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Dear Research Advocate: I invite you to join me in speaking out during the Memorial Day congressional recess (May 27-31) as part of a social media campaign using the hashtag #curesnotcuts. Our goal is to continue to position research and innovation to improve health where it belongs: as a fundamental national priority that Americans can count on because their elected representatives rank it so highly. In our social media campaign, each day of the recess has a specific theme that can be customized with your information and patient/researcher stories. We have made it easy to get involved: click here to see sample social media messages, a list of selected congressional offices and their...
Reblogged from The CPH Foundation In honor of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’€™s new 2013 Operating Plan , The CPH Foundation is proposing this new ’€œIn the RED’€ Logo for the CDC! What a striking change from blue! Sure – it stinks to be stuck in line at the airport because sequestration caused some flight delays (and thank you Congress for your rapid and bipartisan efforts to reverse those embarrassing news stories!) but wow – imagine the implications from cuts to nearly every disease control and prevention program at the CDC (or don’€™t, if you like your sleep)!! Unfortunately you won’€™t hear much about CDC cuts. Unlike TV and Radio interviews of angry airline...
Karen Goraleski By ASTMH Executive Director Karen A. Goraleski The American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene is an international organization comprised of scientists, clinicians and program professionals who work to promote global health through the prevention and control of infectious diseases. ASTMH recognizes that global health is America’€™s health and America’€™s health is global health. It is vitally important for the broad research community ’€“ from basic through implementation and evaluation ’€“ to actively support a vibrant and innovative research enterprise. Everyone benefits from a strong U.S. investment in research. U.S. budget challenges threaten to derail the...
On April 24 th , representatives from members of the Coalition for Health Funding gathered on Capitol Hill to visit with Members of Congress. As a member of CHF, Research!America participated in these informational visits with offices of freshman Congressmen and Senators. The theme of the day was ’€œhealth is everywhere,’€ and advocates sought to communicate the important role of health and research in the lives of Americans and in our economy. During the meetings, advocates spoke about how adequate funding for agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and others can help address soaring...
April 25 is World Malaria Day , and this year’€™s theme is ’€œInvest in the Future: Defeat Malaria.’€ More than half of the world’€™s population is at risk for malaria, a potentially fatal disease that is transmitted through mosquitoes. Strong investments in malaria research and programming have helped reduce global malaria mortality rates by 26% since 2000, and 50 countries are on track to reduce malaria cases by 75% by 2015 . World Malaria Day is an opportunity to celebrate these successes and raise awareness of the investments that are still needed to fight this life-threatening disease. Despite the hard-won progress made against malaria, approximately 660,000 people die from this...
An endeavor twelve years in the making, University of California, Berkeley researchers are celebrating a breakthrough in synthetic biology and malaria treatment. A research team led by chemical engineer Jay Keasling began with a straightforward’€”though not easy’€”goal of genetically reprogramming a simple single celled organism, yeast, so that it would produce a chemical compound normally only found in the sweet wormwood plant. This compound is the starting material for one of the most effective anti-malaria medications available on the market. Yet, because the compound was derived from a plant that grows in select areas around the world, the availability and price were inconsistent...
Dear Research Advocate, Senators Casey (D-PA) and Burr (R-NC), recently honored with our Whitehead Award for Research Advocacy, have joined forces again with a bipartisan letter calling for a strong commitment to NIH funding in FY 14. Please take a moment now to urge your senators to sign on to this letter. And say thank you to Senators Burr and Casey for being champions for research! In past letters, I’€™ve written about attempts by Congress to micromanage and in some cases, attack critical components of our nation’€™s research portfolio. The social sciences have been targeted time and time again despite the immense value of these programs and the return on investment they represent. In...
How much financial benefit do we reap from biomedical research? What are the economic gains that result from introduction of new medications, changes to personal health behavior or reworking the Medicare and Medicaid health systems? These and other questions were discussed at a recent Capitol Hill briefing on health economics research co-sponsored by Academy Health, Research!America and other organizations. In an era of skyrocketing medical costs, this type of research can provide vital information to policy makers and health care providers to reign in the costs of healthcare without compromising the quality of patient care. Health economics experts Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, of the Brookings...
Dear Research Advocate, The President’€™s budget is out and it’€™s a mixed bag. First, the good news. NSF was given a significant funding boost, $593M over 2012 levels, NIH funding was increased by $470M, and AHRQ, via budget trade-offs, looks to have been boosted by $64M. The increases are from FY12 to FY14, since the President’s budget replaces sequestration in a different way than either Congressional body (see more below). The not so good news in the President’s budget is that other health research agencies did not fare well. The CDC budget was cut deeply, especially prevention programs. FDA was essentially flat -funded. And entitlement-reform may pose a challenge to innovation. The...
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have valuable resources on their websites in recognition of National Minority Health Disparities month. This year, CDC and HHS are focusing on health equity and access to affordable healthcare for all. Health disparities can result from a number of factors ’€“ limited access to quality, affordable health care and preventative services, physical activity and fresh food and produce, and unhealthy environments at home and work. In 2009, health disparities among African-Americans and Hispanics cost private insurers an additional $5.1 billion. Indirect costs associated with...

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