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CCTS Newsletter | April 20, 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Andres Bachelet
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Dale Dirks and Dane Christiansen

April 20, 2018

 

The community held its annual Capitol Hill Advocacy Day as the official start of the Translational Science meeting in Washington, DC. The event continues to grow and this year marked the largest advocacy day yet with over 200 volunteer advocates participating. Senior and young investigators from institutions across the country visited Capitol Hill together and met with the offices of nearly 100 Senators and Representatives.

 

As the community’s presence on Capitol Hill has grown, so has the congressional commitment to the full spectrum of medical research. When Congress finalized appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the allocations exceed the community’s expectations. While advocates had asked for at least a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and meaningful funding increases for the Institutional Development Awards, Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), and Research Centers in Minority Institutions programs, Congress ultimately provided a $3 billion increase along with significant investment in the aforementioned programs. 

 

For this year’s Hill Day, advocates sought to thank congressional offices for their commitment to funding clinical and translational research. Advocates also asked offices to maintain this reinvigorated funding effort through the ongoing FY 2019 appropriations process. Congressional offices responded by stressing that FY 2019 funding would be more challenging, but the enthusiasm remains for additional increases for medical research programs. Congressional staff were also particularly interested in research training and career development opportunities and asking young investigators about the challenges they have experienced as well as their career path.

 

Congressional staff were also interested in community feedback on oversight of the CTSA program. Numerous questions were asked related to how the administration of additional funding and overall grants had impacted particular institutions, ongoing projects, and local training opportunities. In addition to support for NIH, congressional offices also responded positively to requests to ensure additional funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as well as support for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. 

 

If you would like to participate in advocacy efforts or simply learn more about relevant legislative and policy issues, you can join the CCTS listserve by contacting christiansen@hmcw.org, and participate in our monthly advocacy call.