Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News

Youth Sports Concussion Act Moves Out of Committee

Legislative News from the Brain Injury Association of America:

The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, chaired by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) passed the Youth Sports Concussion Act, S. 2508 out of the committee on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. The Youth Sports Concussion Act is sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and in the House of Representatives, Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. BIAA thanks Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson (D-Fla.), and Senator Udall for their leadership on moving this important piece of legislation forward.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act expressed the sense of Congress that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should review the National Academies' report on sports-related concussions and future research in such area for any matter that may impact products under the CPSC's jurisdiction or inform the FTC's efforts to protect consumers.

The bill makes it unlawful to sell or offer for sale in interstate commerce, or import into the United States for such purposes, athletic sporting equipment for which the seller or importer makes any deceptive claim with respect to the safety benefits of such an item. Violations shall be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill sets forth the enforcement authority of the FTC. States may bring civil actions in federal court to obtain injunctive relief on behalf of state residents unless a civil or administrative action has already been instituted by the FTC. The FTC may intervene and appeal in state actions.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act is an important piece of legislation because it will protect our nation's youth who participate in sports related activities from concussions and other injuries by discouraging false advertising claims regarding protective equipment used in competitive sports.

BIAA and NASHIA recently spearheaded a letter of support to the Senate Commerce Committee to include the Youth Sports Concussion Act in the next executive session. Thirty six organizations signed on in support of moving this important legislation through the committee process.

April 29, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News

Brain Injury Association of America Legislative Update

The following legislative update has been prepared by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), the nation's oldest and largest brain injury advocacy group:

BIAA Submits Testimony to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees This week, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) submitted testimony to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. The appropriations request includes:

TBI Model Systems

BIAA calls on Congress to Support the TBI Model System program by increasing funding by $13 million over the next six years:

  • Increase funding for the National Data and Statistical Center by $100,000 annually to allow all participants to be followed; when re-competed, increase from $625,000 to $1 million annually;
  • Increase funding for centers by $150,000 annually from the current average of $437,500;
  • Increase the number of competitively funded centers from 16 to 18; and
  • Increase the number of multicenter TBI Model Systems Collaborative Research projects from one to five, each with an annual budget of $1.5 million (current funding is $600,000 each).

BIAA also urges that the TBI Model Systems receive "line-item" status within the broader NIDILRR budget.

TBI State Grant and Protection and Advocacy Grant Programs

On Oct. 1, 2015, the HHS Secretary transferred the TBI State Grant program to the Administration for Community Living, Administration on Disabilities' Independent Living Administration and the Protection & Advocacy (P&A) Grant Program to the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Only 20 states receive TBI State grants, and all the P&A grants are severely under-funded.

  • Appropriate $9.76 million to fund the Federal TBI State and P&A Grant Programs plus an additional $1 million for the Federal TBI State Grant Program to increase the number of State grants (4 additional states) and $2 million total for the P&A Grant Program to increase the amount of grant awards.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention The TBI Act of 1996, as amended, authorizes funding for data, prevention, public education and research.

  • Support CDC in its mandate to review the scientific evidence related to brain injury management in children and identify opportunities for research;
  • Support TBI national surveillance;
  • Appropriate $10 million to fund CDC's TBI programs; and
  • Support the President's Fiscal Year 2017 budget request for $5 million for the CDC to accurately determine the incidence of sports related concussions among youth ages 5-21.

BIAA Advocates to Advance the Youth Sports Concussion Act

BIAA and the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators (NASHIA) spearheaded a stakeholder letter to urge the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee to include the Youth Sports Concussion Act (HR 4460/S. 2508) in the next executive session. The Youth Sports Concussion Act is sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force. Thirty six organizations signed on in support of moving this important legislation through the committee process.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act expressed the sense of Congress that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should review the National Academies' report on sports-related concussions and future research in such area for any matter that may impact products under the CPSC's jurisdiction or inform the FTC's efforts to protect consumers.

