Representatives Slaughter of New York and Posey of Florida Co-Sponsor HR 842 for Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders

July 28, 2013

UPDATE: 06/13/2015: HR 842 did not pass, but a similar bill, HR 2311, is currently in the House of Representatives for 2015-2016. Please click on the HR 2311 sub-category on the right sidebar of this blog to see the relevant posts.

According to THOMAS, the Library of Congress legislative database, and IFFGD/the Digestive Health Alliance, in the past two weeks,  Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25) and Representative Bill Posey (R-FL-8) have signed on as co-sponsors to the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2013.

Representative Slaughter is serving her 14th term as a member of the House of Representatives. She currently represents New York’s 25th district, which encompasses the city of Rochester and most of the surrounding parts of Monroe County in the Western New York region of the state. According to Representative Slaughter’s official House website, she has a professional background in microbiology and public health and has a record of  leadership on health care and women’s issues. Approximately two-thirds of people with IBS in most countries are women and girls.

Representative Posey is serving his third term as a member of the House of Representatives. He currently represents Florida’s 8th district which encompasses all of Brevard and Indian River Counties and part of eastern Orange County. He was also a co-sponsor of the previous version of the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act, HR 2239, in the 112th Congress in 2011-2012. Representative Posey’s official House website is linked here.

If you are a constituent of Representative Slaughter or Representative Posey, please take a few minutes to write or call them with your thanks for their support of HR 842 and the functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders community.

In officially supporting HR 842, Representatives Slaughter and Posey join the lead sponsor, Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI-5) and co-sponsors, Representative James Moran (D-VA-8), Representative Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL-1),  Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI-5), Representative Ron Kind (D-WI-3), Representative Susan Davis (D-CA-53),  Representative Peter Welch (D-VT), Representative James McGovern (D-MA-2) and Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11). U.S. citizens residing in the districts of Representative Slaughter and Representative Posey’s colleagues listed here, please thank them as well.

According to the information on THOMAS, it appears that the bill is currently under consideration in the Subcommittee on Health. Click on the link above if you would like to see a list of its members.

U. S. citizens, if your Member of Congress is not yet a co-sponsor of HR 842 and you have not contacted him or her recently to ask for his or her support, please see the previous post from March 2, 2013  for links to the bill and more details on how to do so.  Often, it takes multiple attempts to elicit any interest from legislators, so if you do not receive a reply, do not hesitate to try again or to switch contact methods until you attract attention. Keep in mind that your Representative may be different from before because of the 2012 elections, district boundaries that may have been re-drawn, or if you have moved.

Your personal experiences as a person with IBS and/or other functional GI/motility disorders, or as a concerned family member, friend or colleague, are most effective in communicating to legislators and their staff that there are real human beings behind the statistics. However, even general expressions of support are helpful.

HR 842 is bipartisan legislation (supported by members of both parties) and according to IFFGD discussions with IBS Impact,  is “revenue-neutral,” meaning that there will be no additional taxes or spending added to the current federal deficit if it is enacted. Discretionary funds are available at the National Institutes of Health to be allocated if Congress directs NIH, through this Act, that functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders are a priority. Congress will only do so if we, as a community, are able to show them the importance of the research, education and FDA coordination provided for in HR 842.

NIH grants funding to researchers throughout the world, not just in the U.S., so in the long run, enactment of this Act may also benefit readers with IBS in other countries. Medical research also sometimes involves multinational teams of scientists, and in any case, study results are usually published globally, adding to the cumulative knowledge worldwide.

It is IBS Impact’s understanding that HR 842 will not require a debate or vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, and will pass as soon as it reaches 218 sponsor/cosponsors, or a simple majority of the House. In order for this milestone to be accomplished during the current Congress, the 113th,  the necessary number of sponsor/cosponsors must be reached by December 2014. Every two years, the Congressional membership will be different as a result of elections. Thus, if HR 842 has not passed by that time,  a similar bill will have to be reintroduced and the FGIMD community will have to start the process of gathering co-sponsors anew. This is what occurred with HR 2239 in 2012. While it is quite common for legislation of various sorts to take several Congresses to pass, our continuing advocacy now can increase awareness, build momentum and perhaps accelerate passage. It is in our hands.

Check back on this blog or join IBS Impact’s Facebook page or Twitter feed for further updates on HR 842 as they occur. Links to the social media sites can be found on the right sidebar of the blog.


