During 2013, ASH has continued to be one of the most visible advocates for federal support of biomedical research and took the following actions:
- Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns – ASH developed several on-line advocacy campaigns for all Grassroots Network members to join to urge Congress to avert further cuts to medical research. During the past year, more than 1,100 members of the ASH Grassroots Network sent more than 4,000 messages being sent to Capitol Hill in support of NIH funding.
- Patient Advocacy – In July, ASH partnered with the Platelet Disorder Support Association (PDSA) to bring approximately 20 immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) patients/family members and several physicians/researchers to Capitol Hill. ASH and PDSA advocates visited nearly 30 congressional offices and educated Members of Congress and staff about the need to continue to invest in the NIH and how federally funded biomedical research leads to the development of new and better treatments for patients. ASH also developed a special on-line advocacy campaign for physicians to share with their patients.
- Congressional Visits – Hundreds of congressional visits were made by the ASH Committee on Government Affairs, ASH Committee on Scientific Affairs, ASH Advocacy Leadership Institute, and other ASH members throughout the year. The message conveyed to Members of Congress and their staff focused on the value of NIH and the need to support research funding.
- White House & Congressional Leadership Meetings – ASH was one of a small group of leaders in the health community invited to the White House to discuss the impact of cuts on research. ASH staff also met with key congressional leadership to discuss NIH funding.
- Rally for Medical Research Events– ASH was the lead sponsor and supporter of the Rally for Medical Research, April 8 in Washington, DC. The Rally for Medical Research included over 200 organizations and was an historic opportunity for the NIH advocacy community to join together to push for sustainable investments in medical research that will benefit patients. Thousands of scientists, medical research advocates, health care providers, and patients were in attendance to call on our nation’s policymakers to make funding for the NIH a priority and raise awareness about the importance of continued investment in scientific research that ultimately leads to more progress, more hope and more lives saved. ASH was also a sponsor and supporter of the September 17-18 Rally for Medical Research Congressional Reception and Hill Day in Washington, DC.
- Member Stories – ASH has collected stories on the impact of NIH budget cuts to share with Congress, the media, and key stakeholders. ASH members are encouraged to continue sharing stories of how NIH funding affects your research, patients, or career by completing the online form.
Additional materials, comment letters, and testimony concerning ASH advocacy related to NIH funding can be found on the ASH website.
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