The bill makes it unlawful to sell or offer for sale in interstate commerce, or import into the United States for such purposes, athletic sporting equipment for which the seller or importer makes any deceptive claim with respect to the safety benefits of such an item. Violations shall be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill sets forth the enforcement authority of the FTC. States may bring civil actions in federal court to obtain injunctive relief on behalf of state residents unless a civil or administrative action has already been instituted by the FTC. The FTC may intervene and appeal in state actions.

The Youth Sports Concussion Act is an important piece of legislation because it will protect our nation's youth who participate in sports related activities from concussions and other injuries by discouraging false advertising claims regarding protective equipment used in competitive sports.

April 18, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Events

Brain Injury Association of America--Newly Announced Webinars

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has announced the scheduling of the following webinars.  Further information can be obtained by clicking here.

April 21, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

David Strauss Memorial Lecture: Cognitive Rehabilitation Focus on Awareness, Sheldon Herring, PhD

Dr. Herring will describe clinical implications and treatment of awareness deficits.

May 18, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Carolyn Rocchio Caregivers Webinar: Understanding Mood, Memory, and Behavior after Brain Injury: The Role of the Family, Sandeep Vaishnavi, MD, PhD 

Dr. Vaishnavi, Director of The Neuropsychiatric Clinic and author of the book The Traumatized Brain, will discuss ways to help families understand the long-term neuropsychiatric symptoms of brain injury, and offer strategies for how they can help. 

July 13, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Robert Sbordone Memorial Lecture: Gender and Sex Differences in Concussion, Katherine Price Snedaker, LCSW

Ms. Snedaker will discuss the latest gender-based research on concussion/mTBI and how those findings might inform clinical practice.

July 21, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Carolyn Rocchio Caregivers Webinar: How to Select the Right App and Use Strategies Consistently, Michelle Wild, MA

Ms. Wild will will pose four questions to ask when deciding which apps to download, go through each question to evaluate several apps to illustrate the process, and cover ways to improve the consistent use of compensatory strategies on a daily basis.

July 26, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

David Strauss Memorial Lecture: Cognitive Rehabilitation Focus on Attention, John Whyte, MD, PhD

Dr. Whyte will discuss the organization of attention processes in the healthy brain, the occurrence and clinical implications of attention deficits following TBI, and cognitive rehabilitation strategies to improve outcomes.

September 14, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Mitchell Rosenthal Memorial Lecture: Use of Internal Strategies as a Memory Compensation Technique after Brain Injury, Mary R.T. Kennedy, PhD, CCC-SLP, McKay Moore Sohlberg, PhD, CCC-SLP, and Therese O'Neil Pirozzi, ScD, CCC-SLP

What are internal strategy options for post-TBI memory impairment? In this webinar, Drs. Kennedy, Sohlberg, and Pirozzi will discuss the evidence supporting various internal memory strategies and demonstrate the key systematic instructional principles for teaching internal memory strategies.

September 22, 2016: 3

pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

BIAA Webinar: Post-TBI Headache, Nathan Zasler, MD, FAAPM&R, FAADEP, DAAPM, CBIST

Dr. Zasler will provide insights into the myriad causes of headache following brain, head, and/or neck injuries; review headache classification, etiology and pathophysiology; and describe treatment options for the various subtypes of PTHA.  

October 19, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2pm CT, 1pm MT, noon PT

Carolyn Rocchio Caregivers Webinar: Strategies for Families Managing Personality Changes after Brain Injury, Allan Grill, CRC, MFT

Mr. Grill will discuss how families deal with the personality changes a person with a brain injury might present after an injury; offer some insights into strategies families can use and useful resources for professionals to share with families; and include case scenarios, followed by a discussion about issues and concepts that families need to understand to effectively manage behavioral and personality challenges.

November 9, 2016: 3 pm ET, 2 pm CT, 1 pm MT, noon PT

Business of Brain Injury Webinar: A Review of Medicaid Waivers for TBI, Janet Williams, PhD

Dr. Williams will address the philosophy behind Medicaid Waivers, how they differ from state to state, how rehabilitation providers may provide services under the waivers, and how people with brain injury may access services through waivers.

