2021 Advocacy Accomplishments

Dear Friends,

2021 was yet another exceptional year for our communities, for our nation and for our mission to reduce death and suffering from cancer. Entering new phases of the COVID-19 pandemic demanded a remarkable level of flexibility and strategy as we continued to advocate at every level of government. Our responsibility to safeguard patients with cancer – many of whom face heightened risk of COVID-19 complications - and to do our part to boost rates for lifesaving cancer screenings that were delayed during the pandemic, were central themes throughout our advocacy agenda last year.

It comes as no surprise that through it all, ACS CAN volunteers rose to the challenge time and again with an enthusiasm to enact long-lasting change, an ability to pivot and transform the ways in which they advocated, and above all else demonstrating an unrelenting dedication to improving the lives of all those touched by the many diseases we call cancer. Our nationwide grassroots network remains ACS CAN’s most powerful resource and the driver of our success.

I was again proud of the meaningful progress ACS CAN achieved toward our goals to advance health equity for all communities. By partnering with lawmakers, civic leaders and organizations leading in this space, we prioritized efforts to address disparities in cancer care and health outcomes and helped center the voices of our diverse volunteers and partners. We ended 2021 even more resolute in our commitment to listening, learning, and taking action to ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat and survive cancer.

Our significant accomplishments last year were supported by our passionate volunteers, generous donors and the many individuals and organizations that partnered with us along the way – partnerships for which I’m incredibly thankful, and look forward to deepening in 2022.

I am immensely honored to be at the helm of the nation’s leading cancer advocacy organization. Thank you to all who advanced our ever-important mission of improving the lives of people with cancer and their loved ones.

Lisa A. Lacasse, MBA
President, ACS CAN

2021 ACS CAN Impact at a Glance

For 20 years, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) has empowered volunteers to make their voices heard and influence public policy change that saves lives from cancer. In 2021, we achieved meaningful impact in our mission to improve the lives of people with cancer and their families nationwide by advocating at every level of government.

Download infographic: English | Español

Who We Are

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for elected officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels by empowering advocates across the country to make their voices heard. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN staff work closely with American Cancer Society experts to identify and develop evidence-based public policies that promote access to prevention and early detection, treatment and follow-up care. ACS CAN is strictly nonpartisan and does not endorse, oppose or contribute to candidates or political parties. The only side ACS CAN takes is the side of people facing cancer and survivors.

Volunteers: The Heart of ACS CAN

We engage hundreds of thousands of remarkable individuals in every congressional district across the country to share their time, skills – and, importantly, their stories – to advance our mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN volunteers engage their elected officials through phone calls, emails, social media, letters and face-to-face meetings, and speak out in their communities, halls of the government and the media in support of public policies that help save lives from cancer.

Bringing Leaders Together in the Fight Against Cancer

We convene researchers, medical providers, patient advocates, business leaders and public officials to foster discussion and examine public policies that are critical in the fight against cancer.

Coalitions and Partnerships

We lead and partner with diverse and impactful organizations to advance our mission priorities and improve our reach among diverse communities across America. ACS CAN leads the One Voice Against Cancer Coalition (OVAC) to advocate for sustained cancer research funding and the Patient Quality of Life Coalition (PQLC) to advocate for expanded access to palliative care, and in 2021 we established the Patients and Caregivers for Paid Leave Coalition

Judicial Advocacy Initiative

We work with attorneys who donate time and expertise to help advance our mission by representing ACS CAN in influential court cases, regulatory proceedings and legislative drafting to further mission goals. Learn more about our Judicial Advocacy Initiative.

Expert Guidance

We leverage the expertise and insight of our Board of Directors, which is comprised of physicians, researchers, public health professionals, civic leaders and volunteers.

Gary Reedy

Gary Reedy

Gary M. Reedy retired as CEO of the American Cancer Society (ACS) and ACS CAN after serving in the role since 2015. In the 20 years since Mr. Reedy first volunteered with ACS, he was a steadfast supporter of ACS CAN’s advocacy efforts, serving on our Board of Directors and later taking the helm as chair. ACS CAN is grateful to Mr. Reedy for his extraordinary leadership and service.

Dr. Karen E. Knudsen

Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, Ph.D.

Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, stepped into the role of CEO in June 2021, the first female CEO in our history and the first scientific researcher to lead ACS since 1945. Dr. Knudsen understands firsthand the critical importance of public policy advocacy, working in tandem with accelerating discovery and expanding access to patient services, to advance our work to improve the lives of patients with cancer and their loved ones. She brings extensive experience from her roles as executive vice president of Oncology Services and enterprise director for Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health, and president of the Association of American Cancer Institutes.

Celebrating 20 Years of Cancer Advocacy

2021 marked ACS CAN’s 20th anniversary, a meaningful milestone that allowed for collective reflection on all that our organization has achieved since 2001. For 20 years, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, access to quality, affordable care, and helped make restaurants, bars and workplaces smoke-free, significantly influencing the fight against cancer through our public policy advocacy.

View a timeline of more than 50 major cancer advocacy milestones since 2001.

Hear directly from staff and volunteer leaders about how ACS CAN has evolved since 2001.

View an infographic of our significant impact on the fight against cancer thus far, including:

  • Sending 4 million messages to lawmakers to fight for cancer legislation.
  • Increasing the percentage of the U.S. population covered by comprehensive smoke-free laws from 2.6% in 2001 to 62.3% in 2021.
  • Advocating for patient protections in the Affordable Care Act through which an estimated 33.5 million Americans have health coverage.

While we hoped to celebrate in person in 2021, we found multiple ways throughout the year to unite virtually with volunteers and staff, past and present, to honor the last 20 years of ACS CAN:

  • 20th Anniversary Celebration in September, featuring trivia to reminisce on infamous ACS CAN events and memories over the years.
  • Cheers to 20 Years! event in December, featuring keynote speaker Chaunte Lowe, four-time Olympian and former U.S. record holder and breast cancer survivor.

Our Grassroots Power:
How We Deliver Impact

ACS CAN prides itself on bringing together advocates, policymakers, regulators, researchers and health care professionals with a shared goal of improving public health and reducing the burden of cancer. Our ability to influence meaningful change at every level and every branch of government derives from the power of our nationwide grassroots volunteer network. ACS CAN advocates share their stories with elected officials to help them understand their role in our mission to eliminate cancer.

ACS CAN honored loved ones and all those touched by cancer during our 11th annual Lights of Hope event. For the second year, the Lights of Hope Across America virtual format allowed volunteers to bring hope home with 55,000 decorated tributes nationwide in hundreds of cities across all 50 states. The event represented a 10% increase in volunteer fundraising over 2020 and a 200% increase in sponsorships. The livestreamed event was broadcast from the National Mall in Washington, D.C., featured advocates nationwide and included remarks from: Sandi Cassese, ACS CAN Board Chair; Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, American Cancer Society and ACS CAN CEO; Jacqueline Beale, ACS CAN National Ambassador Team member; U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Roy Blunt (R-MO); and Chris Boerner, chief commercialization officer, Bristol Myers Squibb.

ACS CAN’s 15th annual Leadership Summit & Lobby Day (LS&LD) brought together virtually more than 500 volunteers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia together virtually to meet with more than 450 congressional offices, including 100 member-level meetings and nearly 160 senior-level meetings.

Advocates asked lawmakers to support policy changes to increase affordability of insurance coverage; increase funding for critical cancer research and prevention programs; and support the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act, which would help Medicare patients access innovative screening technology once FDA-approved and clinical benefit is shown. 

ACS CAN again pivoted many of our state lobby days to online engagement to ensure our volunteers’ voices were heard throughout 2021.

  • Alaska volunteers met with 30% of the state legislature, urging lawmakers to support comprehensive tobacco prevention efforts including funding the tobacco control program. During one of the meetings, an ACS CAN volunteer was invited by his senator to provide testimony about e-cigarettes in an upcoming committee hearing, another example of the power of grassroots mobilizing!
  • State Senate Majority Leader Debbie Mayfield (R-FL) spoke at the kickoff rally for Florida’s successful Cancer Action Week, and later mentioned her meeting with our volunteers in her Mayfield Minute newsletter.
  • Fifty ACS CAN advocates joined nearly 200 other Minnesotans from across the state for their Minnesotans for a Smoke-free Generation Week of Action to urge legislators to support comprehensive policies to protect the next generation from the dangers of tobacco use. 

