Call to Action

Please consider contacting your Members of Congress this week, asking them to add their signatures to a “Dear Colleague Letter” in support of 2012 funding for Tourette Syndrome research and education.

The Children’s Health Act of 2000 was the first time Tourette Syndrome (TS) was mentioned by name in federal legislation. That legislation authorized a Public Health, Education and Research Program on TS at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Each year, the Tourette Syndrome Association must request an appropriation from Congress to continue this CDC program. The money goes toward raising public awareness about TS and training doctors and other allied professionals on how to recognize, diagnose, treat, and help people with TS. (Note: The funds for this program are an appropriation, NOT an earmark.)

It has taken decades of hard work to get to where we are now with awareness of TS. We cannot afford to lose momentum.

To take action, please consider the following options:

    Option #1: Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Time at 202-224-3121. Ask to be transferred, first, to your Representative, and then to your Senators. (Be sure to call both Senators from your state.) If you need help identifying your federal officials, please visit the relevant websites for the U.S. House and Senate.

    Option #2: Write to your Members of Congress through the tools provided in the TSA Legislative Action Center.

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SAMPLE MESSAGE TO CONGRESS

After being transferred to the office of the relevant Member of Congress …

    Hello, I am calling as both a constituent and member of the national Tourette Syndrome Association. May I please speak with the Legislative Assistant in your office who is responsible for health issues?

After being connected with the appropriate Legislative Assistant, either live or by voice mail …

    Hello, my name is ________ and I’m calling about Tourette Syndrome.

    Tourette Syndrome or TS is a complex, genetic, neurological disorder that is greatly misunderstood by the public and frequently mis-diagnosed by doctors because it is often accompanied by other disorders. I am very concerned about proposed cuts to U.S. health programs, in particular, the Tourette Syndrome Public Health, Education and Research Program at the CDC.

    The support of Congress in funding this program for the past seven years has provided urgently needed training for doctors and other allied professionals on how to recognize, diagnose, treat, and help people with TS. Unfortunately, with no known cure, the challenges of living with TS are often so great that a long-term investment is needed in improving the lives of individuals who have TS.

    As Congress moves forward with the budget for the federal government’s 2012 fiscal year, please keep my family and all individuals living with TS in mind.

    Specifically, I hope your office will sign on to the “Dear Colleague Letter” that is circulating in support of the Tourette Syndrome program. For more information about that letter, you can contact …

    In the House: Michael Grogan in Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy’s office OR Jeffrey Last in Congressman Leonard Lance’s office

    In the Senate: Ariel Simon in Senator Charles Schumer’s office.

    Also, Elridge Proctor at the Tourette Syndrome Association can help answer any questions you might have. She can be reached at 202-408-7009.

    Thank you for your consideration.

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