I had the great pleasure of attending the January 8th, 2013 Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) conference in New York city. The PABI project and the PABI plan were initiated by Patrick Donohue, the founder of The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, and the father of Sarah Jane Donohue, who suffered a brain injury as an infant, when she was brutally shaken by a babysitter.
Rep. Leonard Lance (R, NJ-07) introduced the National PABI Plan Act (also referred to as H.R. 2600) on July 20, 2011. H.R 2600 will fund a seven-year initiative to implement the National PABI plan in all fifty states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This bill is currently before congress and has been developed to insure that a seamless, standardized, evidence-based system of care is universally accessible for the millions of families who have a child or young adult suffering from the number one leading cause of death and disability for American youth: brain injury.
The PABI Plan was created by the International Advisory Board of the Sarah Jane Brain Foundation. This plan covers brain injury from birth up to 25 years of age. Given that the average age of our wounded warriors is 19, the PABI plan plays a significant role in helping our young veterans as well.
The conference began with presentations about key features of the PABI plan, including the development of a comprehensive data base supported by Oracle, a virtual education center developed by WebMD, and an introduction to the international PABI plan. The day long program brought together some of the leaders in pediatric acquired brain injury, including those in medical care, education, and advocacy. Attendees were asked to select and participate in a range of break-out groups which focused on various topics related to pediatric acquired brain injury.
The sessions that I attended included discussions around mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), young veterans and their families, adult transition, and community re-integration. The day long sessions were followed by a wonderful dinner attended by the Hon. Patrick Kennedy and Paula Abdul. The evening also included magnificent entertainment and an educational presentation from Dr. Victor Pedro on Cortical Reintegration Therapy. Cognitive Compass will continue to provide support and input into PABI and keep you informed as to its progress. CC