Happy New Year! The headline as we head into 2018 has to be that ADVOCACY WORKS! Advocacy worked in 2017 to overcome the president’s dismissive budget cuts for some – though unfortunately not all – of our nation’s health research agencies; advocacy worked to prevent threats to AHRQ, the NIH’s Fogarty International Center and medical research at the DoD; advocacy worked to prevent some (again, unfortunately not all) problematic provisions for academic and philanthropically funded research in the tax reform legislation; advocacy worked to drive a healthier policy climate for private sector research. All this advocacy was a community effort; Research!America was proud to be engaged, with and on behalf of our alliance. Thank you for your support and engagement with us, and most of all, for doing your part in 2017. In anticipation, thank you for doing still more in 2018.
There is indeed more to do in 2018. This is the year when we must ensure that the budget caps are raised and healthy budgets enacted; this is the year to join in strategic advocacy with all those interests threatened by expected cuts to the discretionary (non-entitlement) federal budget; the year for a major advocacy push for mental health research and the intertwined research challenge of the opioid epidemic; the year for advocates to make research and innovation for health, and science broadly, a conversation that candidates for Congress run toward, instead of ignore. Research!America will be participating in these priorities and more; please let us know your concerns and your suggestions as we get underway in 2018.