexander, Casey and Hatch for their leadership in reauthorizing the TBI Act.

Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veteran with TBI Extension Act

Sens. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury Extension Act, S.2607. The AL-TBI Extension Act authorizes the continuation of a critical VA program that provides intensive care and rehabilitation to veterans with complex brain injuries. AL-TBI consists of community-based residential/transitional rehabilitation programs around the country in which veterans are immersed in therapies for movement, memory, speech, and gradual community reintegration. This model of care allows veterans facing similar challenges to live together while receiving 24/7 care, which has yielded impressive results and helped rehabilitate hundreds of veterans from severe injuries that are notoriously difficult to treat.

AL-TBI began as a five-year pilot program established in the FY2008 National Defense Authorization Act. Although it took the Department of Veterans Affairs over two years to implement the pilot program, the program-which has been operational for only three years-will expire this year if Congress does not act. The VA has stopped admitting new veterans into the program. If the program is allowed to expire, the VA will have to discharge veterans in the program even if they have not had the full benefits of this model of care. In fact, the VA will begin discontinuing services for at least half of those in the program in mid-September. The VA has indicated it will carry out individual transition plans for veterans currently enrolled in the pilot, but it offers no alternatives that replicate the AL-TBI's model of residential, community-based treatment.

August 1, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Veteran Issues

Save VA Benefits for Brain Injured Veterans

The Brain Injury Association of America has just issued the following Action Alert:

 

Protect Access to Care for Veterans

Call Congress Today!

 

As a member of the large and growing community that understands the importance of thoughtful, comprehensive care for individuals living with brain injury, we wanted to inform you of an important program for America's veterans that is in danger of shutting down if Congress does not act soon. 

 

Established by Congress in 2008, the Assisted Living TBI Pilot Program has made it possible for hundreds of wounded warriors to receive specialized, post-acute brain injury rehabilitation in the community.The program provides critical, real-life skills to help veterans return to their homes and communities. It has been a lifeline for dozens and dozens of veterans.

 

Unfortunately, the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that it will end the pilot program on September 30, 2014 unless Congress takes action to extend it. This means that the VA will soon begin to discharge veterans from the program.The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted the importance of the program and the challenges faced by many if Congress doesn't act soon.

 

We need your help to make sure the Assisted Living Pilot Program for Veterans with TBI continues to make a meaningful difference for America's heroes.

  

Please call your Member of Congress and make sure they know how important the program is to veterans and urge them to support extending the pilot program. You can reach your Representatives and Senators by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 where you will be transferred directly to their offices. Thank you for your crucial contribution to this effort.

July 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

Brain Injury and Concussion Awareness Day at Citi Field Sponsored by Brain Injury Association of New York State

The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) will again be hosting Brain Injury and Concussion Awareness Day at Citi Field with the New York Mets on September 28, 2014.

BIANYS is selling field level tickets to see the Mets take on the Houston Astros at the last regular season home game of the year. You can obtain more information and purchase your tickets by clicking here.  

July 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

August and September 2014 Brain Injury Conferences

The following brain injury conferences scheduled for August and September  2014 may be of interest to my readers:

August 1
Brain Injury: The Family's Journey
Sioux City, IA
855 444-6443. click here

September 11-12
Brain Injury Association of Michigan Annual Conference
Lansing, Michigan
810 229-5880  click here

September 24-26
Brain Injury Association of Canada Annual Conference
Gatineau, QC, Canada
613 762-1222 click here

 

 

 

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July 17, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

Brain Injury Association of America July Legislative Update

The following legislative summary was prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA): 

BIAA Presents at Congressional Briefing Highlighting Study on Outcomes for People with TBI: 

Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) president and CEO Susan Connors presented at a Congressional briefing hosted by Sens. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) on Thursday, July 10. The briefing was held to announce the results of a study on outcomes for people with traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke conducted by Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, LLC. 

The study, Assessment of Patient Outcomes of Rehabilitative Care Provided in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities and After Discharge, is the most comprehensive national analysis to date examining the long-term outcomes of clinically similar patient populations treated in inpatient rehabilitation settings and skilled nursing facilities. The research shows that people with TBI and stroke who were treated in inpatient rehabilitation settings had better long-term outcomes than those who received care in a skilled nursing facility.

