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Virtual Advocacy Day: July 21st, 2015

On July 21st, 2015 the Digestive Health Community stood up for the needs of all those affected by functional GI or motility disorders

On Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 people came together from across the United States to take part in IFFGD’s 2015 Virtual Advocacy Day. On this day patients and their families, healthcare professionals, researchers, and members of the public reached out to their Congressional Representatives to ask that they stand up for digestive health by cosponsoring The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2015 (HR 2311). The response we saw to this call to action was significant – people took to their phones, email, and social media to spread the word about the need for better understanding of and treatment options for people with these debilitating conditions. This outreach lays the groundwork for continued action on behalf of all those suffering with these disorders.

Reach out to your House Representatives now and urge them to become cosponsors of HR 2311. Our goal in the upcoming months is to continue to work with policy makers to advance this critical legislation in Congress on behalf of the digestive health community.

Contact Your House Member

Identify and find the contact information for your Representative by going to www.house.gov and entering your zip code in the box at the top right corner.

By Phone

  • Identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak with the healthcare staff member for your Representative. If they are unavailable, you can leave a voicemail.
  • Ask that your Member of Congress become a cosponsor of HR 2311, The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2015.
  • Provide a short explanation of functional GI and motility disorders. Refer to the Quick Facts below for help.
  • Briefly share your personal story of how one of these disorders has affected your life, or the life of someone you know.
  • Explain that HR 2311 will significantly improve our scientific understanding of the functional GI and motility disorders and improve diagnosis and treatment.
  • Thank the staff member for their time and attention.

Give the aide your contact information and ask to be informed about the actions of your Representative on this key issue.

By Email

  1. Fill out the provided contact form with your contact information or, if a contact form is not provided, include your mailing address in your email to identify yourself as a constituent.
  2. Follow steps 2 through 6 above.
  3. If desired, use this sample letter to help you format your letter to your Representative.

By Twitter

  1. Find your Representative’s Twitter handle with this list from C-SPAN: www.twitter.com/cspan/lists/members-of-congress.
  2. Identify yourself as a constituent.
  3. Ask your Representative to cosponsor bill HR 2311.
  4. Use #HR2311 to join the conversation.

Quick Facts

  1. HR 2311 is budget-neutral, it does not require additional costs to implement.
  2. Functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders affect 1 in 4 people in the US – men, women, and children.
  3. The conditions are a serious issue for many military veterans – part of Chronic Multisymptom Illness (or Gulf War Syndrome).
  4. The conditions involve improper functioning of the nerves, muscles, and related mechanisms of the digestive tract.
  5. They are chronic and some can be life-threatening.
  6. These conditions are often misdiagnosed or mistreated.
  7. Currently, treatment options are extremely limited, not always effective, and focus on symptom management – no cures are known.

Finally, to help with tracking our progress, we’d appreciate it if you would send us an email at IFFGD to let us know that you contacted your Member of Congress in support of HR 2311, and let us know the name of your Representative. (We will keep your name and contact information confidential.) Our goal is to continue to work with policy makers to advance this critical legislation in Congress on behalf of the digestive health community.

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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

Our original content is authored specifically for IFFGD readers, in response to your questions and concerns.

If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting IFFGD with a small tax-deductible donation.

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