Mission Impact

Access to Care

Access to quality, affordable health care is an essential piece of ACS CAN’s mission to reduce death and suffering from cancer. Insurance status directly impacts health outcomes, and existing disparities in cancer care are largely attributed to barriers in accessing health care services, including lack of adequate coverage. ACS CAN fights across the nation to break down these barriers and ensure everyone can access the health care they deserve.

In 2021, our volunteers spoke out on behalf of all those impacted by serious diseases like cancer and shared their stories to emphasize how crucial access to care is.

  • Tim and Mariah were featured in a New York Times article covering the potential impact of the Build Back Better Act. Both emphasized how life-changing increased access to care was – and is – for them. Read more
  • Amanda shared with St. Louis Public Radio how Medicaid expansion in Missouri brings her “peace of mind that her care will be paid for.” Read more
  • Butch shared on Twitter his motivation for volunteering with ACS CAN is to “speak for those who may not have the ability to get this done,” including people who are uninsured or underinsured. Read more

Among the most celebrated wins in 2021 was the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act. This long-awaited victory came after years of coordinated efforts by patient advocates to defend and strengthen the law, throughout which ACS CAN played an integral role by leading 19 organizations in filing amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs in this case. We were thrilled about this decision, which preserves the critical patient protections upon which so many Americans depend.

Expanding access to care through state Medicaid programs is a top priority for ACS CAN, particularly as the pandemic highlighted the critical need for more equitable access to care. Advances in 2021 included:

  • Fighting for two major provisions in the Build Back Better Act:
    • Temporarily closing the coverage gap in the 12 states that have refused to expand Medicaid by allowing low-income individuals to enroll in $0 premium marketplace plans through 2025. ACS CAN had strongly advocated for this policy including speaking out to lawmakers and launching an ad campaign urging Congress to prioritize this issue.
  • Advocating for permanently increasing funding for the U.S. territories, where years of inadequate funding has exacerbated health disparities.
  • Serving as a leading voice in the effort to implement voter-approved Medicaid expansion in Missouri. The state Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Missouri must implement expansion, meaning more than 275,000 low-income individuals gained access to affordable health coverage. ACS CAN elevated the perspectives of people with cancer and survivors throughout the process.
  • Uniting with other leading patient groups to launch a coalition in support of Medicaid expansion in South Dakota. More than 42,000 low-income individuals would gain access to care through Medicaid expansion.
  • Capitalizing on momentum in Wyoming to influence the first-ever House passage of legislation to expand Medicaid, laying the groundwork for future efforts. Our work included activating nearly 700 targeted calls to legislators and strategic social media ads, op-eds and earned media ahead of a key vote.
  • Launching digital ads through the Medicaid Covers US public education project, featuring stories of patients, survivors and health care providers sharing the lifesaving benefits of this program.

Increasing access to care through Medicaid is a key component of our health equity agenda.


Innovative research, including by the American Cancer Society, continues to determine how new screening technology can test for many different types of cancers at once. This innovative science could lead to detecting cancer at earlier stages and give patients more treatment options and a better prognosis. ACS CAN led efforts to introduce and advocate for the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act, legislation that would lay the groundwork for Medicare to have a reimbursement pathway for multi-cancer early detection tests if approved by the FDA and shown to have clinical benefit – an important step toward our ultimate goal of increased access to care for all. Our advocacy efforts have garnered substantial bicameral and bipartisan support for the legislation.

ACS CAN launched a new advertising campaign in support of this legislation. Digital and print ads ran in Washington, D.C., as well as select markets nationwide, noting how this technology could revolutionize how we approach cancer screening.

We launched a nationwide multi-state campaign to educate lawmakers about the importance of expanding coverage of biomarker testing, an essential step in accessing precision medicine treatments. Despite its benefits and proven role in improving cancer outcomes, access to precision medicine has not kept pace with the rate of innovation, and disparities exist in which patients have access to these advancements. ACS CAN collaborated with more than 20 partner organizations to host 13 briefings for policymakers in targeted states to hear from patients and medical experts about this critical issue. ACS CAN led efforts to support the passage of first-in-the-nation legislation in Illinois to expand coverage of biomarker testing, a major win that we will continue fighting for in other states in years to come. ACS CAN also supported similar legislation in Louisiana to expand insurance coverage of biomarker testing.

