FYI from the NHLBI Index

May 2001: Vol. 2, Issue 1
Summaries of Meetings
and Announcements of Upcoming Events

Representatives Emphasize Public Interest Organizations' Similarities

On January 31, 2001, representatives from approximately 50 public interest organizations (PIOs) met in Rockville, MD, to discuss how the groups could work together and with the NHLBI to meet common goals. Despite varied backgrounds, experiences, and disease interests, representatives quickly identified many common opportunities and activities that could be addressed in the context of the PIO meetings. The representatives emphasized the need for PIOs to work together while maintaining separate identities – reports from breakout sessions on supporting research, participating in clinical research, and getting the message out each emphasized that there is a "strength in numbers" that groups need to utilize to be more effective. Many suggestions regarding ways that the NHLBI could help the PIOs focused on communication. The other recurring theme was collaboration, both in the form of NHLBI support for activities such as meetings and conferences (see article on Conference Grants) and through organizations' support of researchers. The NHLBI has already incorporated many of the suggestions regarding the NHLBI Express Web site and plans are under way for next year's meeting. A summary of the 2001 meeting is available.

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The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council's February Meeting

In his introductory remarks, Dr. Lenfant acknowledged the public members who attended the public interest organization (PIO) meeting the previous day. Council members who attended the PIO meeting noted that the Institute had been responsive to the concerns, needs, and issues raised at the 2000 meeting. It was suggested that future meetings include opportunities for the representatives to collaborate with "like" organizations, more break-out sessions, and workshops on non-profit organizational issues.

Dr. Lenfant discussed a number of legislative developments including funding for the NHLBI. The final NHLBI appropriation for fiscal year (FY) 2001 was $2,299 million, 13.6% more than the amount for FY 2000. Another item of interest was the Public Health Improvement Act, which requires the Secretary, DHHS, to make recommendations for placing and maintaining automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in federal buildings. Dr. Lenfant provided copies of a newspaper article about a woman whose life was saved by an AED after she went into cardiac arrest while attending an inaugural gala in Washington, DC. Washington is one of 25 cities participating in a study to evaluate the feasibility of placing defibrillators in public places to improve emergency treatment for victims of cardiac arrest.

Dr. Carl Roth, NHLBI, presented data relevant to the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 and its mandates that women and minorities be included in all clinical studies conducted by the NIH. He also described a proposal to capitalize on the rich, multidisciplinary research environments of Program Project Grants and Specialized Centers of Research by allowing applicants for these programs to apply for an additional $100,000 to enhance the skills of new investigators in areas related to the NHLBI's mission. The NHLBAC endorsed the concept but questioned whether $100,000 would be enough.

After briefly describing a newly authorized loan repayment program that allows scientists to work in research environments in exchange for partial repayment of their educational loans, Dr. Lenfant described a legislatively mandated increase in the salary cap for FY 2001 grants and cooperative agreements. The cap of $143,100 was raised to $157,000 for the first quarter of FY 2001, which began October 1, 2000; as of January 1, 2001, the cap was increased to $161,200.

In its closed session, the Council awarded 187 grants for a total cost of $73,469,214.

The FYI from the NHLBI staff thanks Ms. Paula Polite, member of the NHLBAC and President of the Sarcoidosis Research Institute, for her efforts in preparing this summary. Full minutes of Council meetings are available.

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2 honorable mentions and 1 superior award go to the NHLBI

NHLBI Public Outreach Activities Acknowledged by NIH Community

On March 5, 2001, NIH Acting Director Dr. Ruth Kirschstein honored the FYI from the NHLBI, the NHLBI Express, the NHLBI's Cardiology Unit Patient Information page, and other winners of the first annual NIH Plain Language Awards. The awards are one way the NIH is encouraging its staff to implement the federal Plain Language Initiative to make all communication with the public "more responsive, accessible and understandable." The NHLBI's Cardiology Unit Patient Information page, highlighted in December's issue of the FYI from the NHLBI, received a "superior plain language product" award; both the FYI from the NHLBI and the NHLBI Express received honorable mentions as examples of how plain language can be used to reach a critical part of the Institute's constituency.

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May is High Blood Pressure Education Month

Being physically active is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent or control high blood pressure, but it doesn't have to mean sweating, puffing, and panting. And, finding time to "exercise" may be easier than you thought. Activities you already do, such as gardening, spring cleaning and painting, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, playing with young children, and walking, can improve your heart health. All you need are 30 minutes on most, and preferably all, days of the week. You even can divide it up – as long as you do at least 10 minutes at any one time. For more information on high blood pressure and moderate activities to help you control it, visit the NHLBI's high blood pressure education program Web site.

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Upcoming Events

American Thoracic Society International Conference

Dates: 5/18/01 - 5/23/01
Location: San Francisco, CA.
Details: Program covers the latest information in clinical, basic, and behavioral sciences regarding respiratory disease and public health education.

Advances in Cholesterol Management: Putting the New National Cholesterol Education Program Guidelines into Practice

Dates: 6/3/01 - 6/5/01
Location: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street NW, Washington, DC 20008.
Details: Participants will learn about the new National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines in the Third Report of the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III, or ATP III), their scientific evidence base, and methods for overcoming barriers to applying the recommendations in clinical practice.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council

Date and Time: 6/14/01; 8:30am - 2:00pm
Location: NIH Main Campus, Building 31C, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD.
Details: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council Meeting is open to the public.

Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation Annual Patient and Family Conference

Dates: 7/27/01 - 7/29/01
Location: St. Louis, MO.
Topic: "The Status of Research and Treatment of Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplastic Syndromes."

1st National CDC Prevention Conference on Heart Disease and Stroke

Dates: 8/21/01 - 8/24/01
Location: Atlanta, GA.
Topic: "Building and Expanding Comprehensive State-Based Cardiovascular Health Programs."

30th Annual Scientific Meeting - International Society of Experimental Hematology

Dates: 8/25/01 - 8/28/01
Location: Tokyo, Japan.
Details: ISEH 2001 is designed to present the latest basic and translational research findings related to experimental hematology.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council

Date and Time: 9/6/01; 8:30am - 2:00pm
Location: NIH Main Campus, Building 31C, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD.
Details: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council Meeting is open to the public.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council

Date and Time: 10/18/01; 8:30am - 2:00pm
Location: NIH Main Campus, Building 31C, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD.
Details: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council Meeting is open to the public.

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