Tag Archives: Georges Benjamin

Research!America and Partners Salute Heroes on the Front Lines of Public Health

Public Health Thank You Day, November 24, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, Va.-November 20, 2014-As Thanksgiving approaches, Research!America and leading U.S. public health organizations urge Americans to salute public health professionals who go above and beyond to protect the health of our nation. Public Health Thank You Day honors all those unsung heroes who keep our drinking water safe and air clean, develop vaccines, track and investigate infections, and protect us against  threats  such as influenza, the Ebola and Enterovirus D68 outbreaks and natural disasters.

“Every day, public health professionals here and around the world work in challenging and sometimes dangerous situations to protect our health.  The Ebola epidemic in West Africa and cases of Ebola in the U.S. are a reminder of the global nature of public health threats,” said Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “Whether they are working to keep us safe from infectious disease threats, or finding ways to promote healthy opportunities, thanks to all the dedicated public health professionals who work to keep us safe and healthy.”

These everyday heroes include our health inspectors, environmental health scientists, laboratorians, epidemiologists, public health researchers, sanitation workers, nurses and many other dedicated workers. The CDC, local health departments and various institutions within our public health infrastructure have come together to address recent outbreaks, and public health professionals are tackling these threats head-on – as they do with other health challenges on a daily basis. Continue reading →

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin Stepping Down in July

    left to right: Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America; Jack T. Watters, MD, Research!America Board member and VP for External Medical Affairs, Pfizer Inc.; and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, at Research!America’s 2012 Advocacy Awards Dinner

left to right: Mary Woolley, president and CEO, Research!America; Jack T. Watters, MD, Research!America Board member and VP for External Medical Affairs, Pfizer Inc.; and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, at Research!America’s 2012 Advocacy Awards Dinner

Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, recently announced her resignation as the nation’s top doctor after four years in the post.

Dr. Benjamin, the 18th surgeon general, has been an active advocate for public health with a special interest in disease prevention, smoking cessation and healthy lifestyles.

“She has been a remarkable advocate in promoting the value of prevention as a national health priority. She forged the way as leader of the National Prevention Council, created under the Affordable Care Act, to help transform our nation’s health system from one that focuses on treating disease to one that focuses on prevention and staying well,” said Research!America Board member and American Public Health Association Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, in a press release.

Deputy Surgeon General Boris Lushniak, MD, MPH, will serve as acting Surgeon General in July while a permanent replacement is sought.

A Weekly Advocacy Message from Mary Woolley: What’s wrong with this picture?

Dear Research Advocate:

According to our new national public opinion poll on clinical trials and related topics, most Americans are willing to share their personal health data to advance research, and 72% would be willing to participate in a clinical trial if recommended by their doctor. This complements what we know from other polling, i.e. that Americans want research to proceed at a pace of scientific opportunity. Yet we continue to lose ground in the gridlocked political environment, which, by its inaction, is dashing the hopes of patients and families anxious for new therapies and cures. What’s wrong with this picture?

It isn’t as though research hasn’t yielded both societal and economic benefits! United for Medical Research (UMR) and Battelle Technology Partnership Practice have released a report on the economic and transformative impact of the Human Genome Project, timed as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of its completion. This visionary project has resulted in wildly successful public-private partnerships, more than 4.3 million job-years of supported employment, and nearly $1 trillion in total economic impact since 1988.

The goals of the BRAIN Initiative have been compared to those of the Human Genome Project. Breakthroughs are so desperately needed to overcome Alzheimer’s and a plethora of other serious illnesses. In a recent Bloomberg View article, columnist Al Hunt points out the folly of starving research while we are faced with such major health challenges. Continue reading →

New avian flu strain garners close attention from U.S. health agencies

The public health community is on alert over a new strain of avian flu that has made the jump from birds to people, resulting in six confirmed deaths in China.

“At this point it’s a matter of anxious waiting and good surveillance,” Research!America Board member Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association, told Politico Pro.

Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are joining forces with other international researchers to track this new strain, H7N9. Thus far, the only infected individuals appear to have come into direct contact with sick birds, indicating that currently this new strain cannot be passed from person to person. Should the virus mutate and gain the ability to jump from one person to another, health officials will have a potentially dangerous situation on their hands. Continue reading →