Increasing access to biomarker testing is a key component of our health equity agenda.

Select 2021 accomplishments to increase access to and affordability of care included:

  • Ensuring the American Rescue Plan included multiple provisions to increase access to health coverage for millions of Americans, including increased subsidies to cover the costs of marketplace health plans and financial support for premium costs for laid off workers. ACS CAN also advocated throughout the year for the extension of those increased subsidies to provide additional relief to people facing cancer and survivors.
  • Advocating to cap Medicare enrollees’ out-of-pocket drug costs and allowing patients to spread out their copayments throughout the year, a policy we will continue to pursue.
  • Working with the administration to ensure all patients are protected from surprise medical bills when the No Surprises Act, which prohibits providers from billing patients for care that was out-of-network through no fault of the patient, went into effect January 1, 2022.
  • Campaigning in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Texas and Rhode Island for legislation that eliminates barriers to colorectal cancer screening tests, including eliminating cost sharing for colonoscopies that are needed following a positive stool-based test, for people 45 and older, removing a major financial barrier to cancer care.
  • Successfully urging Kansas Governor Laura Kelly to veto a bill that would have exposed more individuals to inadequate, short-term limited-duration health plans that lack the patient protections required by federal law.
  • Helping to pass a bill in Illinois that requires health insurers to offer more plans with flat-dollar copayments for prescription drugs, making costs more predictable for patients.
  • Supporting legislation in Arkansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Oklahoma that would require insurers to count all payments for prescription drugs made by patients directly or on their behalf – including through a financial assistance program – toward their deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.

ACS CAN established the Patients and Caregivers for Paid Leave Coalition in 2021 to leverage ongoing conversations around creating a national paid leave program. We led the 36-member group in framing these discussions through the patient and caregiver lenses, and strongly advocated for the inclusion of a paid leave program in the Build Back Better Act under negotiation. An ACS CAN survey found that 74% of people with cancer and survivors missed work due to their illness, most of whom reported missing more than four weeks of work, so we’ll continue fighting for this important policy.

Many insurance plans have step therapy policies in place that require patients to try less expensive, potentially less effective drugs before the plan will cover their physician-recommended prescriptions. Not having timely access to treatment presents a particular challenge for patients suffering from life-threatening or chronic diseases like cancer.

  • ACS CAN and our volunteers achieved victories in Arizona and Arkansas in 2021, with signed legislation that will place limits on step therapy policies. These states join more than 30 others in enacting similar legislation to improve access to care.
  • We also successfully advocated for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reject proposed changes that would have allowed Medicare Part D plans to limit coverage of certain drugs.

Accelerating Cures

Advancements in cancer research are essential to driving discovery, saving lives and advancing our fight against this disease. The ability to ensure innovative breakthrough reach those who need them most depends on sustained, year-over-year increases in funding for cancer research, as well as addressing barriers to clinical trial participation.

ACS CAN advocated throughout the year for sustained investment in cancer priorities across key federal agencies and state governments, emphasizing that flat funding would risk the significant progress we’ve made in the fight against cancer.

We were excited by the Biden administration's commitment to “end cancer as we know it” and the proposed Advanced Research Project Agency for Health (ARPA-H), a new agency likely housed within the National Institutes of Health that would be dedicated to accelerating the pace of biomedical research for rare and difficult-to-treat diseases like cancer. ACS CAN was invited several times to provide input on the structure and development of this important agency.

  • A year-end continuing resolution extended federal government funding through February 18, 2022. ACS CAN continued to advocate for substantially increased funding for the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s cancer programs.
  • New Jersey lawmakers approved a historic investment in cancer research, doubling the state’s investment in the New Jersey Commission on Cancer Research to $4 million. Our volunteers advocated to secure this increase throughout the legislative session.
  • ACS CAN advocates in Texas helped to ensure renewal of the legislature’s commitment to appropriate funding for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), paving the way for continued research innovation and preventive services across the state. CPRIT is the largest state cancer research investment in the nation.

