PARALYSIS ACT SEES IMMEDIATE ACTION BY NEW CONGRESS
On January 7th, the day after the House and Senate convened the 111th Congress, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act was introduced in the Senate as part of the Omnibus Public Land Management Act, S. 22. The Paralysis Act was included in the omnibus bill at the request of Reeve Champion, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and with the support of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).
The next day, Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), James Langevin (D-RI) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) re- introduced the Reeve Paralysis bill in the House of Representatives as HR 307.
This first-of-its-kind public health bill, which passed the House but was stalled in the Senate last Congress, directly addresses paralysis to improve the lives of and hasten better treatments and cures for people living with paralysis and spinal cord injuries.
The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act will improve the quality of life for people living with paralysis and mobility impairments from any cause – stroke, ALS, spinal cord injuries and others. It encourages coordination of research to prevent redundancies and hasten discovery of better treatments and cures, as well as improving the daily lives for those living with paralysis. The Act has three components that support and enhance paralysis research, rehabilitation, and quality of life programs:
Ø Paralysis Research. The bill expands research on paralysis at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by establishing the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Consortia. This style of research promotes collaboration - connecting scientists doing similar work in multiple fields to enrich understanding and speed discovery of better treatments and cures.
Ø Paralysis Rehabilitation and Care. The bill calls for rehabilitation research to advance daily function for people with paralysis including intensive, activity-based research to measure the effectiveness of certain rehabilitative tactics that aim to improve mobility, prevent secondary complications, and develop improved assistive technology.
Ø Improving Quality of Life for Persons with Paralysis and Other Physical Disabilities. The bill will develop unique programs at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to better the quality of life and long-term health status of persons with paralysis and other physical disabilities. Programs include providing grants to non-profit health and disability organizations to educate the public about paralysis, improving access to services, and integrating life with paralysis into society, as well as coordinating services within each state to assist persons living with paralysis.
On January 11, the Senate moved to debate the omnibus lands bill including the Reeve Paralysis Act, and is expected to consider the bill this week.
We would like to thank each and every one of you for your efforts.
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Every day I wake up is a good one.