During his visit to Ithaca, Senator Gillibrand lobbies for the funding of university centers of medical excellence
ITHACA, NY — US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) hosted a press conference at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to push for passage of COVID-19 and the Pandemic Response Centers of Excellence Act.
The COVID-19 and Pandemic Response Centers of Excellence Act was designed to provide funding to academic medical centers as research facilities that would share information between partner centers of excellence. Academic medical centers have been a mainstay in the battle against COVID-19, such as work at the Parrish Lab at the College of Veterinary Medicine on the Cornell campus, Gillibrand noted, and investing federal funding to establish a infrastructure that can share relevant information is the best way forward.
Gillibrand was joined by Martha Pollack, President of Cornell University, Dr François Elvinger, Executive Director of the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center, Dr Alexander Travis, Shawna Black, President of the Tompkins County Legislature and member of the New York State Assembly. Anna Kelles.
In recent weeks, as rising cases in Tompkins County have resulted in an 18% increase in hospitalizations, Gillibrand reminded participants that the ability to respond to the virus must evolve with it.
“The work done here at the Parrish Lab at the College of Veterinary Medicine to study the structure of the COVID-19 spike protein that the virus uses to enter the cell helps us gain valuable information about how this virus works,” said declared Gillibrand. at the press conference.
She went on to say that the valuable information provided by academic medical centers combined with clinical experience with the support of governments, public health organizations and private industry partners is what remains at the forefront of science. and medicine and are what will help fight future pandemics and other health crises.
The legislation that Gillibrand announced alongside Maryland Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in July would create centers of excellence with administration programs within the Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate collaboration and sharing of information between medical centers within the program.
If passed, the legislation would provide $ 10 million to at least 10 academic medical centers and authorize a total of $ 500 million for the program that the HHS would use to establish proactive work on COVID in terms of care and recovery, addressing health disparities and preparing for further vaccine research trials.
“I ask that the Ministry of Health and Social Services’ appropriation bill for fiscal year 2022 include this funding necessary to establish the law on the centers of excellence for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, this combined funding the bipartisan bicameral bill will leave hospitals across our nation-state better prepared to respond to COVID in future emergencies. The spread of the omicron variant is a reminder that not only is COVID not over, but that our ability to respond to the health crisis must evolve in parallel. Centers like this can help us do that at the state level and at the national level. If we give it our support, it will help us continue to fight for this response and help our healthcare workers protect our families, ”said Gillibrand in conclusion.