A Weekly Advocacy Message from Mary Woolley: Bottom of the Ninth

Mary Woolley

Dear Research Advocate:

I begin with a moment of personal privilege-- congratulations to my hometown team, the Chicago Cubs on their stunning World Series victory! In 1908, when they last accomplished this feat, airplanes were virtually unknown, there was of course no internet, and women couldn’t vote in this country. Speaking of which...this election is now in the bottom of the ninth. I believe it is in the nation’s best interests to elect candidates who appreciate the significance of scientific discovery as well as the value of innovation to achieving faster medical progress. Because the more you know, the better you are able to choose your candidates. Consult our interactive map to see more than 525 quotes from candidates running for President or Congress.

The importance of electing and then working with leaders who understand the vital need for increased investments in public health research and policies to prevent disease and disability and reduce health inequities was among the topics of discussion during Research!America’s town hall at American Public Health Association’s Annual Meeting this week in Denver. Visit the APHA blog for other highlights, including APHA’s CEO and Research!America’s board member Georges Benjamin’s session with the current and former CDC Directors.

After the election we will be exploring implications for advancing the issues close to our hearts. Please join us (either in person or via live webcast) for our post-election briefing on November 15 at 2:00 p.m. EST in Washington, D.C. Following an election overview by noted pollster John Zogby, our fantastic lineup of former federal officials with be joined by moderator Lori Stokes of WABC-TV to discuss how the outcomes of this election will impact the future of medical and health research. It is a discussion you should not miss!

Also post-election, the current Congress will return to town to wrap up outstanding bills. Research!America has sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to continue their work on the Cures legislation and pass the bill before the end of the year; we were pleased to see the letter widely covered (Morning Consult, The Hill, POLITICO, Energy and Commerce Committee News and more). The National Health Council is circulating a sign-on letter in support of Cures; you can add your organization's name here. As our own Ellie Dehoney, VP of Policy and Advocacy, discussed this week, if we are truly committed to putting patients first, we shouldn’t make them wait for positive change.

We will be discussing lame-duck session advocacy activities at a Research!America members meeting next Thursday, November 10 at 9:30 a.m. ET. Please email Jacqueline Lagoy (jlagoy@researchamerica.org) if you are able to join us in person at the Food Drug and Law Institute (1155 15th Street NW, Washington, DC) or by phone (call-in information will be provided upon RSVP).

Last week on NPR’s All Things Considered, Dr. Cori Bargmann, president of science for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, discussed the importance of taking the long view in science, even as she stressed the immediate need for stepped-up collaboration across specialties and throughout the research and innovation ecosystem. Vice President Joe Biden voiced a similar sentiment during the White House weekly address, focusing on the Cancer Moonshot. If we want the Moonshot to be a success, we must break down barriers standing in the way of innovative partnerships, and we must couple collaboration with an infusion of funds that allows for research to progress at maximum speed. That’s an argument I put forward in an LTE (subscription required) published in Modern Healthcare this week.


Mary Woolley

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Without research, there is no hope.
The Honorable Paul G. Rogers