Three of us (I accompanied MD/PhD student Scott Cordova and Seena Dehkharghani, a junior neuroradiologist) visited the offices of Reps. Tom Price and Hank Johnson, as well as Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson, and participated in a successful Medical Imaging Showcase event organized by the Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research (CIBR). I felt so much better about this trip compared to two years ago. This time, the congressional staffers were all very supportive of NIH research.
In fact, there are bipartisan efforts ongoing in both the Senate and House. On the day of our congressional visits (May 19th), the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the 21st Century Cures Act proposing an additional $10 billion dollars, over five years, to keep America as the innovation capital of the world. In addition, two prominent senators (Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) are pairing up to create a new caucus to support NIH.
Mr. Eunice worked as a business development manager at Coca-Cola Company for 5 years and then went to University of Georgia Law School. He worked as a legal advisor in the office of the Lt. Governor of Georgia, and Director of Political Operations for Jack Kingston for U.S. Senate race.
He told us that Senator Perdue is sincerely supportive of NIH research and speaks up to save NIH from the budget-slashing sequestration cuts.
Mr. Eunice himself was very supportive of medical research. He showed up at the Medical Imaging Showcase event organized by the Coalition for Imaging and Bioengineering Research (CIBR) and took time to learn about state-of-the-art, NIH-funded medical imaging research. He will be in Atlanta in August and has expressed an interest in visiting medical imaging research labs at Emory.
Senator Johnny Isakson was elected in 2005. He was the House representative of Georgia’s 6th Congressional district previously. He now serves several committees including Finance and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Ms. Bartolomeo’s education background is International affairs and public policy. She was Legislative Correspondent to US Senator Saxby Chambliss and worked in the office of US Congressman Lynn Westmoreland before she joined Senator Isakson’s office. She testified that Senator Isakson has been clearly supportive of NIH research and agrees that NIH shouldn’t receive an across-the-board budget cut.
Thomas Price is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, serving since 2005. He received his medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Emory University. He served in the Georgia Senate from 1997 till 2005, before he became US House Representative. He currently serves as Chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Ms. Diblasio studied Psychology for undergraduate education and obtained a law degree from Case Western Reserve University. She worked as a Legislative assistant for Congressman David Joyce before she joined Congressman Tom Price’s office.
After having so many meetings, she appeared weary when we met at 4pm. However, she patiently listened to us and took notes. When she saw an example of our MR technology development that will save lives and reduce healthcare costs, her face brightened up. She immediately recognized the advantage of our new technology over the standard-of-care MR imaging. In this photo, I can see her excitement on our NIH-funded research that can save lives and reduce cost. She was particularly happy that I live in the 6th congressional district.