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2017 Research Advocacy Highlights

During 2017, ASH continued to be highly visible in our advocacy for federal support of biomedical research and funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and took the following actions:

  • Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns. ASH developed several on-line advocacy campaigns for all Grassroots Network members to join in an effort to urge Congress to support federal medical research funding. Members can visit the ASH Advocacy Center to find a sample letter supporting funding for NIH. They can then enter their contact information, and the site will send the letter directly to their Representative and Senators. Information is also included about how to contact Members of Congress via phone or engage via Twitter. During the past year, members of the ASH Grassroots Network sent hundreds of messages to Capitol Hill in support of NIH funding.
  • Hill Days and Congressional Visits. Hundreds of congressional appointments with Members of Congress and their staff were made in Washington, DC by the ASH Committee on Government Affairs, ASH Advocacy Leadership Institute participants, ASH Officers, and other ASH members throughout the year. ASH advocates also met with their federal representatives at their local offices in their home states or districts during so-called “district visits.” The message conveyed to Congress during all of these meetings focused on the value of NIH and the need to support sustained federal research funding. Some highlights from ASH member meetings throughout the year are shown below.

  • Testimony. Earlier this year, during hearings concerning the FY 2018 federal budget, ASH submitted written testimony to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees supporting funding for NIH and urging the committees to recognize the progress and potential future advances shown by hematology research.
  • Coalition Activities. ASH continues to work with the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF), the Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research, and members of the biomedical research community to advocate on behalf of NIH and public health program funding. As part of this effort, ASH was once again a sponsor and supporter of the Rally for Medical Research Hill Day, held September 14 in Washington, DC. More than 350 participants from partnering organizations met with House and Senate offices 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. ASH has also worked with many organizations to prevent passage of legislative language that would severely limit federally funded stem cell and fetal tissue research.
  • ASH Research Agenda Videos. ASH has created several videos to show the progress being made in several of the priority areas of hematology research identified in the ASH Agenda for Hematology Research. These videos were created to share with elected officials and their staff to illustrate the need for sustained funding for NIH.
  • Statement on Immigration Executive Order. In February, ASH, in conjunction with five other societies, issued a joint statement on the Administration’s Executive Order on Immigration. The statement called on the Administration to consider the negative impact of its executive order on our nation’s ability to attract the world’s best scientific and clinical talent to participate in the fight against cancer and blood diseases, irrespective of their country of origin.

Additional materials, comment letters, and testimony concerning ASH advocacy related to NIH funding can be found on the ASH website.

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