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Legislative Task Force Goes to the Hill

Front Row (left to right): M.J. Tooey (MD), Ruth Riley (SC), Mary Langman (IL), Susan Clark (MS), Irma Ivette Quinones (PR), Neville Prendergast (LA). Back Row (left to right): Kevin Baliozian (IL), Michelle Kraft (OH), Sandra Bandy (GA), Cristina Pope (NY), Geneva Bush Staggs (AL), Teresa Knott (VA).

The Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force met in Washington DC, April 18-19. We had a full agenda to share with our elected members of Congress and their staff. Mary Langman, Director, Information Issues and Policy, MLA scheduled a record number of 30 visits and 28 drop-off packets of information for our four teams.

One of our primary messages during the visits was to recommend fiscal years 2017 and 2018 funding for the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and National Institutes of Health (NIH). With a continuing resolution set to expire on April 28th for the FY17 budget, we recommended that Congress complete the FY17 appropriations process, and provide NLM at least $412 million in FY 17, with additional increases in future years.

For NIH, we recommended that congress provide $34.1 billion for NIH in FY17, with a $2 billion increase above the FY17 funded amount in FY18.

We thanked our representatives who supported the 21st Century Cures Act which was enacted into law on December 16, 2016 and reiterated that this new funding for NIH is intended to “supplement” not supplant increases to the base NIH budget.

Our primary message highlighted the importance of NLM and how the library supports research, patient education, and health care in our libraries and communities. Each member provided personal examples of local outreach initiatives that the National Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) has funded throughout the year. 

Our packets of information for each representative included

These Hill visits are just one way that MLA and AAHSL help raise awareness of NLM’s many valuable information resources and services.

At MLA ’17 in Seattle, members will have an opportunity to attend the open forum, Activism in a Time of Turbulence to discuss how MLA as an organization and you as members can affect government decision-making in the area of health information.

Please join us for this special plenary open forum session sponsored by MLA’s Governmental Relations Committee (GRC) on Sunday, May 28, 2017, 4:30-5:25 p.m.. The discussion will be moderated by GRC Chair Cristina Pope, AHIP, with distinguished panelists Katie Gibbs and M.J. Tooey. 

Before we set out for the day, we had a photo opportunity.

 

Submitted by Sandra Bandy, AHIP, Chair, Joint MLA/AAHSL Legislative Task Force and Ruth Riley, AHIP, Vice-Chair

 

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