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Council for American Medical Innovation Honors Health Champion Senator Edward M. Kennedy
Date:8/26/2009

WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Council for American Medical Innovation joins with members of the health community in mourning the loss of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, one of America's foremost advocates for all health care causes, particularly the medically underserved. His work in advancing medical innovation has left an indelible mark on the innovation space and transformed America's ability to invest in cures for illnesses that affect patients around the world.

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"Throughout my career in Congress, I had the privilege of working with Ted on many important issues, including protecting the rights of working families and increasing access to affordable health care, quality education and economic opportunities," said Former Democratic Majority Leader Dick Gephardt, chairman of the Council for American Medical Innovation. "His skill as a legislator, dedication, passion and vision for the future made him a true champion for the American people. I've been fortunate to call him a friend."

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and in all his years of service, Senator Kennedy played a leadership role in the creation of some of the most valuable pieces of legislation to promote civil rights, education and health care coverage for all Americans. He was a driving force behind many bipartisan efforts. Senator Kennedy was a longtime advocate in promoting biomedical research, particularly for the development of new AIDS research and treatments. In 2003, Senator Kennedy co-sponsored a bipartisan amendment to provide substantial funding for the global effort to combat AIDS, particularly for prevention and treatment of the disease in Africa. His work to lower the cost of AIDS medication for developing countries increased access to life-saving treatments among some of the most impoverished nations.

"Senator Kennedy clearly understood the link between public policy and medical innovation," said Council President Debra Lappin. "His work to establish increased funding for the NIH, create a strong and independent FDA and support of immigration reform demonstrated his dedication to policies that allow America's medical innovation sector to flourish. Senator Kennedy was an avid supporter of stem cell research. He understood that it was medical developments such as this that could bring hope to those suffering from serious illnesses such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and cancer."

The Senator represented a state that remains at the center of innovation, in both the academic world and in the private sector. These innovators and patients around the world benefited from Senator Kennedy's commitment to investment in research and development, innovation and turning an era of globalization into new opportunities for America.

He will be missed.

About the Council for American Medical Innovation

The United States faces serious challenges to maintaining its leadership position in innovation. The Council for American Medical Innovation is bringing together leaders in research, medicine, public health, academia, education, labor, and business, who are working in partnership toward a national policy agenda aimed at preserving U.S. leadership in medical innovation. American medical innovators create millions of high-paying jobs, and their discoveries are integral in the fight to cure cancer and other illnesses. The Council for American Medical Innovation views leadership in medical innovation as a key part of America's economic recovery, future prosperity and health.

For more information on the Council for American Medical Innovation, visit www.americanmedicalinnovation.org.

Follow us on Twitter @Med_Innovation


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SOURCE Council for American Medical Innovation
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