This morning, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) passed a modified version of S. 800, the “Enhancing the Stature and Visibility of Medical Rehabilitation Research at the NIH Act” to improve, coordinate, and enhance medical rehabilitation research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Introduced by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), the bill enhances the stature and visibility of medical rehabilitation research at the world’s premier medical research agency.
Provisions in the bill are designed to enhance strategic coordination within the Director’s office at NIH and with other agencies to update and streamline rehabilitation research priorities. There are also provisions to specify that the Research Plan must be updated every five years following a scientific conference or workshop; provide for progress reports; and include a definition of medical rehabilitation research that reflects the importance of an individual’s ability to improve their functional status after illness or injury.
We urge the full Senate to pass S. 800 and send the bill to the House of Representatives to enact H.R. 1631 as revised by the Senate. Passage of these companion bills sends a powerful message that our nation can and must improve the quality of life of people with disabilities and chronic conditions by enhancing medical rehabilitation research at NIH and, by so doing, improve the provision of rehabilitation services and devices.
Members of the Disability and Rehabilitation Research Coalition (DRRC) were instrumental in lobbying for passage of this important bill. Your Academy is a DRRC Steering Committee member, and strongly supports this effort.
View DRRC's full press release.