Access to Care for Veterans

Increase Access to Care for Veterans with Headache Disorders

Deadline: April 12, 2021 

WHAT:

In collaboration with our 14th annual Headache on the Hill event, we invite you to reach out to your Members of Congress and advocate for their support of expanding the existing VA Headache Disorders Centers of Excellence (HCoE) program. Our goal with this ask is to secure appropriations to ensure veterans’ access to quality specialized care for their TBI, Migraine and Cluster headache disorders.

Background:

Headache Disorders are a major health problem for veterans.

  • Migraine is the 2nd leading cause of US and global disability.
  • 350,000 Global War on Terror (GWOT) veterans sustained TBIs.
    • Nearly half of GWOT veterans with deployment-related TBI, reported headaches 15 or more days per month, 4 to 11 years later; 89% met criteria for migraine.
  • 3 million GWOT veterans were exposed to toxic open burn pits.
    • Compared to veterans deployed but not exposed to burn pits, veterans deployed and with burn pit duties, years later reported nearly twice the risk of functional limitations due to migraine
  • Among veterans within the VA Health System
    • 1.6m are diagnosed with a headache disorder
    • 621k are diagnosed with migraine
    • 77k are diagnosed with post-traumatic headache or TBI plus headache
  • Post-traumatic headache and headache related to burn pit exposures remain significant major unresolved health care problems for veterans.

There are currently 14 VA Headache Centers of Excellence in the US to provide specialty care to veterans with headache disorders.

  • In 2020, more than 408k veterans sought care for a headache disorders with the VHA, yet only half of veterans seeking such care are within reach of an HCoE

The Ask:

Request $25m appropriations to fully fund expansion of VA HCoE’s from 14 to 28 sites to ensure equitable access to headache disorders care for all veterans who seek it.  

WHY: Reach out to your member of Congress to request their support for additional VA Headache Disorders Centers of Excellence (HCoE) to provide equitable access to care for disabled veterans.

HOW: Click the link to the right to Contact Your Representative. You will complete a brief form to help the system determine which Representative to direct your message to. There is a pre-formatted email to send to your Representative and the option for a brief personalization of the message. 

QUESTIONS?  If you have questions, please email info@allianceforheadacheadvocacy.org

Contact your Members of Congress

Request Funding for Additional VA Headache Centers