U.S. radiologists got the news they've been waiting for with yesterday's passage of H.R. 1795, a bill to establish an Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
The House of Representatives passed the bill by voice vote at around noon Tuesday (EDT), according to Edward Nagy, executive director of the Academy of Radiology Research, a Washington, DC-based group that has focused community efforts to establish the institute. The legislation now heads for the Senate as S. 1110, where it will likely face a vote in the next two weeks.
"We're delighted that the House passed it with such a strong show of support. Now we're going to do everything we can to try to get it through the Senate," Nagy said.
No one spoke against the bill in yesterday's deliberations.
"Three representatives spoke in favor of the bill during the discussions," Nagy said. "Two of them were main sponsors of the bill, Richard Burr (R-NC) and Anna Eshoo, (D-CA), and also Diana DeGette (D) from Colorado."
"Now we'll turn our efforts to the Senate, and try to get it passed before they adjourn. We have strong support in the Senate -- the majority leader (Trent Lott, R-MS) is a strong supporter. He introduced the bill and is committed to trying to pass it. So we'll just have to see where the opposition is," Nagy said.
This month, nearly 2,400 AuntMinnie.com members signed an online petition in favor of the institute, and the Academy of Radiology Research is forwarding those names to Congress. The academy says more than 13,000 people have expressed support for the initiative since its lobbying efforts began. The academy hopes supporters will contact their senators to express support for the institute. More information on the legislation is available at www.acadrad.org.
Reacting to the news in an e-mail to AuntMinnie.com, Dr. N. Reed Dunnick, radiology department chair at the University of Michigan hospitals in Ann Arbor, MI, stated that the institute would help focus and prioritize imaging research in the U.S.
"Research is the future of our field, and the establishment of an imaging institute will help provide a focus for the entire imaging community," Dunnick wrote.
By Eric Barnes
AuntMinnie.com staff writer
September 28, 2000
House committee approves imaging institute; bill moves to final vote, September 15, 2000
Imaging institute hearing a success; legislation heads to full committee, September 14, 2000
House subcommittee to tackle proposed NIH imaging institute, September 11, 2000
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