Updates to IBS Impact.com for July 2013

July 22, 2013

Updates to various pages of the IBS Impact main website have been completed recently. These changes include information and links on the progress of advocacy for the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act, also known as H.R. 842.There have also been new resources added on the links page and several open clinical trials seeking volunteers added to the IBS studies page. Three different countries are represented in the new links and content. Defunct links for some older material previously on the site have been removed.

Please feel free to check out the site here. Our goals with the website, blog and social media are to provide a varied range of current, reputable information and resources to people with IBS and their families and friends, and to encourage informed choices, proactive self-advocacy and public awareness of IBS, and the unmet medical or social needs many of us face as a result of IBS.

IBS Impact, as an entity, is not directly affiliated with any other organization, site or research sponsor and receives no funding for the information we post on the main website, this blog or our Twitter and Facebook pages. We do welcome constructive collaboration and value the many individuals, websites, organizations and clinical and research entities who continue to support, encourage and amplify our efforts in various ways to benefit the cause of IBS awareness and advocacy worldwide

Comments, suggestions, corrections of outdated links, article submissions, and clinical trials or surveys by researchers affiliated with academic, medical, or pharmaceutical entities or reputable organizations representing IBS or commonly overlapping conditions in any country are all welcome and will be thoughtfully considered. Contact links for the IBS Impact founder and webmaster can be found on the home page of the main site, or comments can be left on this blog.  Thank you to all of our readers and followers for your interest and participation.


Clinical Trial: Two Low-FODMAP Diet Studies for IBS, Monash University, Australia

July 14, 2013

Both of the following studies are at Monash University in Victoria, Australia, which originally developed the low-FODMAP approach to managing IBS. All available details can be found on the Monash gastroenterology clinical trials pages. For further information, please contact the listed individuals directly.

“Is Combining 2 Clinically Effective Therapies of Hypnotherapy and Diet More Effective For IBS Sufferers Than Either On Its Own?”

To participate or to find out more information please contact Ms. Simone Peters ph +61 3 9903 0262 or simone.peters@monash.edu

“Effects of Carbohydrates of Differing Molecular Size on IBS-D”

For individuals with diarrhoea-predominant IBS who have good symptom control on a low FODMAP diet.

If you have any queries or are interested in participating, please contact Ms Frances Burns: Ph: +61 3 9903 0396 or fsbur1@student.monash.edu

Previous posts on open clinical trials for IBS can be found by clicking the clinical trials category in the blog archives on the upper right sidebar of this blog. We also have a page for IBS studies on the main IBS Impact site. The research and links pages and the July 26, 2011 post provide additional general resources.

We welcome researchers affiliated with academic, medical or pharmaceutical entities, or reputable organizations representing IBS or related or commonly overlapping conditions, to contact us directly with additional studies they wish to be considered for posting. Contact links for the founder/listowner and the webmaster can be found on the home page of the main IBS Impact website.

IBS Impact makes these study announcements available for general information, and encourages its members and site visitors to make their own individual, informed choices about their potential participation in any study.  IBS Impact, as an entity, is not directly affiliated with any research sponsor and receives no funding from any source for studies or links we feature on this blog, the main site or social media.


“Online Clinic for Bowel, Bladder and IBS” Available July 10-16, 2013

July 7, 2013

TalkHealth, a social media community in the United Kingdom that provides health information and online forums, and “online clinics” where participants can ask questions of health experts and organizations for a given category of conditions, has announced that the July 10-16, 2013 topic will be the bowel, bladder and IBS. TalkHealth is presenting this month’s clinic in cooperation with NHS Choices, Bowel Cancer U.K., ERIC (Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence), the Bladder and Bowel Foundation, The IBS Network, which is the U.K. national charity specifically for irritable bowel syndrome, and Core, which is an organization for all gut and liver diseases. The Bowel, Bladder and IBS Clinic page, which takes the form of an online forum, is currently open and accepting questions in advance and through the dates of the clinic.  Readers can access it by clicking the above link.

Some past clinic topics for other health conditions are archived on the TalkHealth website, although they no longer accept questions. Readers with IBS who also have the commonly overlapping conditions of chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis) or fibromyalgia may also be interested in TalkHealth’s online clinic for those conditions, which begins on August 14, 2013. That forum is currently locked, but should begin accepting questions closer to the clinic date.

