On May 21, Dr. Mark T. Edney, a urologist, veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the AUA’s lead advocate on urotrauma, provided oral and written testimony on behalf of the AUA to the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs’ Subcommittee on Health during a hearing on a number of veterans’ health bills, including H.R. 984 – legislation to establish a task force on urotrauma to focus attention on the treatment of these injuries for our soldiers. Dr. Edney’s testimony was warmly received by the subcommittee and no organization in attendance provided a dissenting voice.
The bill establishes an interagency task force, led by the U.S. Department of Defense, to investigate and advise on the research and action needed to advance this increasingly essential field. The AUA has worked tirelessly on the urotrauma issue since it was first addressed in the 111th Congress. In 2012, the AUA led the formation of an Urotrauma Policy Roundtable, comprised of veterans and patient advocacy groups to support the legislation. Many of those organizations lent their support to H.R. 984 during the hearing through either written or oral testimony.
“The nature of the sacrifice that the service men and women who have experienced urogenital injuries have made is beyond measure,” Alethea Predeoux, associate director, health legislation, Paralyzed Veterans of America said in her written statement. “It is incumbent upon Congress and the Administration to take every step necessary to help make these men and women as whole as possible. This task force is a necessary first step.”
The bill also received support from the subcommittee members throughout the hearing. Congresswoman Ann Kuster (D-NH-2) spoke to the importance of this bill and issue, particularly the impact it has on the future of military families and women as they become more involved in the combat role.
Chairman Dan Benishek (R-MI-1), a general surgeon, thanked Dr. Edney and the AUA for their leadership on this issue, and asked if he would be available for follow-up questions after the hearing.
For more information on the hearing, or to read the written testimony please click here.