Recap of visit with Rep. Charles Dent (R-15 PA) by Jenessa Smith
15th District PA Congressman
The meeting with Representative Dent’s staffer Lauren Kent –Stevens went very well. She was receptive to our messages of urging Rep. Dent to continue his commitment to prioritizing the NIH. She reiterated that Rep. Dent is a member of the appropriation committee that allocates funding for agencies such as the NIH and that although he cannot sign HR1301 to send to himself, he would respond favorably to the measure once it reaches his committee. In addition, Ms. Kent informed us that Rep. Dent co-chairs the House ethics committee, which informs a bipartisan group of representatives about novel and exciting research by inviting scientists and innovators to speak at meetings. Ms. Kent was interested in our research and about the grant finding and application process. Finally, Ms. Kent urged us to reach out to state legislators that do not see the importance of NIH funding in their states, simply because they may not receive NIH funding to institutions or companies in their respective states or districts. She wanted us to inform people that NIH funding has provided us with many life-saving treatments and techniques that would not be available today with support from the NIH. In all, it was a productive meeting and we left our message to reverse the sequester-enforced NIH budget cuts and that NIH budget must increase in the future.