Congress has passed Academy-driven legislation that will create up to six Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE) at the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA). President Bush is expected to sign the legislation.
The Academy took the lead on this important legislation, with bill language largely drafted by John Booss, MD, a former director of neurology at the VA and member of the AAN's Legislative Affairs Committee. "With veterans coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq after suffering from traumatic brain injury, the VA is certain to see a spike in epilepsy cases that they are not prepared to adequately address," said Booss. "This legislation will restore the VA as a national leader in epilepsy care and research. This legislation is a great success for the Academy and our partners, including the Epilepsy Foundation," said Booss.
The Academy thanks all of its members who came to Neurology on the Hill in March of 2008 and signed up more than 100 members of Congress as cosponsors of the legislation. The Academy also thanks all of the members who sent emails and made calls to Congress supporting the legislation.
We also extend our sincere appreciation to Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), whose leadership was critical in introducing the legislation and shepherding it through the House and Senate VA Committees, as well as ultimate passage in both houses of Congress. The bill was eventually included with other VA health bills as S. 2162; view the bill under section 404.