Various Lies

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The American Heart Association Responds

Anyone who followed the discussionThomas Joseph and I had in the comment thread on my last post saw that we both concerned that there wasn't enough interaction between Societies and other funding agencies when it came t lobbying Congress. I thought I'd contact the Advocacy group at the AHA to ask what their tactics are.... (I have been in touch with them previously about helping in local advocacy and lobbying here in TN)...

From: Tideliar
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 11:39 AM
To: Rick - ; Advocacy DC
Subject: Re: American Heart Association Follow-up

Dear Clarissa & Rick,

I have received several emails in the last day or so from different societies asking for “my” help in advocating against H.R.1

So far The Society for Neuroscience, the AHA, FASEB and the National postdoc Association have all contacted me via email. I am an active “academic/science blogger” and have noticed some of my colleagues also posting about the emails calling us to action.

A discussion has also started about possible inter-agency communication; does it happen, are we coordinating across societies effectively etc.? An issue that is raised time and again by pro-science advocates is the difficulty in combating well funded and well organized anti-science lobbyists. I’d appreciate your thoughts on this issue and the opportunity to share them with my pro-advocacy colleagues.


From: Advocacy DC
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2011 3:35 PM
To: Tideliar
Subject: Re: American Heart Association Follow-up

Dr Tideliar
thank you so much for your note and apologies for the delay in responding. Your message went to our general email box so it didn’t make it to me right away.

AHA is part of a coalition of like minded groups that meet regularly to coordinate on the messaging and collective ask for NIH research funding. Members include FASEB, ACS, ACC, etc.  Lobbyists from the various organizations meet regularly so we can come together as a research community and have a more powerful voice in the process. I can share that we expect to have a common budget request in the coming weeks. We also coordinate on engaging advocates during a similar timeframe and when possible coordinate on DC based events. Over the years we have found this to be an effective approach and AHA is proud to play a leadership role in the group.

If it’s helpful to share insight as to messaging and strategy with your colleagues I would be glad to put you in touch with the appropriate lobbyist at AHA. Your ability to help spread the word via blogging and through colleagues is so valuable. It sounds like you already have it but I am also sharing the link to our current call to action on the issue. We appreciate all you do as an advocate and please let me know if there are any additional questions I can answer or resources I can provide.

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