advocacy

Dear Research Advocate: As of today, with eight months of the federal 2018 fiscal year elapsed, funding uncertainty persists for several programs. Given the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the spread of measles closer to home, it is counterproductive in the extreme to cut federal support to combat disease outbreaks, yet that is included in the administration’s rescissions package and in a recently proposed Senate version as well. The clock for congressional action on rescissions will run out on June 22. That’s why it is timely to take a moment to (1) contact your congressional delegation urging no rescissions, and (2) reach out to those who may be...
Dear Research Advocate: On Tuesday, President Trump officially sent his rescissions package to Congress, impounding $15.4 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending authority and requesting that Congress rescind (cancel) it. While uncertainty still reigns, it appears that both Houses will, in fact, go through the process of formally reviewing the rescissions package. Members of Congress have a 45-day window to act; if they don’t, it’s back to business as usual. Here is a quick primer the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget put together on the rescissions process. Among the discretionary and mandatory funding cuts included in the package: $400 million in Ebola funding and $800...
Dear Research Advocate, The Research!America 2019 Advocacy Awards nominations are now open! Act now to nominate the stellar advocates you want to recognize for outstanding leadership in medical, public health and other scientific research. The awards will be presented at our dinner on March 13, 2019. My recent letters have mentioned the possibility of the president sending a rescission package to Congress. At this point, it’s more a matter of when, not if he will request billions in “clawbacks” of already appropriated funds. It’s up to Congress to accept or reject the request. Think about it: for several fiscal years now, federal agencies have not had the benefit of fully functioning...
Dear Research Advocate: Research!America was proud to be one of more than 100 groups involved in last weekend’s second March for Science, which took place in over 500 locations worldwide. I had the opportunity to speak at the terrific pre-March rally hosted by AAAS and to talk to the Washington Post and several other media outlets -- it won’t surprise you to know that I reinforced the need for science and scientists to be more visible, not just once a year at the March, but on a regular basis. It comes down to this: to influence a conversation, an opinion, a policy or all three -- it is necessary to engage; it’s so important to regularly say and convey to the American public, “I Work for...
Dear Research Advocate: Is a rescission proposal to cut funding from the recently enacted FY18 omnibus appropriations bill possible? Unfortunately, we can’t rule it out, despite indications from some House and Senate Republicans that they would not vote to backpedal from approved spending. But, we have also been hearing that agencies are having to plan for a possible rescission and a recent article in Politico quotes Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) saying “it’s worth a discussion.” I urge you to join that discussion. Backtracking on support for science is not a productive way forward for a nation proud to set the world’s global economic high-water mark. Whether you took action...
First, thank you for helping us thank “Labor-H” appropriations subcommittee leaders and their respective staff members for their crucial role in securing robust FY18 funding to drive faster medical and public health progress. The final letter was 154 signatures strong… a well-deserved show of appreciation! (Almost) unbelievably, however, the FY18 funding saga continues. Even though the FY18 omnibus has been signed into law, news broke this week that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and President Trump are discussing whether to pursue cuts to the non-defense discretionary funding in it. Under a provision in a 1974 law, the president would formally propose these cuts, or “...
Dear Research Advocate, Almost 30 years ago to the day, April 2, 1988, President Ronald Reagan delivered a radio address to the nation on the federal government’s role in scientific research. “We cannot know where scientific research will lead. The consequences and spin-offs are unknown and unknowable until they happen. But one thing is certain: If we don't explore, others will, and we'll fall behind.” The fact that the FY18 omnibus cites concerns that “China and 34 other competitors are outpacing the United States in terms of research spending,” demonstrates that President Reagan’s words ring true today. Our job now, to paraphrase former Congressman and Research!America Board Member Bart...
Mental health in this country is not getting the attention it deserves, says Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30). During Research!America’s 29th Annual Meeting of Members on March 14 in Washington, D.C., Rep. Johnson stressed the importance of early intervention and “assertive community treatment” to successfully address mental illness nationwide. “Each time we see massive incidents, we get concerned about [mental illness] again,” Rep. Johnson said. “But without those massive incidents, we still have the problem and don’t want it to be manifested in that fashion before we give it attention.” She was the keynote speaker at the annual meeting. Following Rep. Johnson’s remarks, a...
The Kidney Cancer Association (KCA) is the world’s first and largest international charity dedicated specifically to the eradication of death and suffering from renal cancers. KCA is a charitable organization made up of patients, family members, physicians, researchers and other health professionals from around the world. KCA funds, promotes and collaborates with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Urological Association (AUA) and other institutions on research projects. We also educate families and physicians, and serve as an advocate on behalf of patients at the state and federal levels in the United States and globally. Every March...
As a patient advocacy organization, Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) is actively engaged in disease-specific education and awareness. Fifteen years ago, before the term “patient centricity” was coined, our founder Nancy Roach passionately requested to be included within the research community as a patient voice for colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. Training Patients In 2015, we launched the research advocacy training program (called “RATS”), training survivors and caregivers to meaningfully engage in the research process. The curriculum covers cancer biology 101 and in-person academies at academic institutions. With over 25 RATS members in 15 states and two countries, our RATS are...

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