Virginia High School Students Lobby Congress To Approve More Funding for Hepatitis C Research, Education
About 500 students from Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax County, Va., have been lobbying Congress to approve more funding for hepatitis C research and education, the Washington Post reports. The House Committee on Government Reform on Tuesday at a hearing on hepatitis C funding heard testimonies from a CDC epidemiologist, a NIH physician, an official from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Erika Stein, an 18-year-old Robinson student whose father has hepatitis C. The students launched the campaign as part of a marketing class and have been contacting members of Congress to lobby for more funding. Two weeks ago, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) met with the students and vowed to support a measure to allocate $90 million for hepatitis C research and education, according to the Post. "When we began this project a year ago, no one wanted to talk about hepatitis C," Stein told the committee, adding, "We believe you care about Americans like my father, Gene Stein. If we don't provide some funding for research and education for hepatitis C, it will impact each and every one of our lives." Rep. Thomas Davis (R-Va.) said the students' efforts were influential in the decision to hold the hearing, according to the Post. "They called attention to the problem," Davis said, adding, "You need people who don't get discouraged easily, and that's what these kids provide" (Glod, Washington Post, 12/15).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.