J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2010 Mar-Apr;25(2):137-44.

Brain Injury and Health Policy: Twenty-five Years of Progress.

Reid-Arndt SA, Frank RG, Hagglund KJ.

Department of Health Psychology, School of Health Professions, University of Missouri, Columbia (Drs Reid-Arndt and Hagglund); and College of Public Health, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio (Dr Frank).

Legislative advocacy is a prerequisite for the development of research and community services benefiting individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Dr Mitchell Rosenthal and other leaders in rehabilitation began the process of advocating for TBI services more than 25 years ago, before many in the field fully appreciated the necessity of these efforts. Since that time, substantial gains have been made through advocacy efforts on behalf of individuals with TBI and their families. This article provides an overview of the TBI advocacy movement, highlighting federal legislation resulting in appropriations for TBI services and protecting the rights of individuals with TBI. Key government entities engaged in developing states' TBI infrastructure and providing services to individuals with TBI and their families are also discussed. In addition to celebrating some of the successes that were initiated by the efforts of Dr Rosenthal and other visionaries, select shortcoming of current legislation is noted to provide insights regarding future advocacy needs.