IBS Impact is pleased to learn of this resource and hopes it provides another source of reputable information and support to our U.K. readers. In addition to the clinic this month, please browse the rest of the TalkHealth website, including the new online forums for IBS, and feel free to leave comments on this post for the benefit of other IBS Impact readers as to if you find the resources useful.


Representative Connolly of Virginia Co-Sponsors HR 842 for Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders

July 3, 2013

UPDATE: 06/13/2015: HR 842 did not pass, but a similar bill, HR 2311, is currently in the House of Representatives for 2015-2016. Please click on the HR 2311 sub-category on the right sidebar of this blog to see the relevant posts.

According to THOMAS, the Library of Congress legislative database, and IFFGD/the Digestive Health Alliance,  as of late June, Representative Gerald (Gerry) Connolly (D-VA-11)  signed on as a co-sponsor to the Functional Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders Research Enhancement Act of 2013.

Representative Connolly is serving his third term as a member of the House of Representatives. He represents Virginia’s 11th district, which encompasses the city of Fairfax and the majority of Fairfax and Prince William Counties. According to Representative Connolly’s official House website,  he has a record of supporting much legislation on veterans’ issues.  As previously discussed on this blog on August 12, 2011 and August 25, 2011, military service members and veterans are at disproportionately high risk for functional gastrointestinal disorders like IBS, which are already very common in the general population.

If you are a constituent of Representative Connolly, please take a few minutes to write or call with your thanks for his support of HR 842 and the functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders community.

In officially supporting HR 842, Representative Connolly joins the lead sponsor, Representative F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI-5) and co-sponsors, Representative James Moran (D-VA-8), Representative Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL-1),  Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI-5), Representative Ron Kind (D-WI-3), Representative Susan Davis (D-CA-53),  Representative Peter Welch (D-VT), and Representative James McGovern (D-MA-2) U.S. citizens residing in the districts of Representative Connolly’s colleagues listed here, please thank them as well.

According to the information on THOMAS, it appears that the bill is currently under consideration in the Subcommittee on Health. Click on the link above if you would like to see a list of its members.

U. S. citizens, if your Member of Congress is not yet a co-sponsor of HR 842 and you have not contacted him or her recently to ask for his or her support, please see the previous post from March 2, 2013  for links to the bill and more details on how to do so.  Often, it takes multiple attempts to elicit any interest from legislators, so if you do not receive a reply, do not hesitate to try again or to switch contact methods until you attract attention. Keep in mind that your Representative may be different from before because of the 2012 elections, district boundaries that may have been re-drawn, or if you have moved.

Your personal experiences as a person with IBS and/or other functional GI/motility disorders, or as a concerned family member, friend or colleague, are most effective in communicating to legislators and their staff that there are real human beings behind the statistics. However, even general expressions of support are helpful.

HR 842 is bipartisan legislation (supported by members of both parties) and according to IFFGD discussions with IBS Impact,  is “revenue-neutral,” meaning that there will be no additional taxes or spending added to the current federal deficit if it is enacted. Discretionary funds are available at the National Institutes of Health to be allocated if Congress directs NIH, through this Act, that functional gastrointestinal and motility disorders are a priority. Congress will only do so if we, as a community, are able to show them the importance of the research, education and FDA coordination provided for in HR 842.

NIH grants funding to researchers throughout the world, not just in the U.S., so in the long run, enactment of this Act may also benefit readers with IBS in other countries. Medical research also sometimes involves multinational teams of scientists, and in any case, study results are usually published globally, adding to the cumulative knowledge worldwide.

It is IBS Impact’s understanding that HR 842 will not require a debate or vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, and will pass as soon as it reaches 218 sponsor/cosponsors, or a simple majority of the House. In order for this milestone to be accomplished during the current Congress, the 113th,  the necessary number of sponsor/cosponsors must be reached by December 2014. Every two years, the Congressional membership will be different as a result of elections. Thus, if HR 842 has not passed by that time,  a similar bill will have to be reintroduced and the FGIMD community will have to start the process of gathering co-sponsors anew. This is what occurred with HR 2239 in 2012. While it is quite common for legislation of various sorts to take several Congresses to pass, our continuing advocacy now can increase awareness, build momentum and perhaps accelerate passage. It is in our hands.

Check back on this blog or join IBS Impact’s Facebook page or Twitter feed for further updates on HR 842 as they occur. Links to the social media sites can be found on the right sidebar of the blog.