By Jason KUROSU
Legislators and medical professionals have combined their efforts against youth brain injuries with the sponsoring of the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan Act (or PABI Plan Act). Also referred to as H.R. 2600, the PABI Plan Act will fund a seven-year initiative and “will cover the entire continuum of care from prevention, treatment in acute medical facilities, reintegration back into the schools, communities and homes and then transitioning into an adult system of greater independent living,” according to a press release from the representatives and organizations sponsoring the bill.
The most elaborate portion of the act is the implementation of 52 “State Lead Centers of Excellence,” one for each state, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. These centers will provide care and information for children suffering from brain diseases or injuries such as sports-related concussions, among others. The Lead Centers were handpicked by a group of more than 60 pediatric neurologists in 2009. UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital is California’s State Lead Center.
“Young people battling a brain injury deserve the best, most comprehensive care available to address their unique health care needs as they navigate the recovery process,” said Congressman Howard Berman, one of the more than 70 legislators co-sponsoring the bill (D, CA-28). “Implementation of the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan Act is a critical component of this commitment and I am proud to support this effort.”
“As the leading cause of death and disability among American youth, pediatric acquired brain injury is a major public health problem affecting millions of young people and their families,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D, CA-29). “Those fortunate enough to survive brain injuries experience considerable cognitive, behavioral and communicative disabilities, and sometimes endure long-term medical complications. Implementation of the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan Act will provide American youth with the quality of care they need as they travel the long and involved road to recovery.”