Members of the US Congress and their staff will have a chance to get the physical therapist (PT) perspective on traumatic brain injury (TBI), as APTA staff participate in the Brain Injury Awareness Fair taking place March 12 on Capitol Hill. APTA was invited to join in the event as part of Brain Injury Awareness Day and will use the opportunity to advocate for 2 bills on concussion and TBI.
In addition to sharing APTA's consumer-oriented information on TBI and highlighting the association's participation in the Joining Forces initiative, APTA will promote passage of 2 pieces of legislation: the TBI Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1098), and the Protecting Student Athletes From Concussions Act (H.R. 3532) (.pdf). The TBI Reauthorization Act would continue support for research and data collection on TBI by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH); the Protecting Student Athletes From Concussions Act would ensure school districts have concussion management plans that educate students, parents, and school personnel about how to recognize and respond to concussions, among other programs.
APTA's advocacy work at the event is part of a much larger strategy to educate legislators and the broader public on concussion and TBI. The association provides extensive resources to its members on the role of physical therapy in brain injury treatment and recovery, and offers a TBI webpage that includes continuing education courses and links to other interest groups.
A resource for advancing falls prevention at the state policy level has been designated a "quality tool" by the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) and included among offerings on the AHRQ website. The toolkit is a product of the National Council on Aging's (NCOA) Falls Free Coalition, whose members include APTA.
The toolkit outlines 8 policy goals that will help advocates establish innovative falls prevention policies and practices in states, communities, and organizations. Each goal is accompanied by suggested policy changes, and includes examples of advances that are possible through education and engagement of key stakeholders.
APTA is a member of the Falls Free Coalition responsible for creating the toolkit, and APTA member Bonita L. Beattie, PT, was instrumental in the development of the resource.
An earlier version of the toolkit (.pdf) focused on falls and Medicare, along with many other resources on falls and falls prevention, can be accessed at APTA's Balance and Falls webpage.
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