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Advocacy Action Center: Let’s Enhance Rehabilitation Research: Co-Sponsors Needed for S. 800

Mar 25, 2015

On March 19, 2015, Senators Kirk (R-IL) and Bennet (D-CO) (along with Senators Hatch and Murkowski) and Congressmen Langevin (D-RI) and Harper (R-MS) introduced companion bipartisan bills (S. 800; H.R. 1469) to enhance the stature and visibility of medical rehabilitation research at NIH. The Academy, through our leadership in the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC), has been working with members of Congress and NIH for years to craft this bill. DRRC enthusiastically supports these companion bills because they send a powerful message that our nation can and must improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and chronic conditions by enhancing medical rehabilitation research at NIH and, by so doing, improve the provision of rehabilitation services and devices. Please take a moment to send a customizable email letting your legislators know that now is the time to enhance rehabilitation research and improve the quality of life for individuals with disability and chronic conditions.


Template Letter

Enhance Rehabilitation Research: Co-Sponsor S. 800

On March 19, 2015, Senator Mark Kirk (R-Il.) and Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced S. 800 to improve, coordinate, and enhance medical rehabilitation research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I enthusiastically support the enactment of S. 800 because I believe that the time is now to enhance the stature and visibility of medical rehabilitation research at the world's premier medical research agency and by so doing send a clear and unequivocal message that rehabilitation services and devices are essential health care benefits for people with disabilities and chronic conditions.

I applaud the efforts by Senators Kirk and Bennet to include in the bill many of the recommendations made by the Blue Ribbon Panel on Medical Rehabilitation Research established by NIH in December 2012. The quality of health care that American's receive is dependent, in part, on the specific research priorities established by NIH.

Historically, people with disabilities and chronic conditions have experienced health disparities resulting from denial of medically necessary and appropriate treatment, including the denial of rehabilitation services and devices. Concomitant to the lack of access to these critical rehabilitation services and devices is the lack of sufficient focus on rehabilitation research at NIH. In 2012, NIH published a report prepared for the Director of NIH, the Director of NICHD, and other by the Blue Ribbon Panel, which concluded that rehabilitation research is not thriving at NIH.

I urge you to co-sponsor S. 800. I believe that S. 800 sends a powerful message that we can and must improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities and chronic conditions by enhancing medical rehabilitation research at NIH and, by so doing, improving the provision of rehabilitation services and devices.