OSTP

Dear Research Advocate: In welcome news, last night the (departing) 115th Senate voted to confirm Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier as Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Research!America sent a thank you note acknowledging the roles Senate Commerce Committee leaders John Thune (R-SD) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) played in advancing the nomination. This confirmation is a great beginning for the new year – and the most recent evidence that advocacy works! Tomorrow marks Research!America’s 30th anniversary. There is no question that over three decades, the medical and health research advocacy community has become more organized and more effective. While our community...
Dear Research Advocate: Votes and other Congressional activities were suspended this week to mourn the passing of our nation’s 41st President, George H.W. Bush. To prevent a government shutdown and provide more time to resolve disagreement around border wall funding, Congress agreed to another continuing resolution (CR) – now awaiting the President’s signature – to extend flat-funding for all remaining federal departments and agencies, including FDA and NSF, until December 21. This end-of-year CR scenario is all too familiar to advocates, and we must all stay the course to secure passage this year. Yesterday, Research!America and the Alliance for Aging Research sent a joint letter to...
Dear Research Advocate: At our post-election briefing this morning at AAAS in Washington, DC, the discussion focused on opportunities for advocacy given the composition and characteristics of the new Congress, and the importance of building new champions from among the nearly 100 new members of Congress. Of note — at last count, there are seven science-trained new members, a very welcome development! There is no doubt that a divided Congress can cause gridlock, but inaction is not a foregone conclusion, as was emphasized by our Chair, the Hon. Michael N. Castle. There are important, science-relevant issues, such as infrastructure, STEM education, and the opioid crisis, that both parties...
Dear Research Advocate: This morning, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing with Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier, the nominee for director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) said Dr. Droegemeier is eminently well qualified to lead OSTP and he hopes for a speedy confirmation. Use this editable email to reinforce that sentiment with your Senators! You can read Dr. Droegemeier’s testimony for the hearing here . Also in the Senate today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee held a hearing on "Prioritizing Cures: Science and Stewardship at the National Institutes of Health...
Dear Research Advocate: With the recent nomination of atmospheric scientist Kelvin Droegemeier, PhD, to head the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), I have been asked about the role of this office and its director. In this terrific analysis , Former OSTP assistant director Tom Kalil lays it all out and also offers compelling observations on the nature of effective leadership. Anyone interested in public service, policy-making or policy-influencing, and/or honing leadership skills, would do well to spend a few minutes with “Policy Entrepreneurship at the White House.” Research!America sent a letter to Senate Commerce, Science, Transportation Committee Chair John Thune...
Dear Research Advocate: The Senate approved a four-bill minibus package including appropriations under the jurisdiction of the Interior-Environment, Financial Services, Agriculture (which includes FDA) and Transportation-HUD Subcommittees yesterday, and will now likely take up a combined Labor-H/Defense appropriations bill (inclusive of NIH, CDC, AHRQ, the Department of Defense CDMRP and other important research funding). Research!America sent a letter to Appropriations leaders today reinforcing their commendable efforts to wrap up FY19 appropriations before the 9/30 deadline. The stakes here are high: the alternative scenarios -- either flat funding under a continuing resolution or a...
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...
Dear Research Advocate, Washington is back in full swing. Members of Congress were sworn in on January 3 and started working right away on a budget resolution to facilitate repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While repeal appears inevitable, it’s a fact that the public and policymakers continue to be of two --or more! - minds about what a replacement should look like. The crucial importance of continuity extends beyond insurance coverage to include the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF), the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) ,and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). I don’t want to overwhelm you with advocacy asks: please use this advocacy...
Dear Research Advocate: First, it is not too late to sign up for our webinar, The Microbiome Initiative: A Closer Look , which will take place tomorrow , September 16, from 1:00 to 1:30 ET. I am not surprised that interest is strong in this program, which features Dr. Stefano Bertuzzi, CEO of the American Society for Microbiology. Please join us! I was in New York following the birth of my grandson (Ferdinand, 8 pounds, 14 ounces!) and missed our National Health Research Forum last week; however, I watched the video and the panel discussions were absolutely terrific! From the need for a standing public health emergency fund that grounds threat response in pragmatism rather than politics, to...

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