Leahy Announces Key Step Toward $3 M. For 2 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Projects At National Center For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) At White River Junction

Funding Would Establish Nation’s First Brain Tissue Repository For PTSD Research; Another Project Would Initiate PTSD Outreach To Rural Veterans

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, Vt. (THURSDAY, Aug. 22, 2013) -- Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Thursday visited the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the campus of the Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Center in White River Junction to announce a key step toward $3 million in federal funding for two new projects.  The funding was included in the Senate Appropriations Committee-reported military construction and veterans affairs budget bill that awaits passage by both chambers of Congress and the President’s signature before it becomes law.

Half of the prospective $3 million announced by Leahy will be invested in creating the nation’s first brain tissue repository, or brain bank, dedicated to researching the physical impact of stress, trauma, and PTSD on brain tissue.  The other half of the funding will go toward initiating a Rural Veterans with PTSD Outreach Program designed to support community health care providers with state of the art information and resources on PTSD diagnosis and treatment.  The outreach program will ensure that rural veterans who seek care from non-VA medical providers -- due to their distance from VA medical centers and clinics -- can still receive high quality PTSD care.

As the most senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy has long championed the needs of Vermont’s and the nation’s veterans.  He has fought to improve education benefits and increase funding to address the veterans compensation and pension claims processing backlog.

Leahy said, “I am proud of the work being done on behalf of veterans at the National Center for PTSD and in rural communities across Vermont.  This vital research, and the example Vermont sets in engaging with veterans in rural settings, directly helps veterans.  This research also helps us all to better understand those who have suffered psychological trauma, and to help them heal.”

“We are delighted that the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved this funding for these cutting-edge programs,” said Dr. Matthew J. Friedman, Executive Director of the National Center for PTSD.  “And we are grateful to Senator Leahy for his pivotal role in securing this funding and his steadfast support of our efforts to improve the lives of veterans who are living with PTSD.”

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