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Association comments on NIH research plan

August 17, 2015

By Craig Palmer

Increased investment in evidence based practices is vital to improving patient outcomes, the Association told the National Institutes of Health in comments on the proposed framework for an NIH-wide Strategic Plan due to Congress in December.

This includes the need to develop a strong evidence base regarding the efficacy of health promotion activities to help address health disparities, the Association said.

The NIH is developing a five-year plan to advance its mission and fulfill a request from Congress. The plan will outline a vision for biomedical research that will pursue fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and apply that knowledge to extend healthy life and reduce illness and disability.

"We are generally pleased with the strategic framework NIH has proposed," the Association said in a cover letter to the Aug. 14 comments. "The opportunities identified to promote cross-cutting research are largely consistent with the biennial research agenda developed by the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, which highlights clinically relevant critical issues needing scientific exploration."

Engaging dental health professionals is a means to address two of the stated objectives, breaking down traditional disease boundaries and developing partnerships, the Association said. "The developing evidence base on approaches to eliminate health disparities demonstrates efficacy of involving the complete spectrum of health professionals, which includes dental health professionals. The ADA is encouraged that this is part of the framework NIH has proposed."

The cover letter and comments are posted at ADA.org.