NEW YORK, NY – An organization whose goal is to implement a national model system for young people with brain injuries announced today it had submitted the largest grant proposal in history dealing with the number one cause of death and disability for children and young adults in the United States.
The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation (SJBF), in conjunction with its 52 State Lead Centers of Excellence (one in every state plus D.C. and Puerto Rico), submitted a $930 million multi-Department grant proposal today, requesting to utilize stimulus funds to implement its National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) Plan across the country. The entire grant proposal to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Justice can be viewed from the website www.TheBrainProject.org.
The National PABI Plan, a 104-page document that outlines the entire continuum of care for children and young adults with brain injuries, was created in January by the National Advisory Board of the SJBF. The National Advisory Board of the SJBF currently consists of over 100 of the top pediatric neurologists and rehabilitation experts from all over the country.
The SJBF is one of the largest organizations in the country dealing with pediatric brain injury. It was founded in October 2007 by Patrick Donohue, whose now 4-year-old daughter Sarah Jane was shaken by her baby nurse when she was five days old, causing a severe brain injury.
The organization purposely submitted its proposal on August 18 due to the significance of the day. Donohue noted, “Today is the birthday of Marilyn Spivack, the Honorary Chairwoman of our National Advisory Board and the mother of brain injury advocacy. It is in her honor that we submit this grant proposal today, with the hope that it will also forevermore be the ‘birthday’ of better care for children and young adults with brain injuries.”
Spivack, whose daughter sustained a traumatic brain injury in a car accident more than 30 years ago, founded the Brain Injury Association of America in 1980.
The 52 State Lead Centers of Excellence will work together as well as with other institutions in their states and around the country to implement the PABI Plan, coordinating with others to ensure a seamless system of care.
These institutions consist of many top-rated children’s hospitals, research universities and health advocacy organizations staffed by the best pediatric neurologists and rehabilitation experts in the country (for full list see press release dated June 5 here.
When fully implemented across the country, the National PABI Plan will create over 6,000 new jobs across all 50 states.
Below are comments from various U.S. Senators and Representatives on their support of the National PABI Plan, the 52 State Lead Centers of Excellence, and the Sarah Jane Brain Project in general.
- “Each year, over 1 million American children suffer from some form of Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury (PTBI). Sadly, too many times, such injuries lead to the premature loss of a child’s life or a life-long disability. There is an immense need for more research to be conducted on the human brain, so the important work and information sharing facilitated by The Sarah Jane Brain Project benefits children and their families greatly. I am proud of the leadership and work that Oklahoma State University’s Center for Health Science has provided within the state to address the issue of pediatric brain injury.” – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
- “Thousands of children with traumatic brain injuries will be treated and millions more will be protected from brain injuries as a result of this investment. The Sarah Jane Brain Project has done an incredible job of helping children and partnering with the Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical Center will help them advance their efforts even further. We owe the Donohue Family a huge debt of gratitude for having the strength to turn a heartbreaking personal experience into something that has helped so many,” – U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)
- “I’m pleased the University of Texas at Dallas for Brain Health has been selected to receive this important funding. The organization’s efforts to combat pediatric brain injury continue to serve as an example for Texas. This grant will help them continue with their excellent research and advancements in the future.” – U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
- “Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury changed your life, as it changed your entire family’s life, and yet you have persisted in your goal. I greatly admire your fortitude, your determination and your will to persevere. You have successfully rallied to make a difference in the lives of many people and we thank you for that. I wish you and The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation all the best as you pursue this important work.” – U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), in a letter of support addressed to Patrick Donohue
- “The Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum being selected as a State Lead Center is an integral first step in developing a seamless, standardized, evidence-based system of care for all children affected by Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury. With PABI known to be the leading cause of death and disability among our nation’s children, I look forward to working with the Forum to both prevent these devastating injuries and to improve the lives of those families who are affected by them.” – U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
- “As the leading cause of death and disability for our children, pediatric acquired brain injury impacts not just those specific families but all of us, and we look forward to working with you to both prevent these devastating injuries and to improve the lives of those families who experience them.” – U.S. Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) in a letter of support to Patrick Donohue and Hasbro Children’s Hospital
- “The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation is working with leading institutions from across the country to provide critical resources to families affected by Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI), and to collaborate with those families and institutions to improve research. I support this grant proposal because it would implement the National Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury Plan and improve the lives of children and young adults suffering from PABI.” – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH)
To read the National PABI Plan in its entirety or to watch a video presentation on the plan, visit the SJBF website at www.TheBrainProject.org.