In April 2006, two vaccine manufacturers retained Cornerstone to establish a coalition focused on advocating for increased Federal funding for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, commonly known as "section 317" of the Public Health Service Act. Cornerstone soon recruited three other companies to jointly share the cost of retaining Cornerstone. With financial support in hand, Cornerstone recruited some of the prominent public health leaders and organizations in the immunization arena to serve on a steering committee that meets weekly by conference.
Cornerstone contracted to build and maintain a website to serve as a virtual headquarters for the coalition www.317coalition.org. Once the mission and advocacy goals were established by the steering committee, recruitment letters were sent out to national, state and local public organizations that support vaccines and removing financial barriers to immunization. By the end of the first year, more than 100 organizations joined the coalition at no charge, and within two years 150 organizations had joined (50 national and 109 local) representing 43 states.
The Coalition, with Cornerstone’s guidance, has been successful in advocating for increases for the program including $300 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding and $100 million from the FY 2011 Prevention and Public Health fund.