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Dear Research Advocate: As America rings in the New Year, many of us will be reflecting on the past and making resolutions for the future. To get a feel for the numerous ways in which NIH, CDC, AHRQ, NSF and FDA contributed to the well-being of Americans and others throughout the world in 2014, click here . I hope lawmakers are taking time now to establish New Year’€™s resolutions and set priorities for the new Congress, which convenes one week from today. My biggest wish for the new Congress? Pragmatism over politics. If pragmatism rules, the next Congress will shake off the stultifying complacency that is weighing our nation down and act to reignite U.S. innovation. More here . One reason...
Dear Research Advocate: So much is troubling our nation – evidenced in protests of recent grand jury decisions and the controversy over release of the Senate’s report on the CIA – that most people probably haven’t noticed or cared that the Congress is delaying and may even abort action on the long overdue funding of the federal fiscal year that began on Oct. 1. People have grown tired of Congress missing self-imposed deadlines, only to say they can only act in the face of those deadlines, and now they are talking of doing it again. And thus we are lulled into thinking it doesn’t matter what the Congress does. But that would be wrong: priority-setting by the Congress plays a major role in...
The tiny increases included in the “Cromnibus” bill for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and our nation’s other health research agencies are just that. The underwhelming support for the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration following years of stagnant funding and budget cuts begs the question – how low can we go, given health threats the likes of which stand to bankrupt the nation? And the decision to flat-fund the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality does not provide what it takes to reduce the much-complained of inefficiencies in our health care system. The pain and economic drain of one...
World AIDS day, commemorated each year on Dec 1, aims to raise awareness about the virus, encourage advocates to redouble efforts to fight the epidemic, and remember those who have died and continue to suffer from the disease. Photo credit: cdc.gov The 2014 World AIDS day theme ’€œFocus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation,’€ speaks to how combined efforts and collaborations can bring us closer to a cure or vaccine. For example, public and private-sector funded research led to the development of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), which revolutionized the battle against HIV/AIDS according to Research!America’€™s HIV/AIDS fact sheet . Medical research has played a critical...
In honor of Public Health Thank You Day we will be highlighting public health professionals throughout the day today. Our first professional is Sasha McGee, Ph.D., M.P.H., epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assigned to the District of Columbia Department of Health. What drew you to a career in public health? My earliest educational and research experiences were guided by my passion to pursue a career in which my work would contribute to the improvement of health. After completing my doctoral training, I knew that I did not just want to conduct research but to participate in the translation of data into interventions that would benefit...
Public Health Thank You Day, November 24, 2014 ALEXANDRIA, Va.-November 20, 2014 -As Thanksgiving approaches, Research!America and leading U.S. public health organizations urge Americans to salute public health professionals who go above and beyond to protect the health of our nation. Public Health Thank You Day honors all those unsung heroes who keep our drinking water safe and air clean, develop vaccines, track and investigate infections, and protect us against threats such as influenza, the Ebola and Enterovirus D68 outbreaks and natural disasters. “Every day, public health professionals here and around the world work in challenging and sometimes dangerous situations to protect our...
Dear Research Advocate: This week’€™s CDC announcement of the worst-case Ebola scenario is staggering. Saying, ’€œLet’€™s be honest with ourselves ’€¦’€ President Obama addressed the UN this morning on the escalating threat posed by Ebola, urging world leaders to work together to address this truly global crisis. The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) program, which received additional funding for Ebola drug development as part of the recently passed continuing resolution (CR), is a terrific example of how the public and private sectors can work together to develop drugs for national and global health threats like Ebola. BARDA provides market incentives so that...
Colorized transmission electron micrograph revealing some of the ultrastructural morphology displayed by an Ebola virus virion. Photo credit: Frederick A. Murphy The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sent more than 50 disease detectives and other highly trained experts to West Africa to battle Ebola. While here in the U.S., more than 350 CDC staff are working on logistics, communications, analytics, management and other functions to support the response 24/7 at CDC’€™s Emergency Operations Center.’€œWe are fulfilling our promise to the people of West Africa, Americans, and the world, that CDC would quickly ramp up its efforts to help bring the worst Ebola outbreak in history...
Dear Research Advocate: Today, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) released the Senate’€™s 302(b) allocations , which were approved by the Appropriations Committee. As you know from last week, the House 302(b) allocation for the Labor-HHS subcommittee is approximately $1 billion less in fiscal year 2015 than it was in FY 14.The Senate’€™s allocation for FY 15 is roughly the same as it was in FY 14. The bottom line is that, as expected, we have our work cut out for us to achieve the increases needed for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and our nation’€™s other health research agencies. Fortunately, Senator Mikulski and other leaders from both sides of the aisle understand the...
Dear Research Advocate: Congress continues to pay particular attention to – and make decisions bearing on – the pace of medical progress. To briefly count the ways: The Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations subcommittee heard testimony yesterday from agency heads within HHS about the significance of health-related spending, including spending on medical and health research. Read our written testimony here . Congressman Upton (R-MI-06), the Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (which has jurisdiction over authorizing legislation for NIH, CDC, FDA and AHRQ) and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO-01), a member of the Committee, launched their 21st Century Cures initiative with a...

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We have health challenges in this country that science will provide answers for if given the chance and we haven't given science that opportunity
Mary Woolley, President and CEO, Research!America