SOURCE: The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA)

May 20, 2013 17:10 ET

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's Day on the Hill Goes Virtual

Join Us in Washington, D.C. on Twitter @CCFA

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 20, 2013) -  This year marks the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America's 11th annual visit to Congress to advocate on behalf of the 1.4 million Americans with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). For the first time, constituents can make their voices heard remotely by following CCFA on Twitter @CCFA and using the hash tag #CCFAHillDay. Join the conversation on Wednesday, May 22 from 7:30 pm ET to 9 pm ET and make your voice heard.

"Advocacy is a core piece of our mission and was extremely important to our beloved co-founder Suzanne Rosenthal," said Richard Geswell, president of CCFA. "She passed away earlier this year, but would have been delighted to know that through the use of social media we are expanding our reach further than ever before."

This year, CCFA supports The Patients' Access to Treatments Act, introduced by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), which limits cost-sharing requirements applicable to medications in specialty drug tiers to the dollar amount applicable to drugs in a non-preferred brand drug tier for private insurance.

In addition, advocates will appeal before legislators with the following recommendations:

-$32 BILLION FOR THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH:

Hope for more effective treatments and a cure for IBD lies in biomedical research sponsored by the NIH. CCFA joins with other patient organizations and medical societies in recommending an increase for the agency in FY14. This increase would bring NIH's budget to $32 billion and facilitate expanded basic, clinical and genetic research on IBD. CCFA also recommends a corresponding increase for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the lead institute for IBD research at NIH.

-$680,000 FOR THE IBD EPIDEMIOLOGY PROGRAM AT CDC:

This program is yielding invaluable information about the prevalence of IBD in the U.S. and expanding our knowledge about the demographic characteristics of the IBD patient population. The data derived from this study will provide the most comprehensive analysis of the etiology of IBD, why the course of illness varies among individuals, and what environmental and treatment factors may improve patient outcomes. Funding is provided through the Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill. FY13 funding was $680,000.

- $50 MILLLION FOR THE DOD PEER-REVIEWED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAM AND INCLUSION OF IBD AS AN ELIGIBLE DISEASE :

CCFA requests that IBD be listed as a condition eligible for study under the Department of Defense Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program in the DOD Appropriations Bill. The PRMRP supports innovative biomedical research on a number of medical conditions impacting military personnel. IBD has been included as an eligible disease in previous defense appropriations bills and the PRMRP has funded IBD research proposals following favorable peer-review of IBD grant applications. FY13 funding for the program was $50 million.

Congressional Crohn's and Colitis Caucus, co-chaired by Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL ) and James Moran (D-VA), works to promote awareness of IBD, the need for expanded research at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the importance of accessible insurance and disability coverage for this vulnerable patient population.

This year marks Congressman James Moran's first CCFA Hill Day as the new co-chair of the Congressional Crohn's and Colitis Caucus. Moran is serving his 12th term as U.S. Representative from Virginia's 8th District.

Moran has been a leader on many healthcare issues, and supported the passage of the monumental healthcare reform, the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March of 2010 and will be fully active starting January 2014. He serves as co-chair of the Congressional Lupus Caucus and Congressional Prevention Caucus, a group of healthcare reform leaders who attempt to inform Congress and the public about disease prevention and health promotion.

Moran has been adamant about improving healthcare since he started his career in politics as a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees federal funding for programs that provide health services to the less fortunate in a community. He also serves as Ranking Member of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, as well as a senior member on the Defense Subcommittee. Moran is also passionate about advocacy for mental illness by supporting efforts and legislation focused on implementing and funding mental health parity laws.

Moran graduated from The College of the Holy Cross, where he majored in economics. He continued his education at the University of Pittsburgh where he got his masters degree in Public Administration in 1970. His political career started nine years later when he was elected to the Alexandria City Council. Then in 1982, he became the vice-mayor and in 1985 he was elected mayor. When he ran for Congress for the first time, he was elected and joined the House of Representatives in 1990.

Join CCFA online on for Hill Day on Twitter @CCFA and Facebook (ccfafb). Learn more about CCFA's advocacy initiatives at: http://www.ccfa.org/get-involved/be-an-advocate/ .

About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non- profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit www.ccfa.org, call 888-694-8872, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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