Get Involved to Make Medical Research a National Priority

Sep 17 2014

Get Involved to Make Medical Research a National Priority

medical researchIt’s your turn to give a shout-out for scientific discovery. The Rally for Medical Research Capitol Hill Day Thursday, Sept. 18, brings together almost 300 national organizations, including The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in support of making funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a national priority.

Programs like those at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute need a reliable stream of revenue in order to conduct the long-term scientific projects that ultimately produce breakthrough treatments and cures for diseases.

Since 2003, the NIH budget has declined by more than 22 percent, or $6.1 billion, after adjusting for inflation, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), a rally day sponsor. The AAMC developed a set of advocacy materials to help the medical and research communities to urge Congress to pass the FY 2015 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) spending bill and restore funding to NIH cut by sequestration in 2013. A draft of the bill provides $30.5 billion for NIH, a $606 million (2 percent) increase over FY 2014.

What can you do? Send a letter to members of Congress through the AAMC’s legislative action center telling you representatives that NIH is critical to the advancement of science and improving the health of people around the world. You can add a personal message about your research experience, what you hope to accomplish, or what inspires your research career.

Share tweets and posts encouraging your fellow scientists, medical trainees, graduate students/post docs to call Congress to action. Here’s an example:

Federal funding for medical research is the way we protect our nation’s health. Act now: #FinishtheJob

Support the AAMC’s Thunderclap campaign, which is a “crowdspeaking platform” that will post a message Thursday to the social media accounts of participants asking their friends and followers to also send a letter to Congress to pass the Labor-HHS bill. The AAMC hopes to generate thousands of letters in support of the federal investment in medical research. Get involved: The louder the thunder, the greater the impact.