A Weekly Advocacy Message from Mary Woolley: Summer or not, we can’t afford complacency

Dear Research Advocate,

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday week, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the role of American research and innovation in driving American prosperity and making tremendous health advances possible. For policy makers and the public alike, it is simply too easy to become complacent and lose sight of the role research has played in powering new industries, lengthening our lives and reducing disability. Indeed, many people have become complacent about progress, so that we no longer hear about the urgency of HIV/AIDS research, for example; yet we can’t shy away now from the work that is left to do. That’s one of the take-home messages from viewing panels from The AIDS Memorial Quilt that is on display throughout the national capital region this month – visit this website to find out where and learn about volunteer opportunities.

The summer is a time of vacations and relaxation, and yes, even some complacency on the advocacy front. Yet it is essential that advocates speak out to ensure that no one is being complacent about U.S. innovative capacity and the resulting benefits, benefits to our health and the economy.

A team of non-complacent advocates in Montana combined forces recently to write an op-ed describing how federal agencies, academia and the private sector work together to foster job creation and innovative treatments. Take a moment to read this piece published in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Billings Gazette and the Great Falls Tribune. In response to this op-ed, the Billings Gazette published my letter highlighting the importance of the upcoming election and our Your Candidates–Your Health initiative. Meanwhile in New Mexico, the Albuquerque Journal published an op-ed by Dr. Robert Rubin, CEO of Lovelace Respiratory Institute, a Research!America member. Writing in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dr. David Stephens of Emory University and Dr. Steve Cross of Georgia Tech highlighted public-private partnerships and the importance of NIH and CDC funding, which could be slashed in the wake of upcoming budget challenges.

Won’t you honor the leadership legacy of our nation by following the lead of these advocates and showcase how medical research is making a difference, with an op-ed or letter to your local publication? We can’t expect our issue to be part of the national conversation if we don’t speak out ourselves. Email our Vice President of Communications, Suzanne Ffolkes, today at sffolkes@researchamerica.org and we’ll do everything we can to help.

Sincerely,

Mary Woolley

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