It’s a fact! Advocacy works. Against what many described as long odds, the recently enacted FY17 appropriations legislation notably includes a $2B increase to the NIH. Other health science agencies fared reasonably well, under trying circumstances, including OMB recommendations for severe cuts. Still, we note with chagrin that CDC and AHRQ received cuts. We have a long way to go, as stakeholders in our collective future, and as a nation aspiring to better health, security and economic prosperity, to connect all the dots and invest accordingly. In the immediate, the path forward demands attention to the FY18 appropriations process, already underway albeit absent clear directional signals from the new Administration and influenced by an abundance of unresolved issues, not least, the angst-ridden day to day status of health care ‘reform’ legislation that was approved in the House and sent to the Senate.
To me, the bottom line is that we cannot afford to acquiesce in a ‘think small’ mentality. Our goal cannot be about defending the so-called status quo from real or feared attack; rather it must be to commit to continuing to make progress in assuring we achieve personal and societal aspirations for doing better and better – for achieving what is possible if we fully power science and innovation to address what ails us, and not ever settling for less. Keeping a steady course toward our goals is imperative. Also imperative is expression of your passion for the cause. Thank you for your commitment and for your partnership.