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U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo to speak at Idaho Traumatic Brain Injury Summit at Idaho State University May 28

Posted May 21, 2013

As many as 35,000 Idahoans are living with a severe traumatic brain injury, or TBI, and medical professionals and health educators want to do something about it.

They're holding an Idaho Traumatic Brain Injury Summit on Tuesday, May 28, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Idaho State University Stephens Performing Arts Center, 1002 Sam Nixon Ave., in Pocatello. The Summit, which is free and open to the public, will focus on assistance for Idaho residents who have experienced a TBI and their families in addition to health education and prevention policies.

U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo will present opening remarks and participate in a roundtable discussion, presented by TBI experts. An answer session for audience members and a press conference will follow.

The event is co-sponsored by the ISU Division of Health Sciences and ISU's Institute of Rural Health, the Healing Center at Idaho Doctors Hospital, and the Aegis Research Institute at Bingham Memorial Hospital.

A TBI is defined as one or more concussions caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 3.5 million people experience a TBI every year—some so serious they lead to death or permanent disability.

Those at high risk for TBI include soldiers injured by roadside bombs, athletes and people injured in car crashes.

"We already provide the best available care for TBI. But we believe we can achieve better outcomes by employing cutting-edge research to identify even better treatments that have long-lasting positive effects without the risks associated with the medications currently used," said Louis Kraml, chief executive officer of Idaho Doctors Hospital and Bingham Memorial Hospital.

"A comprehensive strategy for TBI is needed because it is a complex problem that not only impacts the health and functioning of the injured individual, but also their family members and employers," said Russell Spearman, TBI program director for the state of Idaho and a senior research associate at the ISU Institute of Health.

TBI has reached epidemic proportions. The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force reports that the national cost of TBI is estimated to be $60 billion annually.

Idaho's strategy for addressing the TBI epidemic must include education, prevention, early detection and intervention, provision of the most effective therapies and rehabilitation, as well as community health strategies, according to event organizers.

For more information contact Neill Piland, director of ISU Institute of Rural Health, 208-282-4436, or Bernadette Howlett at the Aegis Research Institute at Bingham Memorial Hospital, 208-782-2953.

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