|Congressional Committee Launches Review of Concussions|
The House Energy and Commerce Committee kicked off its broad review of concussions this Monday, March 14, 2016, with a roundtable discussion led by Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee (O&I) Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA). At the roundtable, a top official with the NFL made a dramatic statement, agreeing that a link exists between football-related brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The NFL had never before publicly acknowledged such a connection despite the mounting evidence.
When asked by Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) if a connection between football and CTE had been established, Miller replied, “The answer to that question is certainly yes.” NFL Senior Vice President for Health and Safety Jeff Miller told a congressional committee that there are “still questions” and Chairman Murphy seemed to echo this sentiment by saying the science in this field is in its infancy.
Miller’s admission followed comments by Dr. Anne McKee, a professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University who focuses on neurodegenerative diseases. “I unequivocally think there’s a link between playing football and CTE,” she told the panel Monday. O&I Ranking Member Dianna DeGette (D-CO) stated that while there is nothing wrong with letting the science play out as it must, this does not excuse Congressional inaction. She suggested that legal and legislative action should be forthcoming.
The roundtable, which brought together experts from the medical, military, athletic, and research communities, aims to serve as a launching pad for the committee’s review in studying the causes, effects, and treatments of concussions and other head trauma. This is the first in a series of roundtable discussions on this subject.
As previously reported, in January UCAOA Health and Public Policy Committee Member and CEO Robert Graw, Jr., MD, and Katherine Tate, director of provider and community outreach at Righttime, met with congressional leaders to discuss how aspects of their sports injury and concussion care program can serve as a model for treatment on the national level. The Urgent Care Foundation is planning to host a Scientific Symposium to address concussion care in the urgent care setting. To learn more, click here, and if you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact UCAOA/UCF Development Officer Joanne Ray at firstname.lastname@example.org or 331-472-3739.