By Dawn Mancuso
“…Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call”
July has been an incredibly busy month for the Hydrocephalus Association. In fact, it is safe to say that the word busy hardly does it justice. At the beginning of the month, we wrapped up our biennial conference on hydrocephalus in Bethesda, MD. In the middle of the month, we hosted a research conference in Seattle, WA. And now, as the month winds down, we are completing our much anticipated move to Washington, D.C.
“Getting to the Heart of Hydrocephalus” in Bethesda was our 12th conference and in many ways, one of our best. During the attendant Advocacy Day, members of our community braved the sweltering heat to bring a message of expanded spending for hydrocephalus research to their individual Congressional representatives. Our keynote speeches by Judy Schneider, Story Landis, Ph.D., Benjamin Warf, MD and Captain Mark Kelly were huge hits and once again, our community came together to support each other and educate themselves.
Our research conference, “Opportunities in Hydrocephalus Research: Pathways to Better Outcomes,” was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and brought some of the best and brightest thinkers on hydrocephalus to the city of Seattle to discuss current (and future) research. Doctors, scientists, engineers, and other field leaders came together to push the discussion of hydrocephalus research in that much needed direction: forward. The research conference was a great success and we look expectantly in the years to come as the fruits of this conference bloom and push us forward to that cure we are all waiting for.
And, last but not least, the big moving day has arrived. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, since its inception, HA has finally made the long-promised move across 3000 miles to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. In fact, we have strategically placed our new offices in Bethesda, Maryland, just across the D.C. line (on the subway line to Capitol Hill) and just a mile or two from NIH. A number of other changes have occurred as a result of our venue change. We said a sad farewell to long-time San Francisco employees Jerry Acosta, Tom Smith and Lisa Sun. Happily, we also get to say welcome to the newest members of our team: Business Manager Amy Weist, Communications Manager Amanda Garzon, and Special Events Coordinator Michael Ticzon. Watch our web page, future blogs and newsletter articles for more complete introductions and profiles on each of these new staff members.
This big move is bittersweet as we are forced to shed some of our past in order to realize the potential of our future by bringing our voice to the halls of government. We welcome you to come by and visit our new home – and yours — whenever you are in the area. Once the boxes are unpacked and our systems are all running smoothly, we hope expand our reach, engaging all of you to make our stand and be heard . As Bob Dylan coined:
“There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’…”