32nd Edition

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32nd EditionOctober 13, 2017

STEM on the Hill

On October 3, Jen Heemstra, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Chemistry; Tracy McGill, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer of Chemistry; and Cora E. MacBeth, Ph.D., Assistant Dean for Sciences, joined the OGCA team on Capitol Hill to talk about Emory's innovative work in STEM education. The group met with the key staffers for Georgia’s three Members sitting on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce: Reps. Rick Allen (R-GA), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), and Karen Handel (R-GA). In the above photo, they are standing with Mary Dee Beal, legislative director (far left), and Mary Christina Riley, senior legislative assistant (far right), both with Congressman Drew Ferguson. We received an enthusiastic response to our work preparing Georgia's workforce for the employment challenges of tomorrow. We look forward to continuing to work with them as Congress begins work on the Higher Education Act reauthorization.

Global Health Private-Public Partnership

On October 5, Dr. Jeff Koplan, Vice President for Global Health, and Ellen Whitney, Director of Programs for the International Association of National Public Health Institutes, joined the OGCA team for a day of meetings with Senators serving on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. In the above photo, they are visiting with Senator Isakson (R-GA). Highlighting Emory's service mission, we updated the Senators and their staffs about the work Emory is doing in collaboration with the Gates foundation, the federal government, and international partners to bring "mini-CDCs," or national public health institutes, to countries around the world, seeking to stop and treat public health emergencies at the source. Emory will continue to advocate for this partnership as Congress embarks on reauthorization of the Global Health Security Act.

Liver Transplant Reallocation

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) has been working for several years to alter the current liver donation allocation structure in the country. Unfortunately, all proposals to date - in an ostensible effort to increase parity – would significantly disadvantage Georgia and the Southeastern region. This year, UNOS has come out with another reallocation proposal (“Enhancing Liver Distribution”), and, while it is an improvement over previous iterations, it would still result in fewer livers for Georgians.

Emory has worked closely with our partners at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Piedmont for a number of years on this issue. We are pleased to report that the entire Georgia House delegation recently sent a letter to UNOS with their concerns about the proposal. We appreciate Rep. Drew Ferguson for his work in leading the letter. For a copy of the letter, please see here. We will be sending a letter of thanks to the delegation for their support and Dr. Ray Lynch will be visiting a number of these offices to personally thank them in a few weeks.

2018 Budget Resolution/Tax Reform

On October 5, the House passed the 2018 Budget Resolution along a party line vote, clearing the first procedural hurdle toward tax reform. On the same afternoon, the Senate Budget Committee approved a similar budget, which sets up a vote by the entire Senate sometime next week. Should both chambers pass a budget resolution the reconciliation process is available, allowing tax reform to pass with a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate, instead of the typical 60 votes required.

Guiding OGCA’s advocacy are both the Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code, released by the White House, and the so-called “Camp Draft,” a vestige of the 2014 tax reform legislation. A number of provisions in both documents affect higher education and research institutions. Emory recently created an internal working group to evaluate the provisions of institutional interest so the OGCA team can advocate accordingly.

Congressional Delegation Appreciation

A large part of OGCA’s job is making sure credit is received where it is due. We work closely with the congressional delegation in making sure Emory’s position is clear and a part of the deliberative process. Often times, a member takes Emory’s position into consideration, for which we are grateful. In the last few weeks, a number of congressional members have been thanked by Emory for their support of a specific issue or initiative that impacts Emory, including:
  • A letter of thanks from Jon Lewin to Senator David Perdue and Reps. John Lewis, David Scott, Hank Johnson, and Sanford Bishop for their support of the 340B program.
  • A letter of thanks from Jon Lewin to Reps. Rick Allen, John Lewis, David Scott, Hank Johnson, and Sanford Bishop for their support of delaying the Disproportionate Share Hospital cuts.
  • A letter of thanks from David Stephens to Reps. John Lewis and David Scott for their support of facilities and administrative costs via a “dear colleague” letter on the topic.
  • A letter of thanks from David Stephens to Rep. Sanford Bishop for his support of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program via a “dear colleague” letter on the topic will be sent next week.

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