On Tuesday, May 17th EndoFound hosted EndoFound's Virtual UpEndo Congressional Briefing and Hill Day with our co-founder Padma Lakshmi and EndoFound Ambassador Corinne Foxx, as well as moderator and EndoFound Ambassador Diana Falzone, EndoFound Director of Communications & Government Relations Jeanne Rebillard, and other special guests. The briefing was broadcast on EndoFound’s YoutubeTV channel EndoTV. EndoFound's advocacy team is committed to speaking up about the policy needs of the endometriosis community and these meetings are critical in helping to secure federal funding for endometriosis research and education.
During the briefing Lakshmi discussed why endometriosis is not an individual issue, but rather a family issue that impacts all. The long-time endometriosis advocate stressed the importance of allocating research dollars to the disease.
Corinne Foxx urged Congress to not ignore the one in ten with the illness. She said she experienced a bladder cancer misdiagnosis on her journey to find out what she was suffering from.
Dr. Katherine Burns, Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in the Department of Environmental Health, who has endometriosis, told Congress she is devoted to finding diagnostic tests that do not include invasive surgery and an eventual cure, citing that other illnesses like diabetes are given more research dollars. Dr. Burns is currently spearheading a NIH-funded study to examine the initiation of endometriosis and how the immune cells in menstrual fluid may be part of disease development.
After addressing Congress, members of EndoFound and special guests including Lakshmi, Foxx, Rebillard, Falzone, EndoFound Ambassador Alaia Baldwin, Professor at Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Dr. Christine Metz, EndoFound Scientific and Medical Director Dr. Dan Martin, and EndoFound Patient Advisory Committee’s Melissa Boudreau met with several lawmakers.
The EndoTeam met with Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) who introduced the Senate Endometriosis Awareness Month Resolution, and Congresswoman Nikema Williams (D-GA), Co-Chair of Congressional Endometriosis Caucus, who had a lengthy conversation with Lakshmi, Rebillard, Falzone, Dr. Martin and Dr. Burns about her passion to find better treatment options and increase early diagnosis among the patient population.
Additionally, team members met with Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Ranking Member of House Appropriations Committee, Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) staffer, Rep, Rosa DeLauro (Chair of House Appropriations Committee and Endo Caucus Member, staffer. The final meeting of the jam-packed day of endometriosis advocacy was with Senator Patty Murray (Chair of LHHS Appropriations Subcommittee and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP).
This day of action was critical in laying the groundwork needed to further increase endometriosis funding in the United States. Our goal is to ensure that one day soon, endometriosis patients across the country will not only be able to access early diagnosis and proper treatment, but also have a cure. We ask that you support this effort by reaching out to your elected officials. We’ve put together the UpEndo 2022 Citizen Advocacy Congressional Day of Action Guide to help you have your voice heard and make a critical difference in the lives of so many endometriosis patients.