FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Four representatives first Congressional Advisory Committee
Bipartisan committee forms to provide expertise, advice and guidance in establishing legislative priorities for Fight Colorectal Cancer.
Alexandria, Va. – September 24, 2014 – Today Fight Colorectal Cancer announced the establishment of the Fight Colorectal Cancer Congressional Advisory Committee. Reps. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) will serve as inaugural members and advise Fight Colorectal Cancer through the establishment of legislative priorities that support the organization’s vision of victory over colorectal cancer.
“We couldn’t be more honored to have four highly respected members of Congress launch our Congressional Advisory Committee,” said Anjee Davis, president of Fight Colorectal Cancer. “Each member has shown a vested interest in our cause and is prepared to ensure colorectal cancer is a national priority on the Hill.”
Personal Connections to the Cause
Colorectal cancer impacts 1 in 20 Americans and is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Several of the inaugural committee members have been touched by colorectal cancer and support policies that will further colorectal cancer screening and treatment.
“My family has been devastated by this disease,” said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA). “As a member of Congress, I’ve worked to provide funds for research and support legislation aimed at fighting colorectal cancer. I want to make certain that other families don’t find themselves suffering through what mine did. I’m proud to join this new Congressional effort.”
Currently at play are bills working to increase medical research funding and fix loopholes that prevent life-saving screenings. Rep. Dent introduced H.R. 1070, Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, in 2013 to remove an error in Medicare law charging seniors a co-pay when they undergo a screening colonoscopy and a polyp is removed during the procedure. Currently the bill has 127 co-sponsors, including all four of the inaugural committee members.
In addition to co-signing H.R. 1070 and advocating for its support on the Hill, the office of Rep. Payne is also invested in the cause. In March 2014 Payne circulated a Dear Colleague requesting congressional recognition of March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, an effort that resulted in executive attention from the White House. Payne also hosted a Hill briefing with Fight Colorectal Cancer in July 2014 to inform key stakeholders and colleagues about the life-saving impact of supporting colorectal cancer policies and research.
“I am pleased to serve as an inaugural Honorary Congressional Advisory Committee member of Fight Colorectal Cancer,” said Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ). “After witnessing my father’s heartbreaking battle with this sometimes fatal, yet preventable and treatable cancer, it has become my mission to support the advocacy community to raise awareness, educate and help save lives. I look forward to working with Fight Colorectal Cancer on this critical mission.”
Whether witnessing a loved one experience cancer, or battling it personally like Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, all committee members are eager to help put cancer at the top of the priority list.
“I am honored to be a member of the Fight Colorectal Cancer Congressional Advisory Committee,” said Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA). “As a cancer survivor, I understand the significance of early detection and prevention. I am dedicated to working with my colleagues to remove barriers to life-saving cancer screenings. Through activism, dedication, and leadership, I believe we can win the fight against cancer.”
Role of the Committee
The Congressional Advisory Committee members will be tasked with providing guidance and staff support for better policies to address screening, awareness, regulatory and research issues related to prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer. The honorary members will also foster a greater recognition, support and coordination amongst policy makers and advocacy efforts and lend their voices to advance outreach efforts.
“I’ve joined the fight against colorectal cancer because cancer awareness is the best protection and well-rounded care during and after treatment is the best therapy,” said Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ). “The Fight Colorectal Cancer Congressional Advisory Committee will connect doctors, lawmakers and advocates in a united effort to end this terrible disease.”
Fight Colorectal Cancer established the committee to recognize the leadership and commitment of participating members of Congress and their staff.
“We’re known in the colorectal cancer community for our advocacy and our continual voice on the Hill,” said Davis. “It’s our mission to ensure survivor voices are heard, the legacy of those lost is remembered and that the lives of those we can save now is prioritized. We’re proud to march together with these dedicated offices and advance colorectal cancer policy.”
Committee Recognition Event
Fight Colorectal Cancer plans to host a formal event to recognize the Congressional Advisory Committee on the Hill as part of the 9th annual Call-on Congress March 16-18, 2015. Members of the media, other advocacy and colorectal cancer organizations, corporate partners and policy makers are welcome to attend. For updates on the event, visit FightCRC.org/Advocacy.
About Fight Colorectal Cancer
Fight Colorectal Cancer is a leading national colorectal cancer nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. Through patient education, advocacy, and research efforts the group spreads awareness and demands a cure for the second-leading killer in the United States. As the leading advocacy group, the organization serves as a resource for colorectal cancer patients, grassroots advocates, policy makers, medical professionals and health care providers. Learn more at http://www.FightColorectalCancer.org.