Note: This post was created by Katherine Snedaker, Executive Director of PINK Concussions, to capture "the spirit" of the briefing, share lessons learned, provide scientific references, and inspire further conversations. This is not an official report but rather a summary of Katherine's experience leading up to the event, her tweets from the event, photos taken by PINK concussion interns and references submitted by the speakers to PINK Concussions.
In early June, the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force announced they would host a briefing on Female Concussion and TBI on Capitol Hill. Female concussions had been mentioned in the Q&A sessions in both of the two earlier Congressional Task Force's Concussion and TBI Hearings but this would be the first congressional event to be focused solely on the female concussion and TBI.
To help spread the news of the briefing, PINK Concussions posted the announcement to our 8,000+ Twitter followers and Facebook page, and then helped explain briefings are not videotaped or on CSPAN as were the two earlier TBI hearings. We promised to attend and report back on thr event.
Over the three days leading up to the briefing, I carried "pink brain" sugar cookies around Capitol Hill to feed staffers while I educating them on . My goal was to explain how important it was to support this event and strongly encouraged them to attend.
I was able met with staff from the following offices of congressional members who are on Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations or offices have other ties to TBI and/or female advocacy.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn R - TN
Rep. Diana DeGette D - CO
Rep. Anna Eshoo D - CA
Rep. Jim Himes D - CT
Rep. Richard Hudson R - NC
Rep. Martha McSally R - AZ
Rep. Tim Murphy R - PN
Sen. Barbara Boxer D- CA
Sen. Richard Blumenthal D - CT
Sen. John Boozman R - AR
Sen. Joni Ernst R- IA
Sen. Dianne Feinstein D- CA
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand D - NY
Sen. Claire McCaskill D - MO
Sen. Chris Murphy D - CT
Sen. Patty Murray D- DC
Sen. Tom Udall D - NM
I also was able to thank Alyssa Penna from the offices of Rep. Bill Pascrell (NJ) and staff from Rep. Thomas Rooney (FL) for all their hard work to plan the briefing.
Through Twitter and Facebook, PINK Concussions urged followers to reach out to their reps to help us rally support for the meeting.
Much to our surprise, despite a time conflict with the very important Orlando shooting briefing, by 2:30 PM the female TBI briefing room was filled to capacity and with standing room only reaching out into the hall.
Then Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr, arrived from the emergency breifing to share his remarks with the group.
Then Brianna Scurry took the podium to share her story.