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) passed the House of Representatives this week. WIOA will provide better employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The Senate passed the bill with a 95-3 vote. It is expected the President will sign the WIOA bill into law soon. This legislation is considered the most important disability legislation passed since the groundbreaking Americans with Disabilities Act which was passed in 1990. BIAA applauds Congress for working together to pass this important legislation that will improve the lives for individuals living with disabilities caused by brain injury.

Congress Introduces the IMPACT Act

On June 26, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), as well as Congressmen Dave Camp (R-MI) and Sandy Levin (D-MI) introduced the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act. They introduced the bill almost three months after releasing a bipartisan discussion draft. During the past few months, Senate and House committee staff have been meeting with a series of stakeholders on the bill including the Brain Injury Association of America.

The IMPACT Act lays out a framework for collecting standardized assessment data across post acute care (PAC) settings, which could then be used to transition Medicare's current silos of PAC payments from a fee for service payment structure to a pay for performance reimbursement structure. This payment structure would be prospective, unified across settings, and based on patient assessment data, as opposed to being dependent on the PAC setting in which the patient is treated.

TBI Act included in Mid-Year Committee Report

This week, U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) released a report on the accomplishments of the committee in the first six months of 2014. The TBI Act, HR 1098, which was passed by the House of Representatives in June 2014, was included in the report.

Congressional Brain Injury Task Force Hosts Crash Reel Screening

The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, co-chaired by Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ) and Tom Rooney (R-FL), will host a Congressional screening of the film Crash Reel on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2103. BIAA is sponsoring the screening of Crash Reel. The film features Kevin Pearce, a professional snowboarder, who sustained a TBI at the height of his career. This event will feature a discussion with Kevin Pearce who is now retired from professional snowboarding.

July 14, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

NFL settlement fails to provide redress for majority of players

It  is unfortunate that the U.S. District Court Brody granted preliminary approval to the proposed settlement of the NFL class action lawsuit without first holding a hearing to examine significant issues affecting the ability of players to obtain the compensation they deserve. 

I am hopeful that hearing scheduled for November 19th, will explore the obstacles, roadblocks, and hurdles that players in all classes of injury must overcome before receiving compensation under this settlement proposal.  The majority of players suffering with brain injuries are not embraced within the settlement and will receive no compensation.

The revised settlement is flawed in many respects.  The proposal neither recognizes nor compensates the majority of players who suffer the long-term consequences of brain trauma, but merely carves out certain, small and discrete groups.  The majority of players who have physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impairments will remain uncompensated under this settlement.

Though this settlement proposal purports to generously provide financial stability for the futures of thousands of players who suffer from traumatic brain injury and its consequences, closer scrutiny reveals something entirely different. An examination of the terms and conditions of the settlement reveals a design to systematically exclude players from participation and reduce payments to the small group who meet the arbitrary criteria.  It imposes unfair and illogical restrictions on the categories of compensable injuries and requires players to have participated in NFL play for excessively long periods, implicitly denying that a player can sustain a life-altering concussion after only a short NFL career.  The plan is replete with complex, arbitrary, and overlapping omissions in its unwieldy and overly intricate criteria, which are then further reduced by offset for liens.      

July 8, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

Traumatic Brain Injury Act unanimously passes U.S. House of Representatives

Late last evening the United States House of Representatives unanimously approved passage of H.R. 1098, the Traumatic Brain Injury Reauthorization (TBI) Act of 2013. 

Approximately 2.5 million Americans experience TBI each year and an estimated 5.3 million Americans are living with long-term, severe disabilities as a result of brain injury.

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and its executive director, Susan Connors as well as the leaders of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. and Tom Rooney all need to be thanked for their hard work in passing this important legislation.

Originally passed in 1996 and reauthorized in 2000 and 2008, 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).

BIAA and other TBI Act stakeholders are continuing to work with the United States Senate to introduce a companion bill.

June 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack