Kirk Applauds Committee Passage of His Bill to Create a Standard of Care for Rehabilitation

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S. 800 Improves Rehab Following Stroke or Major Trauma

Endorsed by the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) celebrated the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s bipartisan passage of his bill, S. 800, the Enhancing the Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehabilitation Research at the NIH Act. S. 800 creates a standard of care for rehabilitation so that more men and women who suffer from a stroke or major trauma can access specialized, intense care. Senator Kirk’s bill modernizes the foundation of specialized rehabilitation by updating the definition of rehabilitation research at NIH. The changes in S. 800 are based on 2012 NIH Blue Ribbon Panel Recommendations and will ensure rehabilitation research reflects the scope and complexity of disability in our country.

“After my stroke, intense rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago helped me get back on my feet and back to work,” Senator Kirk said. “Every American should have the same access to quality rehab and care that I did. I thank my colleagues on the HELP Committee and look forward to passing this bill on the Senate floor.” 

“Research into medical rehabilitation can help find new ways to improve recovery from stroke – a leading cause of serious, long-term disability,” said Mark Creager, M.D., president of the American Heart Association. “The association stands in support of this important legislation, which will provide hope for those stroke survivors who need therapy to walk, talk and live independently again. We commend Senators Kirk and Bennet and the HELP Committee for advancing it.”  

“Coordination at the NIH is long overdue, and this legislation is a milestone for rehabilitation research,” said Joanne C. Smith, M.D. and president and CEO of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). “Its focus is aligned with RIC’s mission, ensuring continued best-in-class, scientifically-driven care that advances patients’ ability and function.”  

“The American Occupational Therapy Association greatly appreciates all of Senators Kirk’s efforts which have led to the consideration of this bill by the Senate HELP Committee.  Advancing rehabilitation research is critical to ensuring that all Americans living with illness, disability, or injury will receive the most innovative and effective therapy available,” said Christina Metzler, The American Occupational Therapy Association’s Chief Public Affairs Officer. 

S. 800 is endorsed by the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition, which includes but is not limited to:

  • American Physical Therapy Association
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • American College of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Association of Academic Physiatrists
  • American Speech Language and Hearing Association
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America,
  • Brain Injury Association of America
  • Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • Amputee Coalition of America
  • American Association of People with Disabilities
  • American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Psychologists and Social Workers
  • American Association on Health and Disability
  • American Foundation for the Blind
  • American Hospital Association
  • Arthritis Foundation
  • March of Dimes
  • Mental Health America
  • National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics
  • National Council on Independent Living
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • United Spinal Association
  • Child Neurology Foundation
  • Child Neurology Society

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