Headache Medicine Advocates Take to the Hill

March 5, 2010

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A record 49 headache advocates from 35 states descended on Washington, DC, on February 23 as part of the third annual Headache on the Hill.

These dedicated advocates educated members of Congress and their staff members about the severe underfunding of headache disorders research and urged them to support increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Specifically, advocates requested more funding to go towards:

  • Recruiting and training new migraine investigators
  • Establishing a national migraine research centers of excellence
  • Ensuring that migraine scientists review migraine research grant proposals
  • Establishing a NINDS intramural migraine research program
  • Increasing NIH extramural migraine investigations
  • Establishing a pre-clinical screening program for new migraine drugs

Those in attendance visited a combined 144 congressional offices, with 61 percent of those offices being responsible for NIH authorization and appropriations.

Headache on the Hill was conceived as an action plan by Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhD (University of Vermont), and Kathy L. Gardner, MD (University of Pittsburgh), at the 2007 Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum. Headache on the Hill is modeled on the Academy's highly successful Neurology on the Hill, and is a primary vehicle of the organization, the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA). The AHDA is comprised of nine national and regional organizations that share a common interest in supporting the needs of patients with headache disorders and the clinical field of headache medicine.

For more information visit the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy  website.