Statement of Concern About the FY 2018 Continuing Resolution

February 7, 2018 at 11:15 am | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research has released a statement outlining their concerns about the fiscal 2018 continuing resolution being debated in Congress. Please see below: 

Ad Hoc Group Statement on Further Extension of FY 2018 Continuing Resolution

February 6, 2018 – The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research issued the following statement in response to the “Further Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018,” the fiscal year (FY) 2018 continuing resolution (CR) released February 5th:

The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research is deeply concerned that the latest CR introduced February 5, would suspend sequestration for “security” spending, without offering similar relief for so-called “non-security” spending. As members of both parties have acknowledged, national security is inseparable from health security, and the existing, non-defense discretionary spending caps impede efforts to invest fully in health care priorities to keep all Americans safe and healthy, including medical research supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Now over four months into the fiscal year, the urgency to complete FY 2018 appropriations extends beyond any single spending bill. Without a final funding level for NIH, patients must wait longer for the hope of better health, NIH staff is forced to delay promising new initiatives, and researchers cannot recruit the next generation of scientists to their labs — all avoidable consequences of lawmakers’ inaction to date.

Rather than stalling our progress toward cures, Congress should be accelerating the momentum on medical research with at least $36.1 billion for NIH, as approved nearly unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee in September. On behalf of the patients, health professionals, scientists, researchers, trainees, and others represented by the Ad Hoc Group member organizations, we urge lawmakers to finalize without further delay a bipartisan, bicameral budget deal that raises the discretionary spending caps for both defense and non-defense programs and enables a robust investment in the National Institutes of Health.

*****

The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research is a coalition of over 300 patient and voluntary health groups, medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, and industry. The Ad Hoc Group has one mission: to enhance the federal investment in biomedical, behavioral, social, and population-based research by increasing the funding for the National Institutes of Health.


Questions or comments about this statement can be sent to Stuart Heiser at sheiser@aamc.org or 202-828-0059.

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

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Support IMLS Reauthorization

January 5, 2018 at 11:55 am | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The MLA Government Relations Committee has issued an action alert regarding the reauthorization of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Specifically, librarians are being asked to contact their Senators and urge them to co-sponsor S. 2271 The Museum and Library Services Act of 2017. Reauthorization is key to future funding.

Click here for more information about the IMLS and for specific information about what you can do to help.

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

Support Net Neutrality Protections

November 29, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

On November 28th, the Medical Library Association issued a call for members to contact their representatives to speak in favor of current net neutrality rules. Please see below for the text of the email as well as links to resources you can use.

Why Net Neutrality Matters:

MLA and AAHSL support the net neutrality protections approved by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015 and affirmed by the federal appeals court in 2016. Net neutrality is critical to libraries, library patrons and the public.

Health sciences libraries require an open internet to provide:

  • Unencumbered access to the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) almost 300 databases that support health care, education, and research; and
  • Internet access to images that support telemedicine.

The public requires Internet access without restrictions and barriers to access consumer health information.

Libraries depend on the principles of net neutrality which allow them to create and make available on their websites content that supports educational opportunities online worldwide and to provide access to datasets to promote research and collaboration.

What You Can Do (before December 13th):

As the ALA Washington Office reports, right now, the FCC is not accepting public comments (that may come later), but strong disapproval from members of Congress (especially from those who serve on committees with oversight for the FCC) could force a pause in the December 14 vote to derail net neutrality. Make your voice heard now by emailing your member of Congress (www.House.gov) and (www.Senate.gov) to support net neutrality protections.

Links are provided to the following House and Senate Committees and Subcommittees with jurisdiction over the FCC.

For talking points see:

MLA/AAHS: Comments to the Federal Communications Commission re: Restoring Internet Freedom,” Docket 17-108 (July 14, 2017) and feel free to personalize your letter by addressing the impact of this potential rollback on your libraries and users.

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

Travel Scholarships for National Library Legislative Day Available

November 16, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) is an annual event where librarians, library staff, and library supporters go to Washington, D.C. to lobby their representatives and senators to support libraries and library-friendly legislation. It is a two-day event, with the first day dedicated to an orientation and the second one reserved for visits with members of Congress.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) recently announced that it was providing travel scholarships to people interested in attending NLLD in an effort to boost attendance. The award will reimburse travel expenses up to $750.00 per person. There is a total of $7,500 available.

If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, you will need to submit an application by December 19, 2017. In addition, you must be a member of ACRL and a first-time attendee at NLLD. For more information, please see this post from ACRL Insider.

Good luck!

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

MLA Submits Comments on Next Generation Data Science Challenges

November 3, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Posted in Advocacy and Gov't Relations, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In late September, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) issued a Request for Information (RFI) about future directions and priorities for the next generation of biomedical data science research and development. Respondents were asked for focus on the following three areas:

  1. Promising directions for new data science research in the context of health and biomedicine. Input might address topics such as Data Driven Discovery and Data Driven Health Improvement.
  2. Promising directions for new initiatives relating to open science and research reproducibility. Input might address topics such as Advanced Data Management and Intelligent and Learning Systems for Health.
  3. Promising directions for workforce development and new partnerships. Input might address topics such as Workforce Development and Diversity and New Stakeholder Partnerships.

On October 31st, the Medical Library Association (MLA) submitted comments in response to this RFI. For example, one recommendation was to develop a “Data Sciences Specialization in partnership with NLM to meet the continuing education needs of its membership as well as to augment the current set of competencies.” Please see the links below for more information about this RFI and for the full text of MLA’s comments.

[Submitted by Gary Atwood, Chair, NAHSL Govt. Relations Comm.]

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