We are pleased to acknowledge and thank all of the people who step forth as advocates on behalf of those affected by functional GI and motility disorders. We appreciate the response of U.S. Congressional Members to the calls by IFFGD and advocates to provide federal funding in areas important to the digestive health community.
Here are several provisions included in the Fiscal Year 2012 Omnibus Appropriations bill that was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President at the close of 2011. (An omnibus appropriations bill is a consolidated version of several appropriations bills.)
Support for Veterans with Gulf War Illness
A high number of veterans deployed in the Persian Gulf region now have functional GI disorders. These disorders are a major component of what is termed, “Gulf War Illness.” The Fiscal Year 2012 budget dedicates funding specifically for Gulf War Illness research through the Department of Defense.
Support for Medical Research
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is made up of 27 institutes and centers; it is the nation’s medical research agency and the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. NIH support goes to scientists in universities and research institutions in every state and around the globe.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is the principal NIH institute that conducts and supports research into digestive diseases, and the bulk of NIH’s functional GI and motility disorders (FGIMDs) research.
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is an NIH institute that conducts and supports research related to the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of children, adults, and families. NICHD supports research regarding FGIMDs in children.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is an NIH institute that conducts and supports research to reduce the burden of human illness and disability by understanding how the environment influences the development and progression of human disease. NIEHS supports research on environmental factors that may impact the onset of FGIMD symptoms.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) is an NIH institute that conducts and supports research with respect to the aging process and diseases and other special problems and needs of the aged. NIA supports research relating to FGIMDs in elderly people.
TheNational Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) is a newly created NIH center. It is part of reorganization at the NIH to make it more patient-focused, consolidating some current programs into existing centers and establishing the new NCATS. The goal is to increasingly focus on translating scientific discoveries into patient-oriented treatments and outcomes. NCATS will develop new models for public-private ventures that will more rapidly turn basic research into treatments for patients.