research

Our nation’s health has improved in some areas but serious health challenges remain related to the escalating drug crisis and disparities in access to care. United Health Foundation’s 2017 America’s Health Rankings report indicates smoking prevalence, the rate of preventable hospitalizations and the percentage of uninsured Americans have declined, but the drug death rate has trended upward. In the past year, drug deaths reached the highest level recorded by America’s Health Rankings , increasing by 7%, particularly among whites. Even states that consistently rank among the healthiest in the nation saw increased mortality rates due to the drug epidemic. Over the past five years, drug death...
Dear Research Advocate: Today the House and Senate passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to flat-fund the government through December 22. Congressional leaders hope this stop-gap will buy them enough time to negotiate a bipartisan budget deal that raises the Defense and non-Defense (NDD) spending caps. If the budget deal (#RaisetheCaps) is finalized by the 22nd, Congress may well pass yet another short-term CR to allow a month or two to complete an FY18 omnibus spending bill based on the new, higher funding levels. Continued momentum behind a budget deal is definitely good news, but momentum can wane; here is a new resource, culled from our state-by-state fact sheet series, that...
World AIDS day is observed on December 1 every year to help raise awareness, commemorate those who have died from the virus, and encourage advocates and policymakers to increase their efforts in fighting the epidemic and supporting those whose lives have been impacted by it. This year, the World AIDS day theme is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.” Although the U.S. government is at the forefront of tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic, its success depends on partnerships with other governments, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, multilateral institutions, and patient advocates. As a result of these strong partnerships, 19.5 million people...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, along with 85 partner organizations (more than ever before!), we celebrated Public Health Thank You Day . Hundreds of people took to social media with the hashtag #PHTYD to celebrate and thank the public health heroes who work 24/7 to maximize community health and safety. Overall, PHTYD garnered 10.1 million impressions on Twitter. Leaders in the field, including CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, NIH Director Francis Collins, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, and World Bank President Jim Kim added their voices to the overwhelming chorus of appreciation. Late last week, news broke of promising discussions in both...
Dear Research Advocate: Yesterday, a high energy discussion on Advocating for Basic Science in a Disease-Focused World at the Society for Neuroscience conference once again revealed the strong appetite for advocacy among scientists, and young scientists in particular. The audience resonated with my point that “you can’t outsource advocacy,” and many were inspired to tweet on the spot. In case you doubt the impact of scientists engaging in advocacy, consider this: Research!America’s Board Chair, former Congressman (R-DE) and Governor Mike Castle, was recently interviewed by the Society for Neuroscience: “Scientists deepened my understanding of the promise of embryonic stem cell research...
"My doctor just told me I have lung cancer… What do I do?" This is a familiar line for anyone who has spoken with a patient on Lung Cancer Alliance’s HelpLine . With a historically low survival rate and a significant stigma due to the misguided belief that it is only a “smoker’s disease,” lung cancer flies under the radar. However, no one deserves to die from any cancer, and most people don’t know that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer that will claim an estimated 160,000 lives in the U.S. this year alone. Fortunately, thanks to the power of research, the tide is turning in the fight against this disease and there's an entirely different story to tell this November during Lung...
When Grace Anne Dorney Koppel was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a progressive disease that makes it hard to breathe, her doctors told her she had 3-5 years to live. She had that conversation with her doctor nearly two decades ago. Today, she is a passionate advocate for COPD research and treatment. Noting that COPD patients have had the same treatments for 30 years, Koppel said “the clock is ticking and we cannot breathe.” Koppel, president of the Dorney-Koppel Foundation, joined other speakers at a Research!America Capitol Hill briefing on November 15, 2017 that highlighted ongoing challenges with COPD research funding and access to treatment. She said the...
Despite the best efforts of scientists and researchers, clinical trials on Alzheimer’s therapies have had a 99% failure rate and it has been 14 years since the Food and Drug Administration approved any Alzheimer’s-related medication. Like millions of others whose families are personally affected by Alzheimer’s disease, I am increasingly concerned that the medical, scientific, and advocacy communities are disproportionately focused on the hope that a blockbuster drug will suddenly emerge from a biopharmaceutical laboratory. This is not to say that increased investments in research should not be our foremost priority. NIH funding for Alzheimer’s-related research still lags well behind the...
Deaths from drug overdoses are at an all-time high in the United States, with opiate abuse – both prescription and illicit – the main cause of these fatalities. Opioids were responsible for more than 30,000 deaths in 2015, representing a quadrupling of opioid-related fatalities since 1999. The concerted efforts of academic researchers, public health officials, and pharmacists are vital to the development of preventative strategies and accessible and effective treatments for opioid abuse disorder. Speakers for Research!America’s webinar "Innovative Research and the Opioid Epidemic: Are We Closer to Finding Solutions?" on October 13, discussed how medical science and public health are...
The percentage of working-age civilians in West Virginia who are employed has dropped below 50% for the first time in decades, partly due to a steep rise in opioid addiction across the state, said Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) during Research!America’s program “West Virginia Research and Innovation: A Catalyst for Better Health and Economic Growth” on October 16 at Shepherd University. Sen. Manchin and other speakers at the event discussed possible solutions to West Virginia’s opioid crisis and ways to reposition the state as a regional and national research leader. “We’ve got thousands and thousands of jobs in West Virginia going unfulfilled,” Manchin said. “Every job fair we had over 100...

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