Washington, D.C., April 29, 2008 — The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) applauds Congress and President Bush for successfully reauthorizing the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Act, the signature piece of federal legislation addressing the public health epidemic of brain injury in the United States.
Yesterday, the President signed into law S. 793, The TBI Act of 2008, which reauthorizes appropriations for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs including grants to states to improve the coordination of and access to services by individuals with TBI and their families. The TBI Act also authorizes vital TBI surveillance and prevention programs within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and research projects conducted by the National Institutes of Health.
Originally passed into law more than a decade ago, The TBI Act of 1996 (PL 104-166) was slightly amended in 2000 (PL 106-310), but authority expired for the legislation in 2005. Achieving successful reauthorization of the TBI Act has been BIAA's biggest federal legislative priority this year.
"TBI is recognized as a signature injury of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The programs authorized by the TBI Act play a critical role in improving the nation's ability to meet the needs of individuals with brain injury, military and civilian alike," said Susan Connors, president/CEO of BIAA.
BIAA acknowledges President Bush and sincerely thanks all of the Members of Congress and staff who shepherded this bill to passage in the midst of a busy election year. In particular, BIAA expresses profound appreciation for the leadership efforts of Senator Edward Kennedy, Senator Orrin Hatch, Representative Bill Pascrell, Representative Todd Platts, Representative John Dingell, and Representative Frank Pallone, all of whom played critical roles in ensuring the progress of this bill.