Remarks By U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush Postpartum Support International Renaissance Hotel Northbrook, Il.
Washington, DC. ---- Thank you to Postpartum Support International for hosting this conference. I sincerely regret not being able to be with you this evening.
Nevertheless, I want to thank Dr. Sarah Allen, Chairman of Postpartum IL Alliance, Ms. Jane Honikman, Conference Director, and Mrs. Carol Blocker, the mother of Melanie Blocker-Stokes, of which my legislation has been named: H.R. Melanie Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act.
I also want to thank all of you who have come in search of legislative support for postpartum. That is why I, like many of my constituents in the 1st Congressional District of Illinois, support the Postpartum Illinois Alliance.
As many of you already know, Postpartum Support International recognizes the importance providing research on and services for individuals with postpartum depression and psychosis. That is why we are here today.
Blocker-Stokes Postpartum Depression Research and Care Act will:
- instructs the Sec'y of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of NIH, to expand and intensify postpartum research and related activities of the Institute,
- instructs the Director of NIH to coordinate the activities of NIH with similar activities conducted by the other national research institutes and agencies ,
- instructs NIH to appropriate funds necessary for each of the fiscal years 2004 - 2006support and expand the understanding of the causes of, and to find a cure for, postpartum conditions.
Further, the Blocker-Stokes legislation ask for an establishment of a postpartum grants program.
This legislation is important. Let's stay the course. This Conference can make a difference in the life of someone you know.
I realize that for many of you, dealing with postpartum depression, and someone you know with postpartum, is not easy.
Some of you may even be here in attendance at great personal sorrow and tremendous personal sacrifice.
So, again I want to thank you, for your perseverance and for your determination. Do not give up ---- with can beat the odds, and get this illness under control. The fact that you are here and seeking answers and solutions to [postpartum will be valuable in the days, in the months, and in the years to come.
Let us resolve to leave this Conference to become activist for postpartum. Let us resolve to work together ---- in good faith - to do all we can not only on behalf of our loved ones who suffer from this illness, but also on behalf of all those that may suffer from postpartum today, or tomorrow.
Recently, I have received indication that the House Energy and Commerce Committee I that they are willing to schedule a hearing on my bill - the Blocker-Stokes legislation. I remain "cautiously optimistic." At this time, all prospects for a committee hearing look good, and I will continue to push for a full hearing in the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee to thoroughly deliberate this issue and consider this important legislation.
We can change and influence the health community by what we do here today ---- and we can do that NOW.
It will require, information, it will require commitment, and it will require determination.
Thank you for your time and thank you for attending this important conference on postpartum.
I'm Congressman Bobby L. Rush.