FYI from the NHLBI Index

May 2002: Vol. 3, Issue 1
Summaries of Meetings
and Announcements of Upcoming Events


This May, Educate Yourself about High Blood Pressure Prevention

Fourth Annual World Asthma Day

Third Annual Public Interest Organization (PIO) Meeting Fosters Discussions Among Representatives, Council Members, and NHLBI Staff

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

Upcoming Events

This May, Educate Yourself about High Blood Pressure Prevention

National High Blood Pressure Education Month May is High Blood Pressure Education month. According to a recent study, 90 percent of middle-aged Americans are at risk of eventually developing hypertension. Fortunately, high blood pressure is easily diagnosed and can be prevented by adopting certain lifestyle measures - follow a low fat eating plan that includes lots of fruits and vegetables and limits sodium, maintain a healthy weight, be physically active, and if you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits is an effective first step in both preventing and controlling high blood pressure.
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Fourth Annual World Asthma Day

Join us on May 7th to celebrate World Asthma Day and highlight May as Asthma and Allergy Month. The special U.S. theme, "Communities Working for Life and Breath," is a reminder that persistent and collective efforts at the national, state, and local levels are needed to reduce the burden of asthma. Hundreds of organizations are expected to commemorate World Asthma Day by working with their state and local colleagues to promote public awareness of the global burden of asthma and what can be done about it.

World Asthma Day

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Third Annual Public Interest Organization (PIO) Meeting Fosters Discussions Among Representatives, Council Members, and NHLBI Staff

Following a guest appearance by Garfield the cat, NHLBI Star Sleeper, the third annual Public Interest Organization (PIO) meeting started with a roundtable on "Communicating Your Message." Panelists included public relations specialist and PIO representative Ms. Nancy Loving, and science writer and editor Ms. Barbara Culliton. Ms. Mary Woolley, Research!America, highlighted the (disturbing) statistic that only 5 percent of people in the United States know that the NIH funds most of the medical research paid for by U.S. taxpayers. However, she also provided suggestions for ways organizations can educate their members and communities about the NIH and the work it supports. Following the panel discussion, participants talked with NHLBI investigators and staff about ways they can educate their constituents about clinical research and fund research studies. The afternoon period included a presentation on how genetic research is being translated into practice. Ms. Wendy Chaite, Lymphatic Research Foundation, shared her experience with starting up a PIO and provided pointers on how other small groups can leverage their resources to raise awareness and foster research. The meeting concluded after a question-and-answer period and closing remarks by Dr. Lenfant, but several of the PIO representatives stayed into the early evening, exchanging ideas and networking with one another.



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

Dr. Lenfant began the meeting by announcing that February is National Heart Month. In his report of the Director, Dr. Lenfant reviewed the President's 2003 budget for the Institute, noting that it is $2.8 billion, an increase of 8.4 percent from 2002. He also informed Council members that applications for the Loan Repayment Program would be presented in May.

Presentations were made on cell-based therapies. Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, NHLBI Division of Intramural Research, spoke about the Intramural Research Report on Stem Cell Plasticity; Dr. Charles Murry, University of Washington, discussed the role of stem cells in repair of damaged cardiac muscle; and Dr. Hal Broxmeyer, Indiana University School of Medicine, presented data on hematopoietic stem cell plasticity.

Council members described the Institute's 3rd annual Public Interest Organization (PIO) meeting, held on February 6, 2002, as demonstrating continued improvement over the previous ones. The sessions were interesting and relevant, and provided valuable information to the PIOs. It was suggested that next year, PIOs should have more opportunities to interact and share best practices. Representatives thanked Dr. Lenfant for the opportunity to allow professionals and PIOs to come together in a positive environment.

During the closed portion of the meeting, the Council concurred on the award of 249 grants for a total cost of $104,996,405.

The next National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council (NHLBAC) meeting is scheduled for 8:00 A.M. on May 9, 2002. It is open to the public and will be in NIH Building 31C, Conference Room 10.

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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Upcoming 2002 Events

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council

Date: May 9
Location: NIH Main Campus Building 31C, Conference Room 10, Bethesda, MD
Details: 8:00am - 2:00pm; Open to the public.

American Thoracic Society International Conference

Dates: May 17 - 22
Location: Atlanta, GA
Details: The conference will feature symposia, workshops, year-in-review sessions and postgraduate courses on a variety of clinical topics.

International Pulmonary Hypertension Association Conference

Dates: June 21 - 23
Location: Irvine, CA
Details: Patients and their families will learn about the latest advances in treatment and research.

Scleroderma Foundation's 2002 National Conference

Dates: June 29 - July 1
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Details: The program, titled "Living Well with Scleroderma," features talks by physicians and researchers, workshops, and exhibits.

31st Annual Scientific Meeting - International Society for Experimental Hematology

Dates: July 5 - 9
Location: Montreal, Canada
Details: The scientific program will address topics including stem cell proliferation, malignant transformation and targeted therapy, signaling in normal and malignant cells, and bone marrow and cord blood stem cell transplantation.

Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation Annual Patient and Family Conference

Dates: To be determined (originally scheduled for August 2 - 4) - Postponed due to forest fire smoke hazards in the Denver area.
Location: Aurora, CO
Details: Patients and their families will hear the latest medical research findings for treatment of aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria from some of the world's leading experts.

The 5th International National Lymphedema Network (NLN) Conference

Dates: August 29 - September 1
Location: Chicago, IL
Details: This year's educational program for health care professionals, titled Lymphedema: The Quest for Understanding, features state-of-the-art research presentations and posters on a variety of topics specifically related to the lymphatic system and related disorders.

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