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Senate Subcommittee Continues Medical Research Momentum in Spending Bill

Washington, D.C., June 7, 2016AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, issued the following statement on the FY 2017 spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) and the provisions for increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH):

“The AAMC is pleased that the Senate Labor-HHS Subcommittee recognized the value of medical research in maintaining the health of our nation by including what appears to be a $2 billion increase in funding for the NIH in its FY 2017 spending bill. This funding level would expand the capacity of researchers at medical schools and teaching hospitals nationwide to pursue potential treatments for the most pressing health challenges by continuing the momentum of real funding growth enacted last year.

Sustained, predictable federal funding for medical research through the NIH is vital to advancing the discoveries that provide hope for Americans who are affected by life-threatening and chronic diseases, and fostering the types of innovation that ensure our nation’s place as a vibrant force in the global economy.

We are also grateful that the subcommittee included a boost for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program, which helps strengthen the pediatric workforce that will put such discoveries in practice. These funding levels are particularly promising given the subcommittee’s limited allocation, a consequence of impractical budget caps imposed by sequestration.

We are hopeful that the subcommittee similarly has prioritized other important investments along the health care continuum, such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which supports health services research to strengthen the quality of care delivery, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the face of existing challenges such as an aging population, and emerging health care threats such as Zika, a reliable investment in critical health agencies will be key to the ability of medical schools and teaching hospitals to train tomorrow’s doctors, provide care for all Americans, and conduct medical research.

We commend the subcommittee on its bipartisan approach and look forward to working with lawmakers upon examination of the full bill.”

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The Association of American Medical Colleges is a not-for-profit association dedicated to transforming health care through innovative medical education, cutting-edge patient care, and groundbreaking medical research. Its members comprise all 147 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 51 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and more than 80 academic societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC serves the leaders of America’s medical schools and teaching hospitals and their nearly 160,000 faculty members, 83,000 medical students, and 115,000 resident physicians. Additional information about the AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals is available at www.aamc.org.

Press Contact
Brooke Bergen
202-828-0419
bbergen@aamc.org