Federal legislation proposed this week would help advance rehabilitation research within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Bill S 1027, introduced by Sens Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Tim Johnson (D-SD), calls for a working group comprising various NIH institutes and centers to update and streamline NIH's rehabilitation research priorities.
The bill would require a report on the feasibility of implementing recommendations proposed in the final report of the NIH Blue Ribbon Panel on Medical Rehabilitation Research, which included APTA members Rebecca Craik, PT, PhD, Anthony Delitto, PT, PhD, and Alan M. Jette, PT, PhD. It also would allow interagency agreements to better coordinate rehabilitation research conducted by agencies outside of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Shortly after the release of the Blue Ribbon Panel recommendations late last year, APTA's Section on Research spoke with Kirk's office about the recommendations as part of APTA's 2013 research fly-in. During the fly-in, leading physical therapy researchers from Illinois and across the country highlighted the positive contributions of rehabilitation research and advocated for advancing the role of this research at NIH.
APTA applauds this legislation and looks forward to working with the offices of Sens Kirk and Johnson to advance the bill in Congress.
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