On June 23rd, patients, family members and friends, health care providers, researchers, and members of the public across the US reached out to their House Members of Congress through email, phone, and social media on behalf of The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act (HR 2311). You shared your unique personal story of how you have been impacted by a functional gastrointestinal (GI) or motility disorder and the daily challenges you or a loved one face as a result of a functional digestive condition.

Working together we carried a clear, impactful message that will help expand critical research, initiate important legislation, and facilitate the development of new treatment options.

Thank you for being an advocate for digestive health.

HR 2311, a piece of budget-neutral legislation that seeks to advance scientific understanding of functional GI and motility disorders by encouraging and bolstering research, gained the support of almost two dozen Representatives in the last Congress, but it needs your continued action. Discover more about the bill here.

But, our work is not over! Follow up with your House Members of Congress to make sure HR 2311 is passed.

Contact Your House Member

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

By Phone

  1. 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.
  2. Ask that your House Member of Congress become a cosponsor of HR 2311, The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act.
  3. Provide a short explanation of functional disorders. Refer to the Quick Facts below for help.
  4. Briefly share your personal story of how one or more of these disorders has affected your life, or the life of someone you know.
  5. Explain that HR 2311 will significanly improve our scientific understanding of the functional GI and motility disorders and improve diagnosis and treatment.
  6. 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.

By Twitter

  1. Find your Representative’s Twitter handle with this list from C-SPAN.
  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, which means that it does not require additional costs from Congress to implement.
  2. Functional GI and motility disorders affect 1 in 4 people in the US – men, women, and children.
  3. These 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 currently 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 House 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.

Thank you.

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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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