National Brain Tumor Society - Public Policy and Advocacy Update
Vol. 4, No. 12

2015 Advocacy Year in Review 

What a year 2015 has been! It was a year of progress and success for our National Brain Tumor Society advocates. Together with your fellow advocates, you increased medical research funding, reopened a funding stream for pediatric brain tumor research, advanced legislation to improve brain tumor research, and built key relationships with new champions in Congress. 

As the year draws to a close, we would like to thank you for your unwavering commitment to improving the lives of brain tumor patients through public policy advocacy. We know that you will continue to make the voice of the brain tumor community heard on Capitol Hill in 2016.

Here are some 2015 brain tumor advocacy highlights:

  • Our advocates sent more than 5,000 messages regarding our legislative agenda to their members of Congress.
  • Over 2,000 advocates took action this year, either by calling or emailing their members of Congress.
  • In its fifth year, Head to the Hill set a record attendance with more than 200 advocates from 38 states attending more than 180 meetings with members of Congress or their staff. In addition to those who attended in person, more than 40 people participated in the Head to the Hill call-in day.
  • Our August recess event, when advocates visit their members of Congress in their home districts while they are home from Washington over the summer, was our most successful yet, with many advocates visiting district offices for the first time.
  • National Brain Tumor Society staff met with Vice President Bidenís office to discuss ways to make an impact in the fight against brain tumors. 
  • Thanks to your leadership, hundreds of new volunteers signed up to become advocates and are now speaking up for our community.

And your advocacy paid off:

  • Thanks to your advocacy, the fiscal year 2016 federal budget includes pediatric brain tumors as an eligible topic for funding in the Department of Defenseís (DOD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program's Peer Review Cancer Research Program. That means that a previously closed funding stream for pediatric research is once again open. Without a doubt, this would not have happened without your efforts, and was not part of the federal budget until close to 2,000 of you contacted your members of Congress. This is truly something to celebrate, and it would not have happened without you! 
  • Thanks to the collective voice of our brain tumor advocates and the entire cancer community, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) received the largest increase in annual appropriations since Fiscal Year 2003. 
  • The 21st Century Cures initiative, which would improve policies related to brain tumor research, passed the United States House of Representatives.
  • The number of co-sponsors of the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act (oral chemotherapy parity bill) increased to forty-four in the House and five in the senate on a bi-partisan basis. 
  • Support also grew for the Childhood Cancer STAR (Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research) Act, with an incredible 124 members of the House of Representatives co-sponsoring the bill, and twelve members of the Senate.

Thank you again for your advocacy in 2015. I hope you are as proud of your achievements this year as we are. You are truly the most important part of our public policy and advocacy program. Together, we are making a difference in the fight against brain tumors.

David F. Arons, JD

Chief Executive Officer

Lainey Titus Samant

Director of Public Policy


**Head to the Hill 2016 will take place on May 2 & 3, 2016! Save the date and stay tuned for more information in the coming months.**

National Brain Tumor Society is fiercely committed to finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people living with a brain tumor today and those who will be diagnosed tomorrow. This means effecting change in the system at all levels. It's time to build on progress and transform tomorrow today.

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