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American Cancer Society Steps Up Advocacy Activities

American Cancer Society Steps Up Advocacy Activities

WASHINGTON--The American Cancer Society (ACS) has initiated a new, long-term advocacy program aimed at enhancing its influence on federal and state government actions that affect efforts to eliminate cancer.

"There is simply no more effective way of helping society bring cancer under control than to work in concert with government," said ACS chief executive officer John R. Seffrin, PhD. "A single piece of legislation, if it incorporates some action we know could save lives from cancer, can immediately impact the likelihood of avoiding or surviving cancer for literally millions of people."

Through its Advocacy Program, the society plans to build and use an extensive network of volunteers to promote and advance ACS positions, policies, and goals. The plan calls for regional and state affiliates to focus greater attention on national, state, and local issues.

The society will also develop a clearing house for state ACS divisions and local chapters to use in planning strategy and tracking pending legislation at both the state and federal levels.

Linda Hay Crawford, ACS' newly appointed national vice president for federal and state government relations, will direct the program. Ms. Crawford is the widow of Victor Crawford, a former tobacco industry lobbyist turned antito-bacco crusader, who died of lung cancer.

Catherine R. Grant, a former National Rifle Association official, will direct development of the grassroots network.

The new program will focus on eight areas viewed by the ACS as vital to controlling cancer

Goals for ACS NEW Public Policy Advocacy Strategy

  • Collaborations between nonprofit organizations, government, and the business community.
  • Moving knowledge gained through biomedical research more rapidly to the next level of treatment breakthroughs.
  • Intensifying behavioral research to develop more effective cancer information programs.
  • Improving public health education.
  • Working to reduce the health effects of tobacco use, especially by protecting children through increased regulation and education.
  • Improving access for poor and underserved communities to cancer information, early detection, and treatment.
  • Promoting improved and affordable health care in all delivery settings.
  • Achieving consensus on medical standards for cancer information, screening, treatment, and care in all health care settings.
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