: Federal TBI Program Will Move to Administration for Community Living
Federal TBI Program Will Move to Administration for Community Living
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell will relocate the Federal Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) State Grant Program from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) sometime in the next federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2015. The move comes at the urging of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) and the Program’s other stakeholders, the National Association of Head Injury Administrators and National Disability Rights Network.
“This is a great victory for the brain injury community,” said Susan Connors, president and chief executive officer of BIAA, adding “The move will not affect current grantees, but it paves the way for a stronger, better funded, more effective program in the future. BIAA is grateful to Reps. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Thomas J. Rooney (R-Fla.), co-chairs of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, and our own grassroots advocates for making this happen.”
In the reauthorization of the TBI Act, which was signed into law in November 2014, discretion was given to Sec. Burwell to determine which agency within HHS should administer the TBI Program. BIAA advocated for the Administration for Community Living because its mission is to maximize the independence, well-being, and health of older adults and people with disabilities across the lifespan as well as their families and caregivers. “People of all ages can sustain a TBI, and some individuals who are injured need services and supports throughout their lifetimes,” Connors added.
ACL also houses the Administration on Aging, Office on Disability and Administration on Developmental Disabilities. By elevating the TBI program, BIAA anticipates state agencies and protection and advocacy organizations will be better able to coordinate with and leverage programs and resources at the state and federal levels to improve services to individuals with brain injury and their families.
Anticipating the move, the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill includes language to shift funding from HRSA to ACL.