 

April 17, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

New Documentary examines NCAA Commercial Exploitation of Athletes

Commercial exploitation of athletes, exposing college athletes to brain damage, using and abusing college students in the name of sports.  These are some of the topics explored in the first documentary examining the conduct of the NCAA.  The film, The Business of Athletes will be previewed on April 28th at 7:30 PM in  the Bronx at  the Showcase Cinema, Concourse Plaza, 214 E 161st St, Bronx, NY.  But only, if enough people purchase tickets in advance.  You can get more information by clicking here. Here is a link to the trailer and a review by the Mike O'Keefe of the Daily News, click here   The film maker, Bob DeMars has graciously selected The Brain Injury Association of America for donation's.

April 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News

New York State Brain Injury Advocacy Day

The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) has scheduled its first Brain Injury Advocacy Day for Wednesday, March 23 in Albany, New York.

Advocates will be traveling to Albany from all around the state to help legislators understand that many New Yorkers with brain injury need comprehensive, coordinated long-term care, and that changes proposed by the state Department of Health could lead to harmful service cuts for these individuals.

Your voice and participation in this event is important to alert your legislators to the importance of protecting the rights of victims of brain injury.

To join the Brain Injury Association of New York in Albany on March 23rd, please click here to for further information and to register.

March 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Brain injury is reached epidemic levels in the United States.  The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year in the United States there are:

52,000 deaths attributable to TBI

275,000 hospitalizations attributable to TBI

1,365,000 emergency department visits attributable to TBI

If individuals who sustained a concussion and did not seek any emergency treatment were included in these statistics or were treated for injuries in a hospital where TBI was not the primary diagnosis, the CDC estimates over 3.5 million Americans each year were victims of brain damage.

The CDC estimates the direct medical costs and indirect costs of TBI, such as lost wages and productivity totals $60 billion dollars when last measured in 2000.

Although brain injury is receiving increased attention because of the media focus on professional athletes sustaining traumatic brain injury and returning service members who have sustained blast related brain damage, the vast majority of individuals with brain injury are part of a silent epidemic who do not receive the attention, treatment and social services they deserve.

The Brain Injury Association of America and its state affiliates sponsors many activities and programs during Brain Injury Awareness Month to raise public awareness of this injury that may last a life time.

For further information, go to the Brain Injury Association of America web site.

If you or a loved one is a victim of traumatic brain injury, the brain injury law firm of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP may be able to provide legal assistance. 

 

March 1, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information

Brain Injury Awareness Day, March 16, 2016

The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has announced that Reps. Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Rooney (R-Fla.), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, will host Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

Included is a brain injury awareness fair with over 50 exhibitors, a Congressional briefing, and a reception to celebrate the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force and Brain Injury Awareness Month.

Schedule of Events for Brain Injury Awareness Day 2016

9:00am - 2:00pm Brain Injury Awareness Fair, Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building 
2:30pm Congressional Briefing, Capitol Visitors Center
5:00pm - 7:00pm Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month, B338 Rayburn House Office Building

January 8, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

Shana De Caro reelected to Brain Injury Association of America Bd of Directors

De Caro & Kaplen, LLP is pleased to announce that Shana De Caro has been reelected to a three year term to the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America.

Founded in 1980, the Brain Injury Association of America is the oldest, largest, non-profit nationwide brain injury advocacy group.   Serving as a member of their Board of Directors is an honor recognizing the years Shana has devoted as a dedicated advocate seeking to improve the lives of persons with a brain injury. 

Shana’s practice focuses on representing victims of catastrophic injuries, traumatic brain damage, and medical malpractice in federal and state courts across the country. 

Shana is a featured speaker throughout the United States in areas of traumatic brain injury, personal injury, and medical malpractice.  In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association, she also serves as member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, as Secretary and member of the Board of Trustees of the Civil Justice Foundation, and an elected Fellow of the Melvin Belli Society.  Shana is the immediate past chair of the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.

