This is from the Brain Injury Association of America’s latest legislative update. Note Dr. O’Shanick, Medical Director of the Center for Neurorehabilitation Services, spoke to Congress.
- House Committee Holds Hearing on Youth Sports Concussion Act
Dr. Gregory O’Shanick, President and Medical Director of the Center for Neurorehabilitation Services in Richmond, Virginia and the Medical Director Emeritus of the Brain Injury Association of America testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade on Tuesday, May 24 to discuss the Youth Sports Concussion Act, H.R. 4460. The hearing, Legislative Hearing on 17 FTC Bills, covered a variety of legislation that will impact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade is chaired by Congressman Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and the ranking member is Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.)
The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, chaired by Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) passed the Youth Sports Concussion Act, S. 2508 out of the committee on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. The Youth Sports Concussion Act is sponsored by Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and in the House of Representatives, Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force.
The Youth Sports Concussion Act expressed the sense of Congress that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should review the National Academies’ report on sports-related concussions and future research in such area for any matter that may impact products under the CPSC’s jurisdiction or inform the FTC’s efforts to protect consumers.
The bill makes it unlawful to sell or offer for sale in interstate commerce, or import into the United States for such purposes, athletic sporting equipment for which the seller or importer makes any deceptive claim with respect to the safety benefits of such an item. Violations shall be treated as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act. The bill sets forth the enforcement authority of the FTC. States may bring civil actions in federal court to obtain injunctive relief on behalf of state residents unless a civil or administrative action has already been instituted by the FTC. The FTC may intervene and appeal in state actions.
The Youth Sports Concussion Act is an important piece of legislation because it will protect our nation’s youth who participate in sports related activities from concussions and other injuries by discouraging false advertising claims regarding protective equipment used in competitive sports. BIAA and NASHIA recently spearheaded a letter of support to the House Energy and Commerce Committee to include the Youth Sports Concussion Act in the next executive session. Thirty six organizations signed on in support of moving this important legislation through the committee process. BIAA thanks Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) for moving this important legislation through the committee process.
- Congressional Report Finds NFL Improperly Attempted to Influence NIH on Brain Injury Research
On May 23, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, released a report concluding that the National Football League (NFL) improperly attempted to influence the grant review process for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) brain injury study that the NFL had agreed to fund as part of a $30 million donation. The report states that the integrity of NIH’s grant review process was preserved. The report also concludes the Foundation of NIH (FNIH), a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to direct funding from public and private donors to NIH projects, did not adequately fulfill its role of serving as an intermediary between NIH and the NFL. You can read the full report here.
- Pediatric Trauma Caucus Launched
House Energy and Commerce Committee members Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) officially launched the Pediatric Trauma Caucus on Tuesday, May 24. NASCAR Team Owner, Motorsports Hall of Fame Inductee, and Co-Founder of the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, Richard Childress led the briefing discussion. Other panelist included Bob Gfeller, Executive Director, Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, Dr. Valerie Maholmes, Ph.D., Chief, Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Dr. David Adelson, Director, Barrow Neurological Institute, Chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery/Children’s Neurosciences, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Diana Fendya, R.N., Trauma/Acute Care Specialist, EMSC National Resource Center, Children’s National Medical Center, Dr. Barbara A. Gaines, Clinical Director, Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Dr. John Petty, Director, Pediatric Trauma Program, Brenner Children’s Hospital/Wake Forest Baptist Health. BIAA thanks Reps. Hudson and Butterfield for taking the lead on this important issue.
Congress will be in recess next week in honor of Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 therefore the next Policy Corner will be released on Friday, June 10.
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