30th Edition

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30th EditionSeptember 08, 2017

State Senate Health Chair Visits Emory ALS Center

The Emory ALS Center was honored to welcome State Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford), Chairwoman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, to tour the multidisciplinary clinic and meet the director, Dr. Jonathan Glass. A key state leader in healthcare, Chairwoman Unterman oversees healthcare legislation that moves through the Senate and is also vice chair of the Senate’s budget-writing committee. She had an opportunity to hear from Dr. Glass about how the center provides multidisciplinary care to ALS patients and their families through state of the art clinical care with cutting edge research. The group was also joined by representatives of the ALS Association Georgia Chapter, a critical partner to Emory in the effort to find a cure for ALS.

Congressional Outlook

On September 8, the House overwhelmingly passed legislation that would temporarily lift the nation's debt ceiling and extend FY2017 appropriations, while delivering the first installment of emergency aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey.  The Senate passed the bill yesterday; now the bill heads to the President’s desk.  The fiscal package was the result of a surprise deal between President Trump and congressional leaders.  The agreement ends the immediate threat of a government shutdown and a default on the national debt at the end of September. Congress now faces a December 8 deadline to strike another deal to avert those fiscal cliffs.  A number of other deadlines loom for Congress, such as reauthorization of programs like the Children's Health Insurance Program and the National Flood Insurance Program, and the expiration of funding for several health provisions known as "extenders.” Once these urgent deadlines pass, Congressional Republicans will seek to make progress on their policy priorities, including tax reform, as well as advancing other presidential initiatives, such as some sort of an infrastructure investment program and a continued push to repeal or reform the Affordable Care Act.

Emory teams up with the LaGrange Chamber of Commerce for a September 7 meeting with Senator Isakson. Eric Blackman (bottom left) is Director, Operations at Emory at LaGrange.

Healthcare Reform

Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) are attempting to broker an agreement to stabilize the insurance markets, specifically hoping to address cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments, treatment of the individual mandate, and prospects for a long-term solution with additional flexibility for states. The Senate HELP Committee held two hearings this week on the issue. It is unclear if there is a targeted package that could satisfy both political parties.

One sticking point for the two parties is the length of funding the CSRs, but there is bipartisan agreement in the committee that something needs to pass quickly to provide some stability. Unfortunately, the timing for Congress to act is short. September 27 is the deadline for insurers to indicate that they will be participating in the marketplace plans for 2018.

DACA

After rumblings that President Trump would officially rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a six-month delay in the program’s repeal earlier this week. The administration was spurred to action on DACA after a group of state attorneys general threatened to challenge the program’s legality in court if it remained in effect after September 5. The six month delay allows for congressional action on the program.   Emory weighed in on DACA with the Georgia congressional delegation prior to the September 5 announcement rescinding the program, having sent letters expressing support for the DREAM Act in both the House and the Senate to each member. The University also signed on to a letter sent to congressional leadership with fellow Association of American Universities peer institutions. Emory will continue to demonstrate its strong support for the DACA program and those affected by this policy by advocating for a bipartisan, permanent solution.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Last week, the Emory OGCA team sent a box of t-shirts to the University of Houston at the request of Men’s Head Basketball Coach Kelvin Sampson. Coach Sampson put out a tweet that asked for t-shirts for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. To date, Coach Sampson said that they have reached capacity. However, if you wish to make donations to the cause and support those affected by Hurricane Harvey, you are encouraged to contribute to the Red Cross and to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Emory In The Community: Summer Scholars Research Program

This summer, ten Georgia high school students spent six weeks at Emory’s Winship Cancer Institute, getting hands-on experience working in a lab and shadowing a world-renowned doctor. The Summer Scholars Research Program exposes students to a multitude of experiences, including research from top lecturers and field trips to other local hospitals and medical centers. According to the program director, Dr. Jonathon Cohen, the goal of this program is to engage scholars at a young age and promote their interest in cancer research. It is also a unique opportunity for Winship researchers to interact with young people in hopes that they will become colleagues in the future. Read more here: http://www.emoryhealthsciblog.com/winship-summer-scholars-glimpse-the-future/

The Decatur Book Festival Kicks Off at Emory University

On Friday, September 1, the Decatur Book Festival kicked off at Emory University's Schwartz Center. This year’s keynote address featured a panel of renowned reporters and editors who discussed the importance of journalism in a time of the 24-hour news cycle, social media-generated fake news, and society’s perceptions of media today. The AJC Decatur Book Festival is one of the largest independent book festivals in the country and Emory University is a major sponsor of this annual event. Pictured: Decatur Mayor Patti Garrett introducing Decatur Book Festival Founder Daren Wang at the keynote address.

Save the Date

Atlanta Mayoral Candidates Forum
Thursday, September 28, 2017
6:00pm to 9:00pm

Location:

Glenn Memorial Auditorium
Emory University Campus
1600 North Decatur Road
Atlanta, GA 30307

Parking is available at the Peavine Parking Deck.

Hosted by Emory University & The League of Women Voters
Moderated by WSB -TV
All qualifying candidates will be invited.

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