Budget conference: House seeks $15M for brain treatment pilot program for veterans

Adult and child hands holding encephalography brain paper cutout
The Senate still has no funding proposed for a Veteran/First Responder Electroencephalogram Pilot Program.

Florida has the third-highest veteran population, but other states are already ahead on treating certain brain disorders.

House appropriators want to change that and have included $15 million for a Veteran/First Responder Electroencephalogram Pilot Program in a budget proposal.

But the latest offer from the Senate Agriculture, Environment, and General Government Appropriations Committee still budgets no money. The House State Administration and Technology Apportions Subcommittee has general revenue directed at the project.

The funding would fall under control of the Department of Financial Services.

Electroencephalogram technology can be used to measure electrical activity in the brain using electrodes attached to the scalp, according to the Mayo Clinic. The procedure uses transcranial magnetic stimulation, where low-frequency pulses are tuned to the patient’s physiology and biometric data, according to the House-proposed budget legislation.

As envisioned, the program would be open to Florida first responders and to any veterans who served in active military duty or for the National Guard.

The treatment could be for any qualified patients suffering from substance abuse disorders, mental illness, sleep disorders, traumatic brain injuries, sexual trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, concussions or other brain trauma.

The services would be for individuals whose conditions are affecting their quality of life.

The House wants the state to choose a provider with a history of serving first responders and veterans at the statewide level, and who can establish a network for in-person or off-site care.

The program must be open to all qualified patients, and each individual who receives treatment under the program also must receive neurophysiological monitoring, monitoring for symptoms of substance use and other mental health disorders, and access to counseling and wellness programming. Patients also must agree to participate in peer-to-peer support.

Protocols and outcomes from the program’s work will be collected and reported to the University of South Florida. The data may also be submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for review as studies and trials.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 29, 2024 at 7:29 am

    Please hurry and develop a successful train treatment so we can sent VD and Impeach Mayorkas and Rhonda and Trump and all other MAGAs to get their brains fixed.

Comments are closed.


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