public health

“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...
Dear Research Advocate: Last week, the White House laid out its plan for all Cabinet departments to trim their proposed FY20 budgets by 5%. If, as anticipated, these cuts begin with the FY20 spending caps signed into law in 2011 (so-called ‘sequestration’), rather than actual FY19 budgets, the proposed cuts could be shockingly deep—in the 25% range. The potential impact on the NIH budget alone could be a cut of $9.77B, wiping out the increases of the last few years to the point of returning to 2013 funding levels and, when adjusting for inflation, 2001 spending power. Other agencies could take equivalent hits, compromising progress in achieving health goals and sending a clear message to...
Dear Research Advocate: News broke this week that the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is struggling with a still-rising death toll due to Ebola, claiming more than 139 lives since July and spreading beyond the DRC. Meanwhile in the U.S., public health experts are working day and night to understand and overcome acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), now affecting children in 22 or more states. Ebola and AFM are public health crises today. It is predictable that there will be more unexpected crises on top of ongoing threats like the opioid epidemic, the increasing prevalence of obesity, chronic diseases and more. Which is why it defies common sense that investment in global health and in our...
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: President Trump signed the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (NDAA), authorizing $716 billion in spending for the Department of Defense (DoD). R&D features prominently, including the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program ( CDMRP ), the WRAIR Labs, and other medical and public health research pivotal to domestic and global health security. A particularly compelling example of the value of defense research is the recent story of the youngest person to receive a face transplant in U.S. history, part of a research study DoD funded because of its critical applications for wounded warriors. Read more in this USA Today...
Stigma remains a top barrier to treatment for mental illness among minority groups, said panelists during a Capitol Hill briefing hosted by Research!America, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) and the National Medical Association on June 13, 2018. Panelists stressed the importance of stakeholder collaboration, increased minority representation in health care fields and patient advocacy to help overcome mental health disparities. Andrew Sperling, director of legislative and policy advocacy at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, moderated the discussion. Mental illness is generally considered a taboo subject in the...
Flu pandemics and other disease outbreaks underscore the need for vaccines and public health infrastructures to protect individuals against global health threats, said leaders representing government, scientific societies and advocacy groups at a briefing hosted by Research!America and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on May 21. The program coincided with the opening of the Smithsonian’s exhibit Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World. Seventy-percent of Americans say the federal government should do more to educate the public about global disease outbreaks and the risk to the U.S., according to a new national survey commissioned by Research!...
In a keynote address at a forum in Washington, D.C. on April 2 to launch National Public Health Week, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams reinforced the need for more partnerships between public health experts and the communities that they serve. “You’ll never hear me say as a public health advocate that we don’t want or need more funding,” he said. “You will never hear me say that we don’t need more expertise, that we don’t need more studies, that we don’t need more science. But we can have a tremendous impact if we focus less on what we don’t have, and focus more on better engaging partners.” Dr. Adams said understanding how local communities think and feel is key to addressing the...
In a recent survey, a strong majority of Americans (80%) say candidates running for Congress should have a basic understanding of scientific issues, and more than two-thirds (68%) say candidates should have a science advisor. The findings underscore the importance of elevating scientific research and innovation in the midterm elections. As part of Your Candidates-Your Health, Research!America and member organizations are sharing relevant survey data, fact sheets, reports and other materials with candidates and voters to ensure robust investments and policies favorable to public and private sector research are among national priorities this election season. Cutting-edge research is critical...
Research!America’s webinars in 2017 tackled a variety of timely health and policy issues, such as the nation’s opioid crisis which accounts for six out of 10 drug overdose deaths, the vital role of federally supported global health research, and the importance of effective communication in educating the public and lawmakers about the far-reaching benefits of public and private sector research. Scientists, students, advocates, influencers, decision-makers and media participated in the webinars, which provided relevant and detailed information to raise awareness and inform advocacy initiatives. On December 4, Research!America and the Society for Neuroscience hosted the webinar “Leveraging...

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You can change the image of things to come. But you can’t do it sitting on your hands … The science community should reach out to Congress and build bridges.
The Honorable John E. Porter