AHRQ

Dear Research Advocate: If you’ve read Ron Chernow’s “Hamilton,” you know that the partisan stand-off we are witnessing in the House, and more broadly across the nation, is not new. Chernow reminds us that political parties -- not originally foreseen by the Founding Fathers -- grew out of intense and often ugly disagreements between Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson during the second administration of George Washington. That insight doesn’t make this week’s turn of events less dramatic, but it does offer perspective. In the midst of the Democratic sit-in on preventing gun violence, the House adjourned earlier than expected and won’t resume business until July 5. Just before adjourning...
Dear Research Advocate: The news from the CDC this week is concerning. For the first time in over a decade the overall, all-cause mortality rate for the U.S. is higher than in the preceding year. This unexpected news comes on the heels of last week’s announcement confirming the first U.S. case of an E. coli infection resistant to colistin, a last-resort antibiotic, reminding us of just how important it is to curtail and outpace antimicrobial resistance. And we have word of the second baby born in the U.S. with microcephaly due to Zika, as well as a new estimate that 300 pregnant women in the U.S. have the virus. On their own, each of these stories should serve as a wake-up call for...
Dear Research Advocate: In the multi-faceted context of discouraging new data that shows an increasing incidence of suicide, rapidly rising prescription drug abuse, and widespread pain and suffering due to the heroin epidemic, the House is working on legislation to address opioid abuse , approving more than a dozen bills that will be packaged and considered on the floor in early May. This is important bipartisan progress in combating challenges of frightening scope, extending beyond addressing addiction and abuse to effectively meeting the challenge of chronic pain. Even as we commit to working harder to activate what we know works in terms of prevention and treatment, we must learn much...
Dear Research Advocate: The CDC has concluded that a causal relationship exists between the Zika virus and microcephaly. Earlier this week, Congress passed a law providing incentives for private sector development of Zika vaccines and treatments. But responding to threats like Zika is a resource-intensive, multi-pronged process. We are working with the March of Dimes and other partners to fight for emergency funding. Interested in joining this effort? Let me know! The Senate Appropriations Committee has parsed the overall FY17 discretionary budget into “302(b)” allocations for its various subcommittees. Given that the topline numbers are virtually flat, it is not particularly surprising...
President Obama’s decree proclaiming April 4 – 10 National Public Health Week focuses on several key objective: stemming the tide of infectious disease like Zika; improving access to healthcare domestically and globally; promoting healthy behaviors in adolescents; preventing opioid and illicit drug abuse; decreasing gun violence; addressing climate change-related health issues; and improving access to mental health resources. National Public Health week is an opportunity to reflect on the pivotal role public health research and practice play in advancing the wellbeing of Americans and populations across the globe, and recognize the individuals, organizations and agencies that carry out...
The April 2016 issue of The Research Advocate is now online . Highlights from this month include : A summary of Research!America's 27th Annual Meeting of Members and Advocacy Awards Dinner, including a special insert on the award honorees. Federal policy update, including information on the appropriations process for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Member spotlight featuring the University of North Texas Health Science Center . Learn more about the Parkinson's Disease Foundation You Can Help Us #EndParkinsons campaign, which launched in April for Parkinson's Awareness Month. Pfizer has...
Dear Research Advocate: We celebrated steadfast advocates for research to improve health at last week’s Advocacy Awards Dinner; pictures are now available. Champions like Whitehead awardees Chairmen Blunt and Cole keep us energized in the fight for medical research, even in the face of its virtual absence on the presidential campaign trail. Indeed, Research!America Chairman, Hon. John Porter, urged everyone present to take it upon themselves, as advocates, to make it clear how vital this election is to the future of science, research, and health. Since this is the mission of Campaign for Cures and related Research!America election-year activities, we can help you in your advocacy! Our...
Dear Research Advocate: Despite their fierce partisan standoff regarding confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee, members of the Senate acted in a strongly bi partisan manner yesterday to confirm Robert M. Califf, M.D., as the new FDA Commissioner. Dr. Califf brings an accomplished career of expertise and insight to the position. The goals he has set include increasing patient involvement in the FDA regulatory process, streamlining clinical trials, and attracting and retaining the best scientists, according to STAT News . For more on Dr. Califf’s confirmation, please see my statement . Commissioner Califf will be joining us as a keynote speaker at Research!America’s Annual Meeting at noon...
Dear Research Advocate: As task force meetings for Vice President Biden’s “moonshot” initiative began this week, a new public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America showed that 50% of Americans favor a tax increase to fund cancer research. While this manner of funding the moonshot is not currently on the table, the survey finding underscores the high priority Americans place on curing cancer. The President told Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan that assuring resources for research, cancer in particular, is one of his five priorities for working across the aisle this year. His FY17 budget proposal -- scheduled for release next Tuesday -- will reportedly request additional...
This was an exceptional year for publicly-funded research projects. Investments in science led to a greater understanding of preventing and treating disease such as using genetic variants to identify people at risk for coronary heart disease and tailoring breast cancer treatments to avoid the need for chemotherapy. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also supported the work of three Nobel Prize winners and clinical advances in cancer, heart disease, MS and many other conditions. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded interdisciplinary projects including one that led to a holistic approach to strengthening the security and effectiveness of mobile medical applications . Evidence-...

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Funding research gives all of us a better chance of living a healthier life.
Pam Hirata, heart disease survivor