VAM Email Alert: December 2020 Recap

December 2020 Recap




** Happy New Year!
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IMF’s advocacy team wishes you a safe and happy New Year. We appreciate the support you have provided throughout 2020 and look forward to providing you with opportunities to advocate for veterans with myeloma in 2021 and beyond.


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DoD Blood Cancer Research Will Continue
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On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed the major government funding bill for FY 2021 into law. We are pleased that the bill included research opportunities for blood cancer.

Blood cancers will remain as a topic area for study in the Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) through the next fiscal year. This means myeloma researchers will have an opportunity to compete for research funds within the program and IMF’s advocacy team will have the opportunity to nominate patients to serve as consumer reviewers. Consumer reviewers review the research from a patient perspective and help decide which proposals receive funding.

IMF’s Robin Roland Levy elaborated on this victory: “Each year, IMF lobbies Congress intensively and brings the blood cancer community together to ask for inclusion in this program. Because many blood cancers are service-connected, this is an extremely important priority for IMF. We are pleased we were successful and look forward to the research and patient involvement that comes from inclusion in this important program."


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VA COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan Announced
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On December 10, 2020, the VA announced their initial plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. First prioritization will go to VA front-line workers and veterans in long-term care settings within specific predesignated VA medical centers. To view more about their plans, please click here (https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5580) . To view the latest update on the VA’s efforts to vaccinate veterans, click here (https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5598) .


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Biden Announces VA Secretary Nominee
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On December 10, 2020, President-elect Biden announced the nomination of Denis McDonough for the role of VA Secretary. McDonough previously served as Chief of Staff to former President Obama. Those who support his nomination believe he has proven himself to be a problem solver who will be well suited for the role of VA Secretary. Those who have expressed early apprehension have stated concern over the fact that the role typically goes to a veteran. McDonough’s nomination is subject to confirmation in the Senate and we will be closely monitoring the process.
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