A Weekly Advocacy Message from Mary Woolley: Looking at Delivery From Several Perspectives, Including Yours

Mary Woolley

“Delivery” has been in the spotlight this week as part of our #CuresNOW advocacy month. The delivery aspect of the discovery-development-delivery research pipeline is broad territory, from the research that informs improvements in our health care delivery system; to connecting patients to the right treatments at the right time, the first time; to creating a platform for new discovery and development to keep the cycle in motion, and the patient foremost in mind. Delivery week has included a blog post with testimonials about living with hydrocephalus, a new fact sheet on chronic kidney disease (CKD) and lots of action on social media -- including Research!America staffers sharing selfies about why they support #CuresNOW. I invite you to share your reason for improving the discovery, development, delivery cycle; you can print the sign, write in your message and share your selfie on social media using the hashtag #CuresNOW.
 

Next Wednesday will be the culmination of our month of #CuresNOW advocacy, with a Thunderclap on social media urging Congress to get Cures legislation across the finish line in September. You can sign up here to add your voice and help us end with a bang that Members of Congress can't fail to heed.
 
Designing and delivering evidence-based treatments that incorporate patient perspectives is the subject of Virginia Commonwealth University Center on Society and Health director Dr. Steven H. Woolf’s op-ed in the Morning Consult this week. Dr. Woolf highlights the importance of PCORI research. He advocates having patients participate in the design of research, urging that we leverage several positive examples of this approach to a full culture change that could better engage patients, better target research questions, and drive better health and health care for all.
 
Strengthening the research workforce is an important element of improving health and health care delivery. The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is mounting an initiative to drive more attention to the urgent need to halt the dwindling down of the number of physician scientists. IDSA is calling for an update on the implementation of recommendations made in a 2014 report from the Physician-Scientist Workforce Working Group. Contact Greg Frank at gfrank@idsociety.org with questions or to sign on before the deadline this Monday, August 22.
 
In this week’s JAMA, Victor Dzau, M.D., Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. -- both Research!America Board members -- and Michael McGinnis, M.D., MPP, discuss ways to assure a brighter future for Americans’ health and health care. In a concise essay, they outline three overarching goals: (1) better health and well-being, achieved in part by shifting emphases toward prevention-oriented and behavioral and social sciences; (2) high-value health care, requiring action on many levels including more emphasis on patient-centricity; and (3) strong science and technology, with increasingly effective translation of advances achieved. I commend it to you.
 
Only 81 days to the election. As we consider the post-election transition and particularly the new, 115th Congress, it's time to ask, who will fill the shoes of retiring champions like Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), whose stalwart leadership has paved the way for funding increases for research and policies that spur medical innovation? Read more about her legacy on our Campaign for Cures blog. And if you haven’t asked your candidates if they will support research and innovation, please do so through Campaign for Cures

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Without continued support for health research, many of the most promising young scientists, their ideas and a myriad of potentially life-changing scientific breakthroughs will vanish into oblivion.
Paul Marinec, PhD; University of California San Francisco