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Government & Politics

NEOMED Conference Pushes For Renewed Research Funding

mary_woolley.jpg
JEFF ST.CLAIR
/
WKSU

A national organization that promotes scientific research says a recent survey shows Ohioans approve of more government spending on basic discovery efforts.

Research!America President Mary Woolley says the survey shows 78 percent of Ohioans back more government spending on medical research.

“There’s been an attitude by some in Congress that we can take medical progress for granted; it’s always happened, it will continue to happen, and that is just patently not true,” says Woolley.

Woolley says the survey shows 93 percent of Ohioans say it’s important for the U.S. to maintain its leadership in medical research. 

Woolley spoke at a conference Monday at NEOMED in Rootstown, that included many of the region’s Congressional, academic and business leaders.

Jim Renacci
Credit NEOMED
/
NEOMED
Rep. Jim Renacci was among the six members of the region's Congressional delegation to speak in favor of more research spending. That's despite Renacci's support of tighter controls of research funding as part of the America COMPETES Act last year.

The event included eight university presidents, members of Congress from both parties, and some of the biggest players in the region’s health industry, all united around the theme of boosting health research.

NEOMED President Jay Gershen launched the conference by reminding attendees that medical research is good for Ohioans and good for Ohio’s economy.

Woolley says that after years of cuts to federal research spending, the public is calling for solutions to the healthcare challenges facing them.

“We need to know what’s going on here. What about Ebola? What about Zika? What about Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, the opioid abuse issue? We’ve got to stop saying, 'We’ll get there eventually.' We have to get there now.”

Woolley says after a steady decline in federal research spending over the past decade, more leaders in Washington are now backing increased health and medical research.