Appropriations and NPRC Funding Update

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on March 16, 2022 # Advocacy and Policy

Capitol building It took an extra six months and three continuing resolutions, but Congress has finally passed an FY’22 appropriations bill to fund the government through September. The bill passed the Senate on Thursday with a vote of 68-31.

Thanks to the ongoing advocacy from the paralysis and spinal cord injury (SCI) communities, Congress included several of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s top priorities in the final $1.5 trillion bill.

Here are a few worth noting:

National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) Funding

Every year, funding the National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) is the top priority for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and this year, we are pleased to announce an increase in funding for the NPRC of at least $500,000.

In a compromise between House and Senate appropriators, Congress included $9.7 million for the PRC and “not less than $9,200,000 to the National PRC.” This increase will help the dedicated NPRC staff and Information Specialists offer free, comprehensive support to even more families as they navigate life following paralysis or spinal cord injury.

This is a win for the whole community but is a particularly meaningful win for the dedicated advocates who have helped us educate Congress on the importance of these services. Since the appropriations process began in March 2021, Reeve Foundation advocates have held meetings with Congressional staff and sent 4,462 emails to House and Senate offices urging them to support the National Paralysis Resource Center.

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Model Systems

Working in coordination with United Spinal Association, the Reeve Foundation helped advocate for increased funding to Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Model Systems sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), has provided essential services for individuals from the moment of injury through their return to full participation in the community.

But despite their importance to the community, we have seen the number of SCI Model Systems decrease over the years. There are only 14 SCI Model Systems currently receiving federal funding, despite approximately 300,000 Americans living with SCI. By comparison, there were 18 SCI Model Systems in the year 2000, while 200,000 Americans were living with SCI.

We advocated for Congress to appropriate $2,000,000 to increase the number of federally funded Spinal Cord Injury Model System Centers in the U.S., joining United Spinal Association in an email campaign, where we helped deliver 1,861 emails from Reeve advocates alone. The advocacy worked, and Congress heard the community.

NIH and Research Funding

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DOD) invest in critical spinal cord injury and paralysis research. Every year, the Reeve Foundation advocates for funding for these agencies.

We are pleased to announce that Congress included a $2 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health, bringing the total to $43,649,687,000.

The funding includes $1 billion in starter funds to prop up the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). Housed at NIH, ARPA-H will be tasked with building high-risk, high-reward capabilities to drive biomedical breakthroughs.

Congress also maintained level funding of $40 million for the Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (SCIRP), which is sponsored at the Congressional Directed Medical Spinal Cord Injury Research Program (CDMRP) within the Department of Defense (DOD).

This is a strong end to a busy appropriations season. The Reeve Foundation’s public policy and advocacy team thanks everyone who got involved in advocating for the inclusion of these priorities in the omnibus spending bill. We must build on this momentum as we shift focus to FY’23 appropriations and work to achieve more legislative wins this year.

If you are interested in joining our efforts, sign up to receive advocacy updates and join us for our next Regional Champions advocacy webinar on March 22 at 2 pm EST.

You can also review the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation’s 2022 legislative priorities here.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.