Federal Government Remains Open

This week Congress approved a bill funding the federal government by a mechanism known as a continuing resolution (CR) through December 11, 2015. During the next couple of weeks it is vitally important that Congress develop a long term budget deal to avoid sequestration, raise the caps on discretionary spending and increase funding for the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) and other important oral health programs.  Absent a budget deal, the federal government may shutdown before the holidays.

AADR will continue to advocate on our members behalf during the next two months calling on Congress and the Administration to develop a budget deal.

Students from East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine Meet with Rep. Jones (R-NC)

This week East Carolina University dental students, Brett Leslie, Matthew Moore, Luke Current and Jessica Shamberger met with Representative Jones (R-NC) in his district office located in Greenville, NC. The students discussed the value and importance of dental, oral and craniofacial research and oral health. They urged Rep. Jones to work with Congress to develop a budget deal, avoid sequestration and increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.  According to Moore, “The congressman was very motivated by the presence of young researchers who were passionately advocating to positively impact the world through dental research.”

MMoore Picture w Rep. Jones

Brett Leslie, Matthew Moore, Rep. Jones, Luke Current and Jessica Shamberger

Members of Congress make decisions every year on how much funding to provide to federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health and NIDCR. These agencies provide funding for research programs and projects. As a result of Congressional decisions, in 2015 NIDCR awarded the lowest number of research grants in 14 years. Therefore, AADR encourages all of our members and students to schedule in state meetings with members of Congress, like Moore and his colleagues, because your voice carries more weight than a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. In fact, research conducted by the Congressional Management Foundation found the most effective way to influence a policymaker is through an in-person meeting.

If you are interested in scheduling district office meetings, simply contact the AADR Director of Government Affairs, Carolyn Mullen at cmullen@aadr.org to learn more!

Another Government Shutdown? Take Action Today

The federal fiscal year begins on October 1, 2015 and with less than seven legislative days remaining, Congress must work to fund the federal government and avert a government shutdown.

AADR is working on your behalf in Washington, DC and participating in a number of events including the NDD United #RaiseTheCaps campaign and the Rally for Medical Research. We are joining hundreds of advocates telling Congress “enough is enough.” They must work together to end sequestration, develop a budget deal and increase federal funding.

We need your help! Click here to send a message to your member of Congress and help amplify our voice in Washington, DC. Members of Congress value the opinion of their constituents and absent a robust outcry we could be headed for another government shutdown.

Questions? Contact AADR Director of Government Affairs Carolyn Mullen at cmullen@aadr.org if you have any questions or need additional information.

AADR Joins 300 Organizations Rallying for Medical Research

Rally Picture 2

Hundreds of advocates gathered before going to Capitol Hill

Last week,AADR joined over 300 national organizations in support of the Rally for Medical Research. The purpose of the Rally is to call on our nation’s policymakers to make funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a national priority and raise awareness about the importance of continued investment in medical research that leads to more progress, more hope and more lives saved.



During the lobby day, AADR led a group of advocates from Florida and met with staff from Senators Bill Nelson D-FL and Marco Rubio R-FL and Representatives Clawson R-FL and Murphy D-FL.

Picture from Rally day

The Florida team including AADR Director of Government Affairs is getting ready to meet with Sen. Nelson (D-FL)

To help amplify our voice on Capitol Hill and carry this message to your elected officials simply click here to email Congress and urge them to develop a budget deal, avoid sequestration and increase funding for NIH and NIDCR.

AADR Seeks Your Input on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

AADR seeks your input! As you may know, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced proposed revisions to the regulations that govern research on individuals who participate in research. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) issued recently proposes to modernize the current regulations by enhancing the ability of individuals to make informed decisions about participating in research, while reducing unnecessary burdens by streamlining the regulatory requirements for low-risk research.

According to a press release issued by HHS, changes proposed in the NPRM issued include:

  • Strengthened informed consent provisions to ensure that individuals have a clearer understanding of the study’s scope, including its risks and benefits, as well as alternatives to participating in the study.
  • Requirements for administrative or IRB review that would align better with the risks of the proposed research, thus increasing efficiency.
  • New data security and information protection standards that would reduce the potential for violations of privacy and confidentiality.
  • Requirements for written consent for use of an individual’s biological samples, for example, blood or urine, for research with the option to consent to their future use for unspecified studies.
  • Requirement, in most cases, to use a single institutional review board for multisite research studies.
  • The proposed rule would apply to all clinical trials, regardless of funding source, if they are conducted in a U.S. institution that receives funding for research involving human participants from a Common Rule agency.

To view the NPRM, click here.

Given the significant impact this regulation will have on all research, AADR requests member feedback that may be utilized in a response to HHS on behalf of the organization.

Individuals interested in contributing should email AADR Director of Government Affairs Carolyn Mullen at cmullen@aadr.org by Monday, October 26, 2015.

AADR Joins Efforts to End Budget Cuts

Just weeks before federal funding runs out and draconian budget cuts stopped by a 2013 Congressional budget deal are scheduled to go back into effect, more than 2,500 national, state and local organizations including the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) are calling on Congress to avoid the impending fiscal crisis and end sequestration. Spearheaded by NDD United the community released a letter demanding Congress raise the spending caps and end sequestration through a bipartisan budget deal before October 1, 2015. A deal would prevent drastic cuts to programs for biomedical research, women’s health, early education, transportation safety, law enforcement and veterans’ care, among others.

AADR was proud to help sponsor the efforts of NDD United and will continue to urge Congress to raise the caps on discretionary spending.

Proposed Reduction to the NIH Salary Limit

Last month, AADR joined 175 organizations expressing opposition to the US House of Representatives proposal to reduce the salary limit imposed on extramural researchers funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. Specifically, the House fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriation bill proposes to reduce the salary limit from Executive Level II to Executive Level III ($168,700 in 2015), a cut of $14600 (8 percent). The biomedical research community emphasized the need to retain the extramural salary limit at Executive Level II to help institutions continue to attract and retain the most talented investigators and urged Congress to reject the proposal to reduce the salary limit to Executive Level III.

AADR Submits Comments to FDA About Tobacco Products

On August 29 AADR submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding a modified risk tobacco product application by Swedish Match North America, Inc. for 10 tobacco products. AADR noted there is insufficient research and data surrounding the immediate and long term effects of snus. We strongly urged the FDA to adopt the precautionary principle to protect public health and maintain statutory warning labels on the smokeless tobacco products until further well-designed studies are conducted in the United States.

AADR Responds to National Children’s Study Alternative RFI

This week, AADR submitted a response to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) request for information inviting comments and suggestions on the Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes Program.  In our response we encouraged the ECHOP to (1) to include oral conditions in children as one of the additional high impact areas for the study, (2) partner with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) in the areas of research on cleft lip and palate, (3) address gaps in access to oral health services for rural children and (4) emphasize the importance of fluoridated water as one of the most effective public health measures to prevent dental caries.

AADR Responds to RFI Soliciting Input on a Vision for Health Disparities Research

Last month, AADR submitted comments in response to the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities request soliciting input to the NIH Science Vision for Health Disparities Research.  Our comments recognized the longstanding leadership role of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), illustrated the causes of oral health disparities and proposed a framework to study oral health disparities. We also highlighted recent policy interventions and provided recommendations for maximizing community-based studies.