Sending Office: Honorable Anthony G. Brown
Sent By:
Michael.Matthews@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Deadline: COB Friday, March 2

Dear Colleague:

I am writing to encourage you to join this letter to Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member Visclosky on the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations requesting $12 million for the Reconstructive Transplant Research (RTR) Program for Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19). 
The RTR program is under the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) within the Defense Health Program Research Development Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) account.

Since FY2014, sustained federal funding has allowed amazing advancements in reconstructive transplantation that yield life-changing results for our veterans.  Medical centers around the country have transplanted hands, arms, and faces on injured servicemembers
and restored the basic functions which we take for granted.  Hand transplant recipients regain function, sensation and independence; and, face transplant recipients, the ability to speak, swallow and smile.

With support from the RTRP, the world’s most renowned reconstructive transplant scientists and surgeons are breaking new ground in upper-extremity and face transplants to bring the highest-quality care and state-of-the-art treatment to service members and
civilians. 

One of the most recent examples of the successes in this program come from Johns Hopkins Hospital.  US Army National Guard Sgt. Eric Lund lost both of his arms above the elbow after an IED explosion hit his convoy in Afghanistan in 2012.  On November 6,
2017, doctors at Johns Hopkins successfully performed a double arm transplant over a 12-hour surgery with 16 to 20 surgeons operating.  The surgery was successful, and Sgt. Lund is meeting all expected milestones in his recovery. 

Continued support of this program allows research to progress, procedures to continue, and access to state-of-the-art immunotherapy.  Sgt. Lund’s mother stated that the surgery gave him a future, and we owe other wounded warriors the same chance.    

If you have any questions regarding the letter, or if you would like to sign on, please contact Michael Matthews at michael.matthews@mail.house.gov or 5-8699 in my office. Deadline to join is Friday, March
2.

Sincerely,

/s/

Anthony G. Brown
Member of Congress

………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

March xx, 2018

 

The Honorable Kay Granger                                       The Honorable Pete Visclosky
Chairwoman                                                                 Ranking Member
Defense Subcommittee                                               Defense Subcommittee
Committee on Appropriations                                      Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives                                   U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515                                               Washington, DC 20515

 

 

Dear Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member Visclosky:

We, as a nation, have no higher obligation than to care for those who have sacrificed to protect our freedom and ensure their health and well-being after they return home.

As you consider the FY 2019 Defense Appropriations bill we respectfully request that you include $12 million for the peer-reviewed reconstructive transplant research program, one of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs within the Defense
Health Program, Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) account. This request will maintain the funding for this program at the level that was included in the FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations bill.

Reconstructive transplantation is a rapidly growing discipline that greatly benefits from investigators doing ground-breaking work as well as collaboration among institutions to improve the lives of service members who suffer significant combat related injuries.
Multi-institutional and intra-institutional multidisciplinary collaborations help accelerate the movement of promising ideas in reconstructive composite tissue transplantation into clinical applications.

This work has immediate and transformative implications for wounded warriors and promising benefits for civilian patients, as well. The return-on-investment is profound as service members with debilitating, disfiguring, and disabling injuries regain their
independence and return to daily living and employment. The ability to once again become independent and self-sufficient is within our power and surely the least we can do for those who have given everything for us.

Continued federal funding will allow surgeons to refine techniques for hand, face, and other vascularized composite tissue allografts (VCA) – transplants of skin, muscle, tendon, nerves, bone, and blood vessels. It also will facilitate the basic and clinical
research needed to improve access to, and safety of, reconstructive transplants and state-of-the-art immunotherapy.

The science of VCA is at a critical juncture and achieving life-changing results for injured Service members and the public at large. The undersigned members strongly urge you to advance the education, science and practice of reconstructive transplant surgery
by maintaining the FY 2017 funding level of $12 million for reconstructive transplant research in the FY 2019 Department of Defense Appropriations bill.

 

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations, Armed Services, HealthCare

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