Fall 2019 Newsletter - Advocacy Update

Supporting Healthy Communities

By Ian Slade, Vice President, Advocacy

Last September 23-27, 2019, we celebrated the U.S. National Health IT Week 2019 focused on Supporting Healthy Communities and driving transformation of our health and wellness ecosystem to promote better health outcomes and health equity.

540 Partners from across the healthcare community representing government, healthcare delivery organizations, universities, non-profits and market suppliers to celebrate our collective commitment to ensure IT supports healthcare transformation in the U.S.

HIMSS Southern California Chapter has been an avid supporter of this initiative. For years, we've advocate d and campaigned to our members to be aware, engaged and involved.

The best way to participate is by responding to our call to action. For this year, our call to action is to ask your senators and representatives to support and fund efforts to modernize the nation’s public health data systems and core infrastructure

As Congress works to finalize spending bills for FY2020, we have a real opportunity to take action to support healthy communities, and we need your voice to help! A commitment from Congress — $100 million in funding for FY2020 and $1 billion over the next decade at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — to modernize public health data systems. This will enable automated, interoperable, and rapid data exchange, ultimately protecting the health of all Americans from the public health threats of tomorrow.

Heathy communities start with access. Help bring 21st-century public health data infrastructure to underserved communities. Ask your senators and representatives to support efforts to modernize the nation's public health data systems and core infrastructure. Take Action Now!

Although it seems that one letter, one voice, might not matter, check out the response from Senator Feinstein’s office:

Dear Mr. Slade,

Thank you for contacting me to share your priorities for federal health funding.  I appreciate the time you took to write, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

Medical research is the foundation for improving health and producing new and innovative treatments, and I am proud that California is a leader in this field.  Throughout my time in the U.S. Senate, I have been a strong supporter of federal funding for health research, monitoring, and awareness efforts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Department of Defense (DOD).  These federally supported efforts are essential to developing and implementing new treatments and cures for a host of different conditions.

I understand you support funding for investments in new and innovative technology at the federal, state, and local levels in Fiscal Year 2020.  I was pleased to join my Senate colleagues in approving the Fiscal Year 2019 Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act (Public Law 115-245), which President Trump signed into law on September 28, 2018.  This law provides $39.1 billion in funding for the NIH, which represents a $2 billion increase above last year’s funding level.  The law also provides $7.9 billion in funding for the CDC, $9.5 billion for HRSA, and $350 million in funding to the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which has jurisdiction over federal funding, I have consistently supported sustained, reliable funding for these important programs.  I believe it is critical that we maintain our investment in health and biomedical research, which holds the promise of improving health outcomes and saving lives.  I will keep your views in mind as I work with my colleagues on future federal spending legislation.

Once again, thank you for writing.  Should you have any other questions or comments, please call my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841 or visit my website at feinstein.senate.gov.  You can also follow me online at YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and you can sign up for my email newsletter at feinstein.senate.gov/newsletter.

Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

  Dianne Feinstein 
  United States Senator