public health

Dear Research Advocate: During a visit to the University of Michigan last week, I learned about an important new initiative that empowers faculty to take a more active role in public engagement. An explicit goal is to convey the return on taxpayer investment in the university, very much including the return on research conducted there. The initiative is timely and important, designed to help address signs of public disenchantment with academia by demonstrating its relevance and accountability to the public. Kudos to U of M President Mark Schlissel for his leadership. Last week, panelists at our Capitol Hill briefing engaged on the need for increased investment in Alzheimer’s disease...
Research!America is hosting a digital advocacy initiative on September 11–12 to urge Congress to #RaisetheCaps during negotiations of the FY18 budget. The 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) established austerity-level federal spending, and in FY18 the sequestration budget caps or automatic spending cuts for federal agencies will be back in full force. This will tie policymakers’ hands and stall major projects ranging from supercomputers to biohazard labs that researchers need to effectively prevent emerging epidemics, develop the next generation of super materials, and find the links between genes and disease. It is crucial that advocates raise their voices now and convince Congress to #...
Dear Research Advocate: I am sending this week’s letter a day earlier than usual to urge you to take part (if not in person, then by livestream ) in our 2017 National Health Research Forum titled “Is a ‘Disease-Free’ World Within Reach?” tomorrow, September 7th, at 11:30 am EST. It’s an opportunity to hear from thought leaders across the research ecosystem on topics ranging from opioid addiction to FDA priorities to organs-on-a-chip. While the Forum has reached in-person seating capacity, it will be livestreamed by WebMD; tune in here . Earlier today, the Senate Labor-H Appropriations Subcommittee, the jurisdiction of which includes NIH, CDC and AHRQ, passed their FY18 bill out of...
Dear Research Advocate: The devastation wreaked by Hurricane Harvey is heartbreaking. Federal science agencies and individual members of the scientific community across the nation are stepping up to lend a hand. It is truly gratifying to see the outpouring of support among those in the research and public health communities, aiding institutions and residents impacted by the floods. The American Diabetes Association , JDRF, the Endocrine Society, American Public Health Association (APHA), and PhRMA are among our many member organizations sending medicines, equipment and resources to hard-hit areas. A timely National Academies report chaired by Research!America board member Georges Benjamin,...
Dear Research Advocate, Recently, I joined hundreds of attendees at the Aspen Institute’s annual Spotlight Health program. One recurring theme was the power of data to drive medical progress. David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, called digitized data a “natural resource; a pool that lies under the surface waiting to be extracted, refined and delivered [for better health and health care.]” There was encouragement for more of us to become ‘data donors’ -- when we are healthy as well as when we are ill -- to help speed research and innovation. But significant obstacles to effectively ‘mining’ our data must be overcome. Technology is no longer a formidable one. Data privacy...
Dr. Barbara McCrady recalls interviewing a woman who used to pass out on her bed before her husband came home from work. Suspecting something was amiss, the couple spent two years visiting sleep specialists and neurologists. Nobody suspected that the cause of her early slumbers was alcohol. The woman was drinking one liter of alcohol per day. McCrady, distinguished professor of psychology, University of New Mexico and Director, Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions, was among the speakers for a congressional briefing titled, The Changing Patterns of Women’s Drinking and Their Impact on Public Health, at the Rayburn House Office Building on June 22, 2017. “This underscores...
Dear Research Advocate, House Republican Leadership released an ACA replacement bill this week (section summaries available from the Energy & Commerce and Ways & Means committees). The bill has been creating waves, concerning many in the public health and health care fields. The cost and coverage impact have yet to be estimated, but we do know that the bill repeals the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), which accounts for approximately 12% of CDC’s budget. House Labor-H Chairman Cole (R-OK) discussed CDC’s crucial role in a recent STAT article. Use this editable message to make the case for CDC and PPHF. Trust for America’s Health is a terrific resource for more background...
Six major epidemics have emerged since the beginning of the 21 st century, and with ever increasing global travel and trade, a threat to one part of the world is a threat to every part. With future epidemics not just possible, but inevitable, the United States can take a step now that will pay off profoundly over time: we can join the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). In March 2015, a G7 panel convened by Chancellor Angela Merkel and chaired by Bill Gates reached a straightforward and profoundly important conclusion: as a global community, we are dangerously ill-prepared for major disease outbreaks. The panel reported that the 2014 Ebola epidemic had exposed...
February is AMD/Low Vision Awareness Month. Join the conversation on social media by sharing this blog post on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #AMDAwarenessMonth and #LowVisionMonth. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among people aged 50 and older in developed countries. In the United States alone, the number of people with advanced AMD, is over 2 million. This number is expected to increase to 5.4 million by 2050. There is currently no cure for AMD, making it a major public health crisis. As with many kinds of vision loss, especially those involving the central visual field, it is easy to think of the disorder as a loss of acuity – reading...
This article is the second in a series highlighting the accomplishments of Research!America’s 2017 Advocacy Award honorees who will be saluted at a dinner in Washington, D.C., on March 15. More details can be found here . Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is Research!America’s recipient of the Legacy Award , which honors an individual’s outstanding commitment to sustaining our nation’s world-class leadership in medical and health research. Dr. Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). An effective communicator, Dr. Fauci has testified before Congress more than 250 times, voicing strong support for biomedical...

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln