Skin Disease Research Day
The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), the Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) and the Coalition of Skin Diseases (CSD), noted the need for increased awareness of the burden of skin disease and benefits from skin disease research at a congressional level.
Skin Disease Research Day was developed as an advocacy event that would address this need. The event was strategically positioned in the year after the doubling of the NIH budget. The inaugural program took place on February 5, 2004 and was considered a success, with approximately 60 participants making nearly 100 visits to elected officials and their staff. Total participation has increased each year. In 2007, advocates visited over 75 offices of elected officials.
The addition of residents in the second year provided unexpected results. Many legislative staff members (participating in the meetings on behalf of elected officials) are just out of college. As a result, the Advocacy Training Program for Residents has been repeated and is now in its third year. In 2007, over 20 residents participated. In 2008, PhD Fellow Members of the Society will also participate.
Skin Disease Research Day begins with an advocacy training session for all participants in order to give them an idea of the types of reactions they can expect. Teams are composed of a mix of senior clinicians/researchers, dermatology residents, doctoral fellows and patient advocates-formed based on their constituency. The organizers prioritize setting appointments with members of the Senate and House L-HHS Appropriations Subcommittees.
For more information, contact Becky Minnillo, DM/MPA, Executive Director, Chief Program and Development Officer, at 216-579-9340 or via email.