Until World War II, disease-oriented voluntary organizations like the American Heart Association provided education and patient
care, but did not underwrite research. Mary Lasker was instrumental in turning these organizations into modern fundraising
and lobbying organizations that not only secured federal funding for research, but financed research directly.
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1948-02-23 (February 23, 1948)
National Heart Committee
Original Repository: Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Mary Lasker Papers
Reproduced with permission of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.
Mary Lasker and the Growth of the National Institutes of Health
Here is an editorial from Governor Cox's paper in Dayton. What about canned editorials asking people to write and wire
their Congressman and Senators to be ready when the Bill is reported out of Committee in either the House or Senate?
Also, is there a chance to get the clergymen through the Federal Council of Churches to talk about getting action? Even if
only the clergy wrote to Congress it would be felt in a non-controversial thing of this kind. Don't do it if it takes
too much trouble, as there may be much easier ways to get pressure at the right time.
Did you get the statement Smathers made before the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee? He will write or sign anything
you might need. Just phone him. Keefe is busier, as he is the Chairman of a sub-committee of the Appropriations Committee
of the House, and really less sophisticated than Smathers (but more powerful) so use him with care.
Let me know about the Gallup Poll on heart research I wired Mrs. Harvest to ask you about.
Write me where you are at with the psychotherapy business, how you are feeling, and where we are at with the Committee!
Did you get an article to Ewing as yet?
How much has the American Heart Association taken in from the Truth and Consequences Program? Have you heard?
It is lovely here, but I feel very out of touch with what is doing and time is of the essence on this bill, to get hearings,
to get the Bill reported out in both Houses, brought to a vote, and then get appropriations, means we must push. It will get
very short by June when all the Party Conventions start, and if the Bill is passed and we are short on time there will be
no appropriations, so it will take another year for the Institute to start to operate.