Virtual event will feature Rep. Mark Takano, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and Jon Stewart, former host of The Daily Show

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, March 23, The Headache & Migraine Policy Forum and the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy will host a policy panel discussion, “Chronic Headache Disorders & Toxic Exposure.” The event will explore the long-term impact of airborne hazards and burn pit exposure on 9/11 first responders and veterans. Representative Mark Takano, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, will keynote the event and Jon Stewart, former host of The Daily Show and advocate for service personnel with toxic exposure, will be a special guest. Other panelists include:

  • 9/11 first responders John Feal and Joe McKay
  • Jason Sico, MD, National Clinical Lead, VA Headache Disorders Centers of Excellence
  • Paula Dumas, World Health Education Foundation (moderator)

The event, taking place at noon ET, coincides with the 14th annual Headache on the Hill, a national fly-in organized by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy. Headache on the Hill includes more than 200 clinicians and patient advocates urging for more research funding for headache and migraine disorders.

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“As Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I hear stories from too many veterans struggling with the effects of toxic exposure following their service. We need to recognize toxic exposure as a cost of war. I’m looking forward to joining other advocates at this year’s policy forum to discuss Congress’ efforts to care for all those who have borne the battle.”

STATEMENT FROM REP. MARK TAKANO

“For too long, veterans living with migraine disease and chronic headache disorders due to burn pit exposure have struggled to access adequate treatment for their disease. By highlighting new evidence linking the effects of burn pit exposure to an increase in headache disorders and migraine disease, HMPF hopes to inform policies that help our heroes get the care they deserve.”

STATEMENT FROM LINDSAY VIDENIEKS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE HEADACHE & MIGRAINE POLICY FORUM

“Currently, more than 1 million VHA veterans are diagnosed with a headache disorder, and 621,000 of them are diagnosed with migraine disease. AHDA is excited to have the participation of this experienced panel to support us in advocating for more equitable treatment on behalf of veterans and first responders impacted by migraine and headache disorders.”

STATEMENT FROM KATIE MACDONALD, DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL POLICY, ALLIANCE FOR HEADACHE DISORDERS ADVOCACY

More about migraine disease and headache disorders:

  • 36,000,000 Americans live with migraine disease
  • 6,000,000 experience chronic migraine
  • Persons living with migraine disease and headache disorders experience significant stigma from the public, employers and even family members
  • Headache disorders are the second leading cause of all global disability and the second leading cause of global neurological disease burden
  • Cluster headaches, often misdiagnosed, are so excruciating and debilitating that they are known as “suicide headaches”

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 The Headache & Migraine Policy Forum is a coalition of nearly two dozen stakeholder organizations who advance public policies and practices that promote access to treatments for persons living with headache disorders and migraine disease. 

The Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy is comprised of nonprofit organizations that are vitally concerned about the health of patients with headache disorders including migraine disease, cluster headaches, chronic daily headache, new daily persistent headache and tension-type headaches.