Recently, Representative Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) introduced legislation (H.R. 6218) to better coordinate autoimmune disease efforts among Federal agencies. Her legislation, the "Mary Colella Autoimmune Disease Awareness Act of 2012" was inspired by her late sister, Mary Colella, who lived with multiple sclerosis. Rep. Buerkle introduced the legislation to help increase awareness and education about autoimmune diseases. The legislation would create the Autoimmune Disease Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee and requires an assessment of national progress to autoimmune disease research, an update of the national strategic plan, and recommendations to develop a national curriculum on autoimmune diseases. Introduction of the bill was recently featured on the local upstate New York news.
Prior to her election Rep. Buerkle worked as a nurse and later attended law school and became an attorney. The National MS Society supports H.R. 6218 and has urged members of the Congressional MS Caucus to co-sponsor the bill. Thank you, Representative Buekle, for bringing attention to the needs of those with autoimmune diseases!