Home » Mary Woolley's Weekly Letter » A Time to Say Thank You

A Time to Say Thank You

Dear Research Advocate,

More than 8 in 10 Americans say they know someone or have themselves experienced at least one brain disorder or mental health condition, according to a national survey on brain health we released Tuesday in partnership with the Dana Foundation. For three decades, Research!America has been commissioning public opinion polls to understand public support for medical, health, and scientific research (if you’d like to partner on a survey, let us know!)

Brain health is of serious importance to the American people, who report strong curiosity (66%) in learning more about brain health research. The survey also shows that, across party lines, Americans are strongly in support of increased federal funding for brain health research (78%) and favor having the federal government incentivize private sector investment in new research in brain health to find treatments and cures (80%).

On the Hill: For Congress to meet the mandate of the American people on advancing brain health research, robust funding for health and medical research writ large is called for – and doing so requires passing FY23 funding.

We hope your organization will consider joining our sign-on letter encouraging appropriators to prioritize enactment of a final FY23 Omnibus package before the expiration of the current continuing resolution (CR) on December 16.

CR’s lock in outdated federal spending levels and delay our nation’s ability to respond to our most current needs and priorities. This fact sheet from United for Medical Research helps show three ways CRs affect NIH-funded research.

We need to look ahead and invest across the entire federal scientific enterprise in order to maintain our global leadership. According to a recent Pew survey, only 14% of Americans think the U.S. is gaining ground on other countries in its scientific achievements. A much larger share (38%) thinks the U.S. is losing ground, and 47% say it is staying in about the same place relative to other countries. The survey contains many other valuable findings on Americans’ confidence in science and views on global competitiveness.

Post-Election Briefing Recap: On Tuesday, we hosted our 2022 Post-Election Briefing. With deft moderation by PBS NewsHour White House Correspondent Laura Barrón-López, panelists discussed the ramifications of the mid-term elections on science policy and medical research funding in the lame duck session and in the new Congress. In case you missed it, you can watch the recording.

Global Oral Health: Plan to sign-on early tomorrow morning, Friday, November 18, from 8 – 9:30 a.m. ET, when the World Health Organization will launch its global oral health status report, “the first-ever comprehensive picture of oral disease burden and highlights challenges and opportunities to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) for oral health.”

Oral diseases are the most prevalent non-communicable diseases in the world, affecting almost half the world’s population, and are almost entirely preventable. ICYMI: a session at our 2022 National Health Research Forum on “Connected Technologies Improving Health” addressed some of the opportunities for leading-edge digital tools to improve oral health.

#PHTYD Is Monday!: This is your last reminder to join us Monday, online, to celebrate Public Health Thank You Day! If, like me, you’ve contracted COVID-19 during the course of the pandemic to date, you have much to be grateful for in terms of a mediated recovery thanks to science and our public health workforce. 

Do take a moment to say “thank you,” download our social media toolkit, and share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Your short message lifting up the public health workforce can go a long way! 

This week, we shared interviews highlighting the work of two public health professionals:

  • Read our conversation with Eli Briggs, of Infectious Disease Society of America, about her role liaising between infectious disease experts and the federal government and in preparing for the next infectious disease outbreak.
  • Read our conversation with Lilly Kan, of The Pew Charitable Trusts, about why high-quality, timely, and accessible public health information is so important to people’s health and well-being. 

Upcoming Alliance Discussion: In recognition of Public Health Thank You Day, join us on Monday, November 21, at 2:30 p.m. ET to talk with Sarah Despres, Counselor for Public Health and Science at HHS. How are we responding to current outbreaks? How do we enhance surge capacity? How can our hospitals and public health systems be better integrated post-COVID? Join us to find out.

Help Elevate Research as a Priority: As you plan your year-end giving, please consider a gift to Research!America. Your support is critical to making our work, like the programs highlighted above, possible. Together we can maximize the progress that science delivers – bringing about better health for all. Donate today and the first $40,000 in gifts received will be matched by our Board and Emeritus Board members.  

Happy Thanksgiving: Next week, we’ll take a break from the Weekly Letter due to the holiday. Giving my thanks for all you do to advocate for medical and health progress!