Shana’s legal work in the field of traumatic brain injury includes publication of a chapter of Psychiatric Clinics of North America special edition on brain injury and the New York Law Journal expert column on traumatic brain injury law.

Contact Shana

Her full CV can be viewed here

More information can be obtained about De Caro & Kaplen by visiting their web site brainlaw

January 4, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

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

NY Daily News Interview on Concussion Movie

Gratified to be interviewed for special Daily News feature article on “Concussion” movie appearing in Sunday editions of paper.  We all need to be diligent and speak out for the 5.2 million Americans suffering from the permanent consequences of traumatic brain injury.  All brain injuries are serious and must be treated as such by the NFL, insurance carriers and health providers. Opening Eyes and Minds: Former NFL QB Ray Lucas, CTE activists weigh in on Will Smith’s ‘Concussion’

 

December 20, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Publications, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Current Affairs

Concussion a Good Opening Gambit

Shana and I attended an advance screening of the movie Concussion, with a group of sports writers and newscasters.  Will Smith gave a compelling performance as Bennet Omalu, and his quest to determine and understand the cause of a specific type of brain damage, later named CTE, first discovered in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steeler, Mike Webster.  This was Omalu’s movie and his story, based on the 2009 GQ exposé, Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas. This was not a documentary.

The title for the film, “Concussion” is misleading.  The film is not about concussions and the failure on the part of the league to inform players about the signs and symptoms of concussions, the need to refrain from returning to play before a player is healed, or the potential life-long consequences of a concussion.  It is a film about the work of Bennet Omalu and his efforts to understand Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Importantly the film is based upon a true story, but is not a complete story.  It is an excellent presentation of the path Omalu took and the painstaking investigation into the cause Mike Webster’s death.  Omalu’s dogged pursuit of answers led to the discovery of the connection between football and brain damage and opened the door to further research.  The movie indicated his conflict with the NFL in accepting this information, which the NFL still disputes.

This movie opens the door to a more important conversation, about trauma and brain damage that must continue.  The cinematic decisions about the portrayals of different characters and the complete omission of any reference to the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Boston, the past and current role of Commissioner Goodell and the NFL marketing department in deflecting criticism were interesting choices made by the film’s writer and director.

It was a compelling introduction for the public to the health issues generated by trauma in football.  This theme must be expanded. If this movie provokes a national conversation about the larger issues associated with all types of brain damage, from football, other sports and everyday accidents, then it has been a great public service.  It would be misleading, if however, it leaves the impression that the problems have been remedied or that the only public health concern is CTE.  This is the tip of the iceberg of the full-range of chronic life-altering effects of concussions. 

Brain injury is a chronic condition with life-long consequences.  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year there are over 200,000 visits to emergency departments by children under the age of 19 suffering concussion related problems from organized sports.  Omitted from these statistics are visits to urgent care facilities, physicians’ offices, and cases where concussion is not the principal diagnosis. The CDC estimates that the accurate number is between 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports related concussions documented each year!  This is a true public health crisis.  Labeling a condition does not address treatment issues and how we, as a society, address the impact of a chronic condition that has consequences for families and society.

We applaud the efforts of all those involved in making this important film, and hope it engenders continued investigation and research into not only prevention, but improved identification and treatment options that will assist this vulnerable population.

SHANA DE CARO, ESQ. is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America and immediate past chair of the American Association for Justice  Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.

MICHAEL V. KAPLEN, ESQ. is a Professorial Lecturer in Law teaching the only course in traumatic brain injury law at The George Washington University Law School, a member and immediate past chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Coordinating Council, three term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State and a past chair of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.

DE CARO & KAPLEN, LLP is a New York based law firm with a focus on representing victims of traumatic brain injury throughout the nation.  Shana and Michael are frequently invited to lecture attorneys and public advocacy groups nationwide on the legal issues pertaining to brain injury, public health concerns and the impact of brain injury on the lives of its victims.

Shana and Michael authored the New York Law Journal expert column on brain injury law and the chapter on brain injury law in the special issue of Psychiatric Clinics of North America.    

December 17, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)