Hahn Backs Bill to Expand Spinal Cord Research
10/17/2018
HARRISBURG – Legislation that would increase funding for spinal cord injury research is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk, according to Rep. Marcia Hahn (R-Bushkill Township), following today’s passage of Senate Bill 31 by the House.

“Every year, more than 12,000 individuals incur spinal cord injuries, mostly because of traffic accidents,” Hahn said. “While this injury is currently considered permanent and irreversible, researchers are not giving up and are focusing on ways to regenerate or reconnect nerve pathways. Advances are being made and Pennsylvania has a chance to play a role in that progress.”

Hahn authored legislation (House Bill 385) that mirrors Senate Bill 31, which would establish the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program and create a research grant funded by a portion of the Tobacco Settlement Fund. 

“Several health-related programs are already supported by the Tobacco Settlement Fund,” added Hahn.  “Senate Bill 31 would establish a program within the Department of Health to award grants to research institutions for new treatments and rehab efforts for the functional improvement of people with spinal cord injuries. Any institution that conducts such research would be eligible to receive a grant from the more than $1 million allocated for spinal cord research.” 

According to Hahn, 13 states have passed similar legislation, including Minnesota, home of the headquarters for the Mayo Clinic.

“Right now, the Mayo Clinic is in the midst of a clinical trial to test the use of epidural stimulation to restore cognitive function previously lost due to spinal cord injury,” said Hahn. “Funding for their research is a direct result of legislation similar to the grant program established in Senate Bill 31.”

Representative Marcia Hahn
138th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives


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