We join our colleagues and friends in recognition of a true champion for health and research, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who passed away today at the age of 77. Senator Kennedy left a long legacy of legislative accomplishments that have undoubtedly improved the health and well being of millions of Americans. In 2008, Senator Kennedy was awarded Research!America’s prestigious Edward C. Whitehead Award for Medical Research Advocacy in recognition of his many accomplishments.
Some of Senator Kennedy’s most notable legislative accomplishments include:
• The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
• The Americans with Disabilities Act
• The Orphan Drug Act, which encouraged the development of medicines for rare diseases
• Multiple pieces of legislation to strengthen the Food and Drug Administration
Most recently, Senator Kennedy served as the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee.
Senator Kennedy was a fervent supporter of research to improve health. In Senator Kennedy's own words:
“In the 1990’s, Congress recognized the immense potential of NIH research to bring about the cures of tomorrow, and we doubled the NIH budget. In recent years, however, the increases have stopped and there have even been reductions, which makes no sense. . . . We’re at the dawn of a new age in health research that holds great promise for the prevention, treatment, and even cure of major diseases. That’s why I’m fighting hard to increase the NIH budget and ensure that our country’s position as the leader in health research and innovation remains strong.”We couldn’t agree more.
We tip our hats to you, Senator Kennedy.