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September 12, 2018

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Advocates in Action: IDSA Members Talk ID with Policy Makers

IDSA Advocacy in the Big Apple: Member Hosts Representative Serrano’s Staff in the Bronx

Liise-Anne Pirofski, MD, FIDSA, Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine & Montefiore Medical Center recently hosted an aide to Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY) at the Medical Center’s offices.

Dr. Pirofski and her colleagues, Priya Nori, MD, and Gregory Weston, MD, educated Congressman Serrano’s staffer on several vitally important ID issues, including the need for additional federal resources to address the opioid crisis and infectious diseases, strengthen antimicrobial stewardship, and increase National Institutes of Health research grant funding for infectious diseases physician-scientists.

The group also discussed the additional challenges in addressing infectious diseases in Representative Serrano’s congressional district, including poor environmental health and unsuitable public housing, which has led to multiple cases of Legionnaire’s Disease among Bronx residents. Representative Serrano’s aide expressed the Congressman’s support for federal ID and HIV programs and offered to work with Drs. Pirofski, Nori, and Weston on efforts to address the ID and HIV needs of the Bronx community that they collectively serve.

Member Shares IDSA Priorities with New Jersey Lawmakers

Aides to Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) were recently briefed on IDSA policy priorities thanks to meetings with IDSA member Richard Ebright, PhD, FIDSA, an infectious diseases research scientist at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University. Dr. Ebright focused his discussions on antimicrobial resistance, particularly the urgent need for antibiotics research and development.

“I recommended that Congresswoman Watson Coleman co-sponsor the REVAMP Act,” Dr. Ebright noted. The act, which would provide an incentive to develop priority antibiotics, is an important step in fighting antimicrobial resistance with new drugs.

Dr. Ebright also recommended that Senator Booker champion this issue and introduce legislation like the REVAMP Act in the Senate. “My suggestion that this could be an ideal issue for the Senator to champion may have gotten traction.”

If you would like to meet with your congressional representatives while they’re working in their states and districts, please contact Haley Payne, IDSA Senior Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator, at hpayne@idsociety.org.

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