Yesterday, Rep Mike Michaud (D-ME), ranking member of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health, hosted an APTA-cosponsored briefing on traumatic brain injury (TBI). The Capitol Hill event, held for legislators and their staff, addressed how physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology are helping wounded warriors and veterans recover and rehabilitate from TBI and reintegrate into society.
Aaron Eaton, PT, DPT, and Heather Malecki, PT, DPT, served as panelists with Paul R. Rao, PhD, CCC-SLP, chief operating officer for inpatient services at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC, and Tracey Ellis OTR/L, MPH, CEO of International Diagnostic Solutions and Ellis Therapeutic Consultants.
Eaton shared his experiences as a former employee of the National Naval Medical Center (now Walter Reed National Military Medical Center) and member of the team that was responsible for physical therapy services for soldiers with war-related injuries, namely those with polytrauma, who had arrived from Landstuhl, Germany. Many of these patients also had TBIs.
Malecki, rehabilitation and polytrauma coordinator at the Washington, DC, VA Medical Center, also provided insight on the needs of soldiers with TBI. She highlighted the benefits of coordination and cooperation among physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology.
The American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association cosponsored the briefing.
Find out more about APTA's efforts with wounded warriors at www.apta.org/TBI/WoundedWarriors/.