Brain Injuries Top Concern as Lawmakers, USAMRMC Meet on Capitol Hill
"We have to seize every opportunity we can," said U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell of New Jersey during his opening remarks at a brain injury-themed panel discussion on March 16 in Washington, D.C., "because the type of research we're funding here, it's absolutely essential."
Pascrell's comments came during the annual Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill event, which is designed to educate members of Congress, their staff and the general public on the full range of effects of brain injury, as well as the support systems available to brain injury survivors. The event, now in its 15th year, also typically serves as a means to announce groundbreaking research and promote key technological developments in the field.
"This is where we get the chance to shine," said Dr. Alicia Crowder, Neurotrauma Portfolio manager with the USAMRMC's Combat Casualty Care Research Program, while giving a guided tour of new brain injury detection tools during the exhibitor portion of the event. Devices that were developed using USAMRMC funding and expertise, such as the iSTAT and the Ahead 100, were highlighted. "An event like this is where we get to show lawmakers our playbook - our plan for both right now and for the future of brain injury diagnosis and treatment," said Crowder.
More than two dozen other agencies and organizations lined the halls of the Cannon House Office Building to promote their latest research efforts as well, including the National Institutes of Health and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. Outside of developmental technology, key themes of the day included a specific focus on head injuries in women, and how exactly to translate military medical solutions to the civilian arena.
"This is exactly what I needed," said Matt Taylor, an event attendee and head injury patient who suffered a TBI in a car accident at age ten. "Seeing all the tools available now as opposed to what we had when I was younger, it gives me hope for the future, for everyone else who's gone through the same thing."