August is primetime for grassroots to educate policymakers on the need to protect National Insititutes of Health (NIH) funding because Members of Congress are back in their home states/districts and are ready to engage with constituents. Below are links to grassroots activities ASH has developed to make it easy for you to contact your Members of Congress. Grassroots Network members are strongly encouraged to click to these campaigns and participate! This will not take much time, but it will have an impact.
Town Hall Forums – ASH is tracking every time a Member of Congress schedules a town hall forum and will alert Grassroots Network members when a town hall is scheduled in their area. Grassroots Network members are strongly encouraged to attend one to meet with their Member of Congress and urge protection of NIH funding. Click here for the list of currently scheduled town halls, tips, sample questions, and talking points.
On-line Advocacy Campaign – ASH has an on-line advocacy campaign for all Grassroots Network Members to join. Visit the ASH Advocacy Center to find a sample letter and the site will send it directly to your Representative and Senators.
Patient Advocacy Campaign – Congress needs to hear from patients about the need to protect NIH funding. Please share the following link http://www.capwiz.com/blood/issues/alert/?alertid=61689376&type=CO with your patients. This provides a link to a special advocacy campaign letter written for patients to use and the site will send the letter directly to the patient’s Representative and Senators.
Funding for NIH in Jeopardy; Congress Plans Six Month Continuing ResolutionFY 2013 funding for the NIH is still very much in jeopardy. Before leaving Washington for the August recess, congressional leaders announced they had reached agreement on a six month Continuing Resolution (CR) that would keep the government funded through March 2013. The CR would flat-line the NIH budget. The Congress is expected to vote on and pass the CR when it returns to Washington in September. In addition, the risk of a sequester (additional across-the-board cuts) is increasing. The Congress is planning to take up the issue of the sequester after the November elections during the "lame duck" session. Consequently, at best, NIH will be funded at the FY 2012 level; at worse, NIH could receive cuts to its baseline budget and then be cut 8.4 percent as part of the sequester. Read more.
NHLBI Releases Expert Panel Report on the Management of Sickle Cell Disease; ASH Solicits FeedbackThe National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released a draft of its Expert Panel Report on the Management of Sickle Cell Disease. The goal of the guidelines is to help people living with sickle cell disease (SCD) receive appropriate care by supporting health care professionals who provide continuity care. The draft is open for public review and comment until August 31, 2012. ASH is developing comments as part of the open request for comments and encourages members to share their comments, questions, and concerns with the Society by contacting ASH Government Relations and Practice Manager Stephanie Kaplan, by August 22 (email@example.com or 202-776-0544).
American Society of Hematology Launches Multi-Million-Dollar Grant Program to Support Critical Blood Disease ResearchASH has announced its commitment of $9 million over a three-year period to provide funding, in the form of bridge grants, for its hematologists whose vital research will not be accomplished due to the severe funding reductions for biomedical research. ASH’s new grant program was designed to help bridge a gap created by nearly a decade of flat funding for NIH followed by further projected cuts. Read more.
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