Endocrine Society Researcher Hill Day Advocates for More NIH Funding, Special Diabetes Reauthorization

On March 10, a small but mighty group of Endocrine Society members came to Washington D.C., to meet with their congressional delegations.

Despite a number of other priorities requiring the attention of Congress, the federal appropriations process for FY 2021 must move forward and this is the time to influence decisions about funding. We used our annual Researcher Hill day to advocate for $44.7 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a $3 billion increase over FY 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic impacting the world demonstrates that we must continue to invest in medical research.

Endocrine Society advocates were one of the last groups allowed into the U.S. Capitol complex prior to access being restricted to visitors. Top: Heather Patisaul, PhD, Rebecca Riggins, PhD, Cyrus Desouza, MD, and FLARE Fellows Kayla Titialii-Torres and Rashaun Williams with type 1 diabetes patient Abigail Pepper outside Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s office.

In addition to the need to fund the government next year, Congress must also act by May 22 to reauthorize important public health programs, such as the Special Diabetes Program (SDP).

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Rebecca Riggins, PhD.

This program, which supports research on type 1 diabetes and education on type 2 diabetes for Alaskan Natives and American Indians, has received bipartisan support since it was established in 1997. During our visits, we advocated for a continuation of funding of $150 million per program per year with a five-year extension of the program.

Our advocates were part of the last group of the public who were let into the Capitol complex as Congress has now restricted all external visitors.

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