HARRISBURG − October 23, 2019 – Pennsylvanians living with traumatic and acquired brain injuries came to the state capitol this week to share their stories of survival, recovery, and hope.
State Senator Andy Dinniman, who serves as co-chair of the Senate Brain Injury Caucus, helped organize and host the group during a day of legislative action that included a rally, meetings, and a panel discussion and reception.
“It is important that we know and fully understand the severity of brain injuries and the struggles survivors face every day as we work together to assist them in recovering to the fullest of their abilities and living happy, healthy, and productive lives,” Dinniman said. “We’ve made some great progress when it comes to prevention, but there is more work to be done and it starts with legislative advocacy, community involvement, and building awareness.”
State Senator Tim Kearney also spoke at the rally. He discussed the importance of public understanding, awareness, and support in overcoming brain injury.
“A brain injury can turn a family upside down,” said Kearney. “As legislators, we have a moral responsibility to support individuals and families dealing with these injuries. By better understanding, preventing, and treating brain injuries, we can ensure that nobody has to face these challenges alone.”
Dinniman also mentioned several bills currently before the legislature that aim to assist and support the brain injury community:
- House Bill 32 calls for providing funds for brain scans and necessary equipment to the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs in order to provide better care for veterans.
- House Bill 1310 requires cognitive rehab therapy, which can be an effective therapy for brain injury recovery, to be a covered service when medically necessary under the Medical Assistance program.
Dinniman was honored for his ongoing advocacy and legislative support for the brain injury community last year.
According to the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania, 529,000 Pennsylvanians are living with an Acquired Brain Injury, 98,000 new traumatic brain injuries occur each year, and these result in over 2,000 deaths every year.