Setting the Record Straight: Defense Health Research

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by Mark Vieth, Senior Vice President

The September 23 edition of PoliticoPRO included an article on defense health research programs administered by the Department of Defense (DOD).  The article discusses the advocacy strategy employed by our client, the Defense Health Research Consortium, and quotes me, the Consortium’s coordinator.

Apart from the misleading headline and its mischaracterization of these programs as earmarks, or a plot to circumvent budget spending caps, the article discusses in depth the value of these programs to a wide range of constituencies and the Members of Congress who represent them.  The article discusses how the Consortium led the charge to protect these programs earlier this year when they came under attack during Senate consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act.

We are proud to represent the Defense Health Research Consortium, and to work with the patients, veterans groups, providers and research institutions that support these vital programs.  We disagree with those who argue that the programs have little or no military value – just ask any veteran suffering from a medical disorder or active-duty service member whose child is suffering from a rare disease whether these programs are relevant to their service to our country! 

All too often, articles like this dehumanize the real-life impact of federal research programs and focus solely on the dollars.  Working with the organizations represented by the Consortium, we have seen, first hand, how the medical research funded by the DoD has transformed the lives of everyday Americans.

Lisa Ellington

Big Thinkery, LLC, 1011 Kenilworth Court Northwest, Concord, NC, 28027