public health

Dear Research Advocate: Research!America, in partnership with the American Society of Hematology, released a new poll on Tuesday, revealing strong feelings about the consequences of recent fiscal debacles. A majority (57%) of Americans, across party lines, believe that the government shutdown in October caused significant harm to programs like medical research, defense and education, programs that Americans value. It is not difficult to connect the dots between fiscal dysfunction and the future of our nation: More Americans than ever believe that our nation’€™s global leadership in science, technology and research will soon be a thing of the past,with 73% saying we will lose global...
To address the recent meningitis outbreak at Princeton, public health programs from all levels got involved. Students sought medical attention at the university’€™s health center and their hometown local hospitals; the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) investigated the outbreak and requested CDC involvement; the FDA examined the case and allowed a new vaccine, unlicensed in the US but approved in Europe and Australia. With final CDC approval, the university will offer the vaccine on campus and cover the cost for all students. Diverse institutions within our public health infrastructure came together to address the outbreak, and the public health professionals within them did what was...
Excerpt of an article published in The Boston Globe on the next surgeon general. President Obama will nominate Dr. Vivek Murthy of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’€™s Hospital as surgeon general of the United States, the White House announced Thursday night. ’€œWe share a belief that access to quality health care is a basic human right,’€ Brigham president Dr. Betsy Nabel said in a statement about Murthy. ’€œI am confident that he will be a passionate advocate and that he will have an extraordinary impact as our nation’€™s surgeon general.’€ Read the full article here .
Dear Research Advocate: NIH Director Francis Collins was recently interviewed for a Wall Street Journal article that would reinvigorate even the weariest research advocate. Dr. Collins captured the legacy and unprecedented potential of research for health, as well as the counterintuitive neglect of it, in a truly compelling manner. Dr. Collins made similarly captivating comments yesterday at the Washington Ideas Forum: “We’€™re going from the envy of the world,” he said, “to the puzzle of the world. Other nations are mystified that we have stopped following our own playbook ’€” the one they are using now to drive their economy and improve health and quality of life for their own populations...
Dear Research Advocate: It has been a week since the Budget Conference Committee’€™s first meeting. The next public meeting is scheduled for November 13. Staffs are at work, and various Members are talking. There are no concrete signs of progress. What I keep coming back to is the failure of our nation’€™s decision makers to recognize and act on the reality that the priorities of Americans are reflected in both discretionary and entitlement programs. The persistence of sequestration underscores Congress’€™ inability to make decisions and choose priorities. The sequestration era has run its course, dealing Congress record lows in terms of public support; it’€™s past time to end the era and...
Urge your Members to protect medical research in upcoming Budget Conference Committee discussions Sequestration’€™s arbitrary, across-the-board budget cuts to defense and non-defense spending have ravaged (and will continue to ravage) our research enterprise. The Budget Conference Committee, which was negotiated as part of reopening the government and preventing the U.S. from defaulting on debts, has an opportunity to replace sequestration as they develop their ’€œlong-term budget solution’€ by December 13. Sequestration is rendering it virtually impossible to maintain, much less increase the budgets of NIH, NSF, FDA, and CDC; if it is not stopped, their budgets will almost certainly...
Dear Research Advocate: Last week, I wrote about the international trade deficit our country faces. This week, I’€™d like to focus on the budget deficit. From 2003 to 2011, Medicare and Medicaid spending grew 74% while our economy only grew 35%. With that kind of differential, no government can balance its budget. We need research to address disabling and costly illnesses, but that won’t be enough in and of itself to bridge the gap. We also need tax and entitlement reform that preserves needed services, squeezes out waste and inefficiency (by the way, that’€™s why we must also fight to protect health economics research, health services research and other research that optimizes health care...
Dear Research Advocate: Last week, I wrote about the international trade deficit our country faces. This week, I’€™d like to focus on the budget deficit. From 2003 to 2011, Medicare and Medicaid spending grew 74% while our economy only grew 35%. With that kind of differential, no government can balance its budget. We need research to address disabling and costly illnesses, but that won’t be enough in and of itself to bridge the gap. We also need tax and entitlement reform that preserves needed services, squeezes out waste and inefficiency (by the way, that’€™s why we must also fight to protect health economics research, health services research and other research that optimizes health care...
Excerpt of an op-ed by columnist George F. Will, published in The Washington Post. ’€œThe capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.’€ ’€” Lewis Thomas The pedigree of human beings, Thomas wrote, probably traces to a single cell fertilized by a lightning bolt as the Earth was cooling. Fortunately, genetic ’€œmistakes’€ ’€” mutations ’€” eventually made us. But they also have made illnesses. Almost all diseases arise from some combination of environmental exposures and genetic blunders in the working of DNA. Breast cancer is a family of genetic mutations. The great secret of...
Excerpt of an op-ed by columnist George F. Will, published in The Washington Post. ’€œThe capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.’€ ’€” Lewis Thomas The pedigree of human beings, Thomas wrote, probably traces to a single cell fertilized by a lightning bolt as the Earth was cooling. Fortunately, genetic ’€œmistakes’€ ’€” mutations ’€” eventually made us. But they also have made illnesses. Almost all diseases arise from some combination of environmental exposures and genetic blunders in the working of DNA. Breast cancer is a family of genetic mutations. The great secret of...

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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