March 3rd 2021 is national brain injury awareness day in America. In this episode of Brain Injury Insider host Michael V. Kaplen discusses the origins and importance of brain injury awareness day, urges more representatives to join the congressional brain injury taskforce, and once again emphasizes the need for increased funding on the national level for brain injury awareness, brain injury research, brain injury treatment, and brain injury education.
Today is brain injury awareness day on Capitol Hill.
My partner, Shana De Caro and I have travelled to Washington DC for many years along with many others to visit with our congressional representatives and participate in events emphasizing the need for increased funding on the national level for brain injury awareness, brain injury research, brain injury treatment, and brain injury education.
Brain Injury awareness day is an event co-sponsored by the Bi Partisan, Congressional Brain Injury Task Force and the Brain Injury Association of America.
The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force was co-founded by Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey in 2001 and now is Co-chaired by Congressman Pascrell and Congressman Don Bacon of Nebraska.
The Task Force works to increase awareness of brain injury in the United States, supports research initiatives for rehabilitation and potential cures, and strives to address the effects such injuries have on families, children, education, and the workforce.
The task force now includes over 80 members of Congress, both democrats and republicans. Brain injury is not a democratic, or republican issue, it is a public health issue that affects over 5.3 million Americans living with long term disability and causes over 2.5 million Americans to seek medical care each year.
80 Members? That’s all?
The task force needs to grow, and its voice needs to be heard in Washington and throughout our nation. You must discuss this with your own representative and ask them to join their colleagues on this task force.
Although this year Brain Injury Awareness Day will be held remotely, the message is clear:
Brain injury awareness, research, treatment, and education needs more funding on both the state and federal level.
The brain fog and degenerative neurological conditions that more and more Americans are facing from Covid 19, the debilitating brain damage caused by accidents, strokes, intimate partner violence, assaults, and blast injuries in the military makes brain injury a national priority.
A concussion often referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury, is not mild.
There is nothing mild about a brain injury. The consequences can last a lifetime and can affect every aspect of an individual’s life.
And in cases of severe traumatic brain injury, it’s wonderful to save a life. But society then has an obligation and responsibility for that person for the remainder of their life.
Brain injury is an issue that must be properly addressed by our medical insurers. Care must be provided, and claims must be approved for brain Injury treatment, brain injury rehabilitation, and the long-term chronic health conditions that develop.
Brain injury cannot be treated as a simple event or as if it was a broken bone. It affects every aspect of an individual’s life with no clear paths for recovery. Each brain is unique and each brain injury is different.
We need to focus on housing, transportation, accommodations, education, research, and rehabilitation.
Brain injury is not Genetic. It is not contagious. In fact, most brain injury is preventable
But the tragic consequences of brain injury, the emotional, cognitive, behavioral and physical problems can last a life time.
We need to focus on housing, transportation, accommodations, education, research, and rehabilitation
Thank you to the Brain Injury Association of America and the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force for all of their work to date and for improving the lives of the millions of persons living with a brain injury.
Now more than ever, more work still needs to be done.
Find out more about Brain Injury Awareness Month at https://www.biausa.org/public-affairs/public-awareness/brain-injury-awareness