You don’t have to be in Washington, DC to advocate for CHD support. Contact your Senators today!
Senate Sign-On Deadline: Tuesday, April 3, at Noon
As Congress considers its Fiscal Year 2019 federal spending bills, ACHA asks that you urge your two Senators to sign the Durbin-Grassley Fiscal 2019 Appropriations Letter in support of funding for the CDC program to address the lifelong needs Americans with congenital heart defects (CHDs). Click here for the text of the letter.
Members of Congress send letters outlining their funding priorities for the next year, and we want as many people to sign onto the letter as possible! The Durbin-Grassley letter requests robust federal support for CHD-related public health research and surveillance initiatives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). Federal support is necessary to continue and expand upon these efforts to improve health outcomes and reduce medical costs.
Here’s what you have to do:
Part 1: Find your Senators:
- Visit www.Senate.gov and select your state from the drop-down menu bar next to the American flag at the top of the page. This will take you to a page with phone and email contact information for your two Senators. You may also call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to connect you to one of your Senator’s office. (You’ll have to call back to be connected to your other Senator’s office).
Part 2A: Call your Senator with the following message:
(Be sure to indicate where you live and add your own personal connection with CHD):
- I am calling because of an issue that is very personal to me, congenital heart disease (CHD).
(Please share how CHD has impacted your life):
- CHD is the most common category of birth defects, affecting more than 1 million children and 1.4 million adults. Individuals born with CHDs require lifelong, costly specialized care.
- I hope you will support CHD by cosigning the Durbin-Grassley Fiscal 2019 Appropriations Letter before April 3 at noon to help sustain CHD public health research and surveillance initiatives at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC). To sign-on, contact Max Kanner with Senator Dick Durbin at firstname.lastname@example.org or Karen Summar at email@example.com.
Part 2B: Send an Email to your Senators
Here is a template message for you to paste into your Senator’s contact form or send via email. Please enter the appropriate information in the italicized areas and personalize the message to share why CHD research and surveillance is important to you!
Hello Senator [Senator’s Last Name],
On behalf of the Adult Congenital Heart Association and the millions of people across the nation affected by a congenital heart disease (CHD), I am writing to ask that Senator [XXXX] sign the Durbin-Grassley appropriations letter requesting support for CHD research and surveillance activities at the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD). The letter closes at noon on April 3.
CHD is the most common class of birth defects and today, there are an estimated one million children and 1.4 million adults in the United States living with CHD. Even those who receive early diagnosis and successful interventions are not cured. Children, adolescents, and adults with CHD require lifelong, specialized cardiac care and face increased risk of disability, co-morbidities, and premature death.
Historically, congressional investments in CHD activities at the CDC’s NCBDDD have supported state birth defects tracking systems to gather data and inform research on pregnancy exposures, risk factors, and new screening methods. Due to the increase in childhood survival rates, NCBDDD has broadened its efforts to conduct surveillance and raise awareness for the growing population of adolescents and adults living with CHD.
On behalf of the congenital heart community, I ask that you sign the Durbin-Grassley appropriations letter before April 3 at noon, supporting continued funding for the NCBDDD CHD program. If you are able to join this letter, contact Max Kanner with Senator Dick Durbin at Max_Kanner@Durbin.senate.gov or Karen Summar with Senator Chuck Grassley at Karen Summar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us know about your interactions! Please contact Danielle Hile at ACHA (email@example.com) to let her know any responses or continuing dialogue you have with your Senators.