Virtual Advocacy Day: September 12th, 2017
On Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 patients, their family members and friends, health care providers, and others from across the United States took part in IFFGD’s 8th Annual Advocacy Day. On this day, members of the functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders (FGIMDs) community stood up and took a stand for all those affected by these poorly understood and often debilitating conditions by reaching out to their House Members of Congress to cosponsor The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2017 (HR 1187).
Working together on Advocacy Day and throughout the year, we carry a clear, impactful message – that research into FGIMDs needs to happen NOW! By adding your voice to the growing chorus, you can help expand critical research, initiate important legislation, and facilitate the development of new treatment options.
Only through our continued advocacy can we advance this critical legislation in Congress on behalf of the digestive health community.
Together we can make a difference.
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.
- 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 1187, The Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2017.
- 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 1187 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.
- 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.
- Follow steps 2 through 6 above.
- If desired, use this sample letter to help you format your letter to your Representative.
- Find your Representative’s Twitter handle with this list from C-SPAN: www.twitter.com/cspan/lists/members-of-congress.
- Identify yourself as a constituent.
- Ask your Representative to cosponsor bill HR 1187.
- Use #HR1187 to join the conversation.
- HR 1187 is budget-neutral, it does not require additional costs to implement.
- Functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders affect 1 in 4 people in the US – men, women, and children.
- The conditions are a serious issue for many military veterans – part of Chronic Multisymptom Illness (or Gulf War Syndrome).
- The conditions involve improper functioning of the nerves, muscles, and related mechanisms of the digestive tract.
- They are chronic and some can be life-threatening.
- These conditions are often misdiagnosed or mistreated.
- 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 to let us know that you contacted your Member of Congress in support of HR 1187, 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.