Thursday, March 18, 2010

National Institutes of Health Fly-In


Pictured Congressman Vic Snyder, Nicole, Karson, Kevin and Kannon Weitkamp and Dr. James Marsh

Heart and Stroke Survivors Urge Congress to Capitalize on Momentum of Stimulus Bill and Increase Funding for Medical Research
March 10, 2010– A strong investment in heart disease and stroke research is a strong investment for families and the economy. American Heart Association patient advocates and researchers delivered that message to members of Congress during the association’s You’re the Cure on the Hill Fly-In on Wednesday, March 10.

Many heart disease and stroke survivors have benefited from advancements in medical research that continues to bring us closer to a cure. UAMS Chief of Staff, James Marsh, M.D. and Nicole Weitkamp and her son Karson, his brother Kannon and father Kevin from Pocahontas, Arkansas joined some 90 American Heart Association volunteers for the Lobby Day activities. Karson is a congenital heart defect survivor.

Dr. Marsh joined Nicole and Karson, and meet with Congressmen Vic Snyder and Senators Lincoln and Pryor to urge them to appropriate $35 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for FY 2011 to capitalize on the momentum achieved under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The Act provided a $10 billion investment to the agency over two years.

“NIH-supported research has led to significant breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of heart disease and stroke. Robust funding increases for the NIH budget in the appropriations bill will help us advance to the next wave of scientific discoveries. Many of these dollars comes back to our own University of Arkansas for Medical Science “, stated Barbara Kumpe, Arkansas Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

Currently, NIH invests only four percent of its budget on heart research and a mere one percent on stroke research. The President’s FY 2011 budget request for NIH cardiovascular research is ten percent below the FY 2010 level, including the Recovery Act funding and 12 percent below the FY 2009 level.

NIH supported research also fosters economic growth and innovation at the state and local levels and worldwide. Each NIH grant generates on average seven jobs. “Medical research has a profound impact on local communities, contributing to job growth and economic development,” said [insert name of researcher].

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Weitkamp Family enjoys Washington DC during National Lobby Day



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