Goodman lobbies for increased research dollars

Goodman lobbies for increased research dollars Vermillion resident Dr. Barbara Goodman joined more than 200 American Heart Association volunteers in Washington, DC on May 9 to urge members of Congress for increased funding for heart disease and stroke.

Many of the volunteers who traveled to Capitol Hill included heart disease and stroke survivors as well as medical professionals and researchers dedicated to treating and preventing these diseases.

More than 2,700 people in South Dakota died from heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases in 1998, which is the most current information on this subject.

"There are nearly 60 million people affected by heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases and almost a million die each year from these diseases," said Goodman, an American Heart Association volunteer and a researcher at The University of South Dakota. "It's easy to become numb to those numbers. That's why I went to Washington, DC, to help emphasize the importance of increased funding for heart disease and stroke research."

Capitol Hill visits by American Heart Association volunteers coincide with the release of new poll data on public perceptions regarding heart disease and stroke. The poll showed that more than 90 percent of Americans support increased funding for heart and stroke research. Seventy-three percent of Americans say increased federal funding for heart research is very important and 66 percent say increased federal funding for stroke is very important. Additionally, 85 percent of those polled said they support the proposal to double the NIH research budget over five years.

Goodman and other American Heart Association volunteers are urging their legislators to approve a 15 percent increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in FY 2001. The 15 percent increase would go towards the goal of doubling the NIH budget by Fiscal Year 2003, with dramatic increases in funding for heart and stroke research.

"Increased funding means progress in the treatment and prevention of heart disease and stroke," said Lynn Smana, M.D., Ph.D., president of the American Heart Association. "If we don't make a significant investment in research funding, we will lose many potentially lifesaving opportunities. We owe this to those people out there who are suffering and looking for hope."

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