Congress Listened, Lupus Voices Heard!

When LRI 2012 Advocacy Day Brought Lupus Issues to the Hill

The 1.5 million suffering with lupus were heard loud and clear on Capitol Hill yesterday. The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation was among the 50 advocates from the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) National Coalition that converged on Capitol Hill for appointments with more than 50 state and federal representatives in Washington, DC. We knew our way around having walked these halls on behalf of lupus patients for the past five years, but this year we exceeded our goals.

The group was able to meet with the staffs of New York Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer, Congressman Edolphus Towns, and Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. From our previous trips to the Hill our New York legislators have become increasingly aware and supportive of the pressing needs of people who struggle with the disease.

You may not have been with us in person, but everyone touched by lupus was there in spirit.  We were proud to give voice on the Hill to people with lupus, and gratified that we were heard. But now we need your help to ensure that Congress keeps listening.

Visit the LRI website to learn how to reach your local representatives with our united message.  Here’s what we’re calling for:

1. Join New Congressional Lupus Caucus

WE STRONGLY URGE YOU, OUR REPRESENTATIVES ON THE HILL, TO JOIN THE NEW CONGRESSIONAL LUPUS CAUCUS as an important step in raising awareness of lupus among patients, healthcare professionals and researchers.

2. Strengthen Biomedical Research at the NIH

The LRI National Coalition urges Congress to strengthen the nation’s biomedical research enterprise by INCREASING FUNDING LEVEL TO AT LEAST $32 BILLION IN FISCAL YEAR 2013.

3. Reduce Health Disparities in Lupus

The LRI National Coalition requests that Congress provide the HHS Office of Minority Health budget WITH $2 MILLION IN THE FISCAL YEAR 2013 Labor/HHS Appropriations Bill to continue our nationwide lupus education program for healthcare professionals called THE LUPUS INITIATIVE.

Lupus Foundation of Mid & NNY Advocates Sandi Frear, Jackie Taylor, Kathleen Arntsen & Maryrose Bullock with Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY

Lupus Foundation of Mid & NNY Advocates Sandi Frear, Jackie Taylor, Kathleen Arntsen & Maryrose Bullock with Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY)

 

LFMNNY Advocates with Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)

LFMNNY Advocates with Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)