public health

Dear Research Advocate, On Tuesday, Research!America sent a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar asking him to clarify the decision to end NIH grant funding for an ongoing, EcoHealth Alliance research initiative focused on pandemic preparedness. We urge the Secretary to shed needed light on this significant (on many levels) decision. On Capitol Hill : House Democrats have released a draft emergency spending bill, the HEROES Act . This discussion draft includes $4 billion for the Office of the Director at NIH, of which “not less than $3 billion” would be set aside to help academic institutions absorb COVID-19 related shutdown and start-up costs. (This is $7 billion shy of the recovery costs NIH...
Dear Research Advocate, “Hopefully, the urgency that everyone is seeing around COVID-19 will translate into bigger investments for global health vaccines.” — Dr. Peter Hotez Renowned vaccinologist and prolific author Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and Co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, joined us yesterday for an alliance member call. Dr. Hotez spoke about the history of life-saving vaccines, COVID-19 vaccine development, and the alarming spread of the novel coronavirus across the southern hemisphere. He also spoke about the anti-science and anti-vaccine movements in our country and...
Being in the middle of a global pandemic feels unsettling and frightening. Part of that fear is rooted in the unknown, because we still have many unanswered questions: fundamental information researchers don’t know about the coronavirus and how viruses like it will act in the future. At the moment, we’re rightly focused on urgent issues such as securing personal protective equipment and ventilators. But we need more research, because to win the battle we need to understand our enemy so that better diagnosis, treatment, and prevention will become a reality. As I wrote recently in USA Today , “Rarely in recent memory has it been this difficult to see beyond the next day. ... But that is...
Research!America hosted an alliance member call for members and partners on April 13, 2020 with Dr. Robert Redfield, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Redfield opened with an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s response. He stressed that COVID-19 is the greatest public health challenge the United States has faced in over a century and highlighted the CDC’s deployment of personnel, development and expansion of serology testing, and distribution of funding to state, local, and tribal public health departments. He also emphasized that our nation should use this time to expand the existing public health infrastructure in order to be better prepared for future...
Dear Research Advocate, Happy Thanksgiving Week! Every Monday before Thanksgiving Research!America hosts Public Health Thank You Day (PHYTD), thanking the individuals across the nation who serve the public health. With participation by so many of you, we garnered 27 million impressions on Twitter with nearly 500 unique tweets by public health organizations and leaders. Federal officials taking part included Secretary of HHS Alex Azar; Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams; CDC Director Robert Redfield; NIH Director Francis Collins; NIAID Director Anthony Fauci; Assistant Secretary of Health and Acting FDA Commissioner Brett Giroir; VHA Deputy Undersecretary for Health Carolyn Clancy and many...
As we prepare to gather with family and friends around tables big and small, it’s time to ask the age old question: What are you thankful for this year? Many of us will mention we are thankful for our health, but chances are that few will express thanks for the scientific research and public health vigilance that play a pivotal role in health and health care. In 1918, a major flu pandemic took the lives of 675,000 Americans and 50 million people across the globe. Today, vaccination and medicines that reduce the effects of the flu have dramatically reduced its impact. Looking ahead, researchers are making progress toward a “universal” flu vaccine that crosses all strains of flu and provides...
When Donne first shared the notion that no person is an island he could scarcely have imagined the intricate web that is global public health today. When we envision our futures, it is impossible not to see all of the people that engage and collaborate at the local, national, and global level. Today, public health is reliant upon rich, interconnected network of organizations—working to understand and address the interrelated needs of communities and populations and to serve humanity at every level. As Dean of the health college at one of the fastest growing and most diverse universities in the country, the strength we draw from cooperation and community-building is top of mind on Public...
Dear Research Advocate, On the Monday before Thanksgiving each year, Research!America, along with public health leaders across the nation take time to salute the people who work day-in and day-out to protect us from disease, injury, and other threats to our nation’s health. Members of this critical workforce can be found in every community across the country. They track infectious diseases and administer the vaccines to prevent their spread. They warn us about overuse of antibiotics leading to drug-resistant infections. They educate us about preventing accidental deaths by using infant car seats and about newer but avoidable dangers like vaping. And more. The public health workforce...
Infectious disease outbreaks. Opioid overdoses. Chemical exposures. When threats like these arise, we rely on public health surveillance efforts to identify and address them. However, our current systems are outdated and disjointed, hindering the ability of public health professionals to respond to such crises in a timely manner. On June 27, 2019, the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL), the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS) held a Capitol Hill briefing focused on the critical need to update America’s...
“The richest Americans live an average of 15 years longer than the poorest Americans,” said Martine Powers of the Washington Post as she kicked off a Washington Post Live forum on “The Future of Health” on June 4, 2019. The panel discussion focused on correlations between income and health featuring Dr. Georges Benjamin , president of the American Public Health Association and Research!America board member, and Dr. Shiriki Kumanyika of Drexel University . “We have to go upstream and look at how we got here,” to understand the implications of social factors and health disparities, Dr. Kumanyika explained. For example, regarding the homeless population, she suggested, “Why do we have policies...

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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