WASHINGTONThe Congressional Families Action for Cancer
Awareness honored three individuals for their dedication to cancer
prevention outreach at its Seventh Annual Awards Luncheon.
Katie Couric, co-anchor of NBCs Today show, was
honored for increasing awareness of the value of colon cancer
screening. Since losing her husband Jay Monahan to colorectal cancer
in January 1998, Ms. Couric has taken her personal loss and turned it
into a positive action by educating others about cancer prevention.
In October 1998, she spearheaded a five-part series on colorectal
cancer that aired on Today, NBC Nightly News,
and MSNBC. Ms. Couric also recently launched her own organization to
fund colorectal cancer research and to spread the message of early detection.
Deborah Insley Dingell, whose husband is a representative from
Michigan, received the award for her advocacy in cancer prevention,
treatment, and care in Michigan. Mrs. Dingell is vice-chair of the
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit, and serves on the
advisory boards of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the NIH Advisory
Panel for Womens Research.
Richard Hirsh, MD, chief of the Division of Diagnostic Radiology,
Akron City Hospital, and assistant professor of radiology,
Northeastern Ohio University (see photo),
was recognized for founding Radiology Mammography International, a
nonprofit organization that provides mammography and radiology
equipment and cancer education to developing countries. Since the
organizations inception, Dr. Hirsh has led missions to
Honduras, Armenia, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
The Congressional Families Action for Cancer Awareness program was
founded in 1991 by the Congressional Club and the Cancer Research
Foundation of America. Led by Linda Bachus, congressional spouse from
Alabama, it is a bipartisan outreach effort by the families of
Senate, House, Cabinet, and Supreme Court members. Congressional
spouses work in their respective states and home districts to focus
constituents attention on the importance of cancer awareness.