Bill would provide more resources to help those with spinal cord injuries

By Logan Bogert, Capital News Service

RICHMOND – Virginians with recent spinal cord injuries soon may receive more resources, if a bill sponsored by Sen. Jennifer McClellan passes in the House.

Senate Bill 287 would make information regarding spinal cord injuries in the Statewide Trauma Registry available to the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. The data would allow the department to develop and implement programs and services to those suffering from spinal cord injuries.

“This is essentially a clean-up bill,” McClellan, D-Richmond, told the House Committee on Health, Welfare and Institutions on Thursday. The committee unanimously approved the measure, sending it to the full House for a vote.

Sharon Drennan, mother of a son with a spinal cord injury and founder of the United Spinal Association of Virginia, spoke in favor of the bill.

“Without the data that is needed, we are unable to provide the resources to individuals across the commonwealth that are newly injured,” Drennan said.  “They can become isolated, and we want to help them become active members of our community. With this data, we can do the outreach we need.”

Colleen Miller, executive director of the Disability Law Center of Virginia, said her center supports SB 287 as well.

Last month, the bill passed in the Senate, 40-0.