A weekly advocacy message from Mary Woolley: Adding your voice to the chorus

Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate: 
Research!America is proud to serve as a lead sponsor of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Rally for Medical Research, a two-day event in Washington, DC next month. The Rally will unite individuals from across the medical research advocacy community to push for making National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding a higher national priority. Events begin on Wednesday, September 16 with an afternoon advocacy training and an evening congressional reception. On Thursday, after a breakfast featuring remarks by House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK-04), nearly 200 advocates will participate in Hill meetings. Add your voice to the chorus! Register here no later than tomorrow, August 28.

The Rally is well timed: Not only will the Senate HELP Committee be busy crafting legislation to speed medical progress, but it is also likely Congress will be deliberating over a “continuing resolution” (CR) to keep government running after FY15 ends on September 30. The rumor mill suggests there may be riders to this spending agreement, including one that would eliminate funding for the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ). Former Senate Majority Leader and prominent Republican Bill Frist, MD called the idea of eliminating AHRQ “inexcusable.” Please help us make the case with current members of Congress. Call them, meet with them -- here is a leave-behind with examples of AHRQ’s impact -- and/or email them using this editable message.

The VA hosted a major conference this week focused on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other head injuries. During his opening remarks, Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald said “Investing in research and treatment of traumatic brain injury can ward off future problems for veterans, including unemployment, homelessness and suicide.” And earlier this month, the first NFL Chief Health and Safety Adviser, Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, former director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, former Research!America board member, and current president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, recommended that the NFL provide continued funding for research focused on brain injuries. Connecting the dots between injury prevention/treatment and research reinforces the case for assigning medical progress a higher priority among national imperatives. Use our updated injury fact sheet in your advocacy!

Finally, we are just two short weeks away from our annual National Health Research Forum.  The three panels will explore critical aspects of medical innovation in the 21st century -- in research, public health, and regulatory science -- as well as ways to address current roadblocks responsible for slowing medical progress. Join us on the 10th at the Newseum. Click here to learn more and here to register.

Mary Woolley

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Luck shouldn't play a role in why I'm alive.
Laurie MacCaskill, a seven-year pancreatic cancer survivor