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NEOMED Conference Pushes For Renewed Research Funding

Mary Woolley is president and CEO of Research!America. She joined Ohio academic, business, and political leaders Monday at NEOMED to push for more spending on health research.
Mary Woolley is president and CEO of Research!America. She joined Ohio academic, business, and political leaders Monday at NEOMED to push for more spending on health research.
Mary Woolley is president and CEO of Research!America. She joined Ohio academic, business, and political leaders Monday at NEOMED to push for more spending on health research.
Credit JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU
Mary Woolley is president and CEO of Research!America. She joined Ohio academic, business, and political leaders Monday at NEOMED to push for more spending on health research.

A national organization that promotes scientific research says arecent survey shows Ohioansapprove of more government spending on basic discovery efforts.

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 in Rootstown, that included many of the region’s Congressional, academic and business leaders.

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.
Credit 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 aboutZika? What about Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, theopioidabuse issue? We’ve got to stop saying, 'We’ll get there eventually.' We have to get there now.”

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

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