Public and Scientific Affairs Board

Public and Scientific Affairs Board

ASM joins a letter to Congress opposing provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR1) that will increase the financial burden for graduate students.

The ASM sent a letter to Congress as they debate H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which would exclude tuition waivers and tuition exemptions from income for graduate students. 

The ASM participated in a coalition letter urging Congress to enact a bipartisan budget agreement that raises the spending caps and enables a $36.1 billion investment in National Institutes of Health in FY 2018.

The ASM participated in  a coalition  letter urging Congress to provide emergency supplemental funding for critical public health, healthcare and behavioral health services to address the ongoing crises in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands and other states impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

The ASM signed on to a letter to President Trump regarding the Administration’s immigration policies.  The letter stressed that the signed organizations think that the policies will reduce US science and engineering output and competitiveness.

ASM joined members of the Clinical Laboratory Coalition in a letter to CMS Administrator Seema Verma asking for input on the data to be used on proposed Clinical Laboratory Fee Schedule (CLFS) rates.

The October issue of the Minority Microbiology Mentor Newsletter has been published by the Committee on Microbiological Issues Impacting Minorities.

The ASM joined over 50 health care organizations in a letter to Congressional Leadership asking that they ensure that all members of the health care workforce with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status are able to continue their employment, education, training, and research, with passage of a permanent legislative remedy, such as the bipartisan, bicameral Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615, H.R. 3440).

Marc Couturier and Laura Filkins, members of the PSAB Committee on Laboratory Practices, authored a document entitled “Cyclospora Detection and Reporting from Clinical Samples” to assist our members in identifying a parasite which has been on the rise in intestinal illnesses.  Cyclospora is not usually detected by a conventional O&P examination but can be detected using modified stains, which are detailed in the document.

Effective October 14, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) added great ape pathogen Bacillus cereus biovar anthracis as a Tier 1 select agent to the list of select agents and toxins.  This white paper provides information about this organism and suggests ways to identify it.

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