Sending Office: Honorable Mark DeSaulnier
Sent By:
Ethan.VanNess@mail.house.gov

        Request for Signature(s)

Stop the Spread of Leprosy: Support Hansen’s Disease Clinics

Deadline: March 14th COB

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in sending the below letter to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee urging funding for Hansen’s disease clinics at $15.1 million.

Hansen’s disease, commonly known as leprosy, is a curable bacterial disease that damages nerves and can lead to serious infections resulting in loss of limbs if not properly treated. This disease can be contagious without proper treatment. The
national network of Hansen’s disease clinics works to effectively treat patients, reducing the spread of the disease.

As of December 2017, 16 clinics were in operation. However, the contracts between 11 of these clinics and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) ran out on January 31, 2018, due to lack of sustainable funding. These closures
have left many without the care they need. This funding request will allow HRSA to continue funding all 16 Hansen’s disease clinics, referring only the most complex patients to the National Hansen’s Disease Center saving valuable time and resources. Allowing
these clinics to go unfunded is irresponsible and dangerous.

Please join me in in keeping open these vital clinics by joining this letter no later than COB on Wednesday, March 14, 2018.  If you have any questions, or to sign on, please contact Ethan Van Ness in Rep. DeSaulnier’s
office at ethan.vanness@mail.house.gov (5-2095).

 

Letter Text:

Dear Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:

As you develop the fiscal year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, we respectfully request that you fund Hansen’s disease clinics at $15.1 million.

Hansen’s disease, previously known as leprosy, is a curable bacterial disease that damages nerves that can lead to serious infections resulting in the loss of limbs if not treated in an appropriate and timely manner. In certain stages, it is
contagious and without treatment, others can become infected. The national network of Hansen’s disease clinics has allowed patients to be referred to highly trained specialists that can treat the disease and prevent its spread and advancement in the infected
person. Not only do these clinics help contain the disease, but they also save money by treating patients locally in a cost efficient and timely manner.

As of December 2017, 16 Hansen’s disease clinics were in operation. However, the contracts between 11 of these clinics and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) ran out on January 31, 2018, due to lack of sustainable funding. These
closures left many patients without the care they need to treat the disease and increased the public health risk. This FY19 funding request will allow HRSA to continue funding all 16 Hansen’s disease clinics, referring only the most complex patients to the
National Hansen’s Disease Center. Given Hansen’s disease clinics’ track record of effectively and efficiently stopping the spread of Hansen’s disease, allowing these clinics to go unfunded is irresponsible and dangerous.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to working with you to support this important program.

                                                                        Sincerely,                                           

Mark DeSaulnier

Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information:Appropriations

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