Rep. McSally Teams Up With Rep. Schweikert to Support FORWARD Act
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Representative Martha McSally (AZ-02), Representative David Schweikert (AZ-06), and members of the Congressional Valley Fever Task Force introduced the FORWARD Act to advance diagnostics, clinical research, and treatments for Valley Fever. The legislation outlines the impact of the orphan fungal-disease and provides critical support to researchers and drug developers to find viable treatments, and ultimately a long-term cure for Valley Fever.
Although Valley Fever is endemic across the southwest U.S., 68.3% of all reported cases in the last ten years were in Arizona. Within the first six months of 2018, Arizona reported 3,988 cases of Valley Fever, representing a 32% increase compared to last year during the same period. With this legislation, Arizona can make tremendous progress to keep our communities healthy.
The University of Arizona Valley Fever Center for Excellence has played a central role in this effort by promoting research and high-quality care for patients experiencing the effects of Valley Fever. The FORWARD Act seeks to bolster the work of the Valley Fever Center for Excellence in a number of ways including the establishment of a blockchain pilot to give researchers access to massive amounts of clinical data for Valley Fever research without compromising patient privacy.
Rep. McSally and Rep. Schweikert recognize, now more than ever, the importance of the FORWARD Act to support all those involved in this effort from hospitals, to researchers, to patients.