November 20, 2011

Annie Kennedy

Annie Kennedy and Tiffany Schmidt discuss the role of the NIAMS Coalition, a group of more than 70 professional and voluntary organizations concerned with the research of the NIAMS. Describing herself as the "ghost of Coalitions past and present," Kennedy explains how the Coalition has worked to create opportunities for legislators and policymakers to interact with patients and scientists so they can better understand the value of the NIAMS and its role in lessening the burden on the nation of the diseases within its mission. Kennedy describes the NIAMS' commitment to its stakeholders as "unparalleled," and says, "I'm proud to report that the Coalition is more robust today than ever before." As the "ghost of Coalitions future," Schmidt says, "One of the things we will try to do is bring patients, researchers and physicians to Capitol Hill, so that we can go from office to office," educating representatives and senators about NIAMS' mission areas. Encouraging members in the audience to join the Coalition in sharing their own stories with legislators, she says, "I was thinking today how much members of Congress would have learned if they had been sitting here today."

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