The Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) has recognized Congressman Bill Pascrell with its 2016 ATSNJ Presidential Award, given to those who have made “an impression on the profession of athletic training within New Jersey.”
The Presidential Award is the ATSNJ’s highest civilian award. Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. was selected due to his “dedicated service to concussion awareness and treatment as well as his devotion to sports safety.”
As the co-Chairman and founder of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, Congressman Pascrell has raised the nation’s awareness of the dangers of traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI was identified as the “signature injury” among soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Congressman Pascrell has worked to make sure that our soldiers are properly screened and diagnosed for concussions. He continues to fight for TRICARE insurance coverage to pay for cognitive rehabilitation therapy – the most effective treatment for soldiers recovering from TBI.
After the tragic death of Montclair High School football player Ryne Dougherty in 2008, the congressman’s efforts against the dangers of TBI have expanded to help protect young athletes. On Sept. 30, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed Congressman Pascrell’s Concussion Treatment and Care Tools (ConTACT) Act. The legislation calls for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop guidelines and protocols for the management and treatment of sports-related concussions for the benefit of the nation’s student-athletes.
ATSNJ President Eric Schwartz states, “It is a privilege to be giving the 2016 ATSNJ Presidential Award to the Honorable Bill Pascrell for his continued work in the prevention, education, and treatments of brain injuries. Congressman Pascrell has been at the forefront for promoting concussion research and supporting athletic trainers as medical experts when it comes to concussion. We at ATSNJ thank the congressman for his support of the profession of athletic training and making athlete safety a priority!”