ACS CAN led advocacy efforts to introduce the bipartisan, bicameral DIVERSE Trials Act, legislation that would help increase diversity in clinical trials by allowing trial sponsors to reimburse patients for non-medical costs like travel, food and lodging. More than 150 organizations representing patients, providers and health equity advocates signed onto our letter of support to Congress, which has garnered significant bipartisan, bicameral support. ACS CAN also submitted comments on the introduced Cures 2.0 Act which included provisions to encourage diversity in clinical trials, as well as funding for ARPA-H.

A significant barrier to enrollment in clinical trials is simply identifying relevant trials. ACS CAN is leading community efforts to develop, test, and incentivize the use of more universal clinical trial eligibility screening. In 2021 the efforts resulted in expanded partnerships, technology development, and feasibility testing, with in-person piloting scheduled for 2022.

Increasing diversity in clinical trials is a key component of our health equity agenda.

Prevention and Early Detection

A significant number of cancer deaths can be prevented by fully leveraging the knowledge, tools and breakthroughs available to us today, including prevention and early detection tools. Another key piece of ACS CAN’s advocacy agenda is reducing the toll of tobacco use, our nation’s number one cause of preventable death. Select 2021 accomplishments include:

In May, the Food and Drug Administration announced its intention to prohibit menthol flavoring in combustible cigarettes and all flavors in cigars within a year, a long overdue step forward in reducing youth initiation and curbing Big Tobacco’s targeting of Black communities. The announcement was a direct result of a lawsuit against the agency filed by partner groups, which was based on a petition that ACS CAN and other groups filed with the FDA in 2013 and updated in 2021 as part of our years-long advocacy efforts urging the FDA to exercise its full regulatory authority over flavored tobacco products.

As a direct result of a lawsuit brought by ACS CAN and our tobacco control partners, in late summer and early fall the FDA finally began issuing decisions on whether to authorize certain e-cigarette products. Unfortunately, even under a court-ordered deadline, the agency has failed to make determinations on the products comprising the vast majority of the market, including JUUL’s flavored products. ACS CAN submitted evidence asserting that JUUL’s flavored e-cigarette products have greatly contributed to the youth tobacco epidemic, and we continue to urge the agency to issue decisions – especially after new data found that more than 2 million middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes in 2021. At the end of 2021, ACS CAN also filed multiple amicus curiae (or “friend of the court”) briefs defending the agency’s decisions to take certain flavored e-cigarettes off the market when manufacturers sued to keep them on the shelves.

Combating the tobacco industry’s targeting of communities of color is a key component of our health equity agenda.

ACS CAN fought for improved tobacco control measures across the country in 2021. Highlights included:

  • ACS CAN partnering with 70+ organizations in a two-year effort to pass legislation in the District of Columbia that ends the sale of some flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and e-cigarettes. We continued to urge elected officials to take the necessary steps to fund and implement this important law.
  • ACS CAN celebrating Hawaii Governor David Ige’s veto of legislation that would eliminate the funding stream for the state’s critical tobacco control program, which for two decades has dramatically reduced smoking rates and improved public health. ACS CAN advocates lobbied strategically throughout the legislative session to ensure Hawaii’s youth are protected from the dangers of tobacco use.
  • In Kentucky, ACS CAN advocates successfully defeating a proposed cigar bar exemption amendment to the local Louisville smoke-free ordinance. Advocates had conducted calls to the Louisville Metro Council to share our opposition to the amendment.
  • Our Maryland team celebrating a major win when the state legislature voted to override the governor’s veto of legislation to increase the state’s cigarette tax by $1.75 per pack, expected to decrease smoking in youth under the age of 18 by 18.2%.
  • Montana advocates applauding the legislature’s decision to uphold the state’s longstanding Clean Indoor Air Act by tabling a bill that would have undermined existing smoke-free protections.

Cancer screening saves lives by detecting disease early when it is easier to treat. The need for fully funded cancer screening programs was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, both due to many patients delaying preventive care and the number of people newly uninsured due to losing their employer-sponsored coverage. ACS CAN collaborated with the Institute for Medicaid Innovation on a that found eligibility for breast and cervical cancer screening programs increased in over 30 states in 2020 compared to 2019.

  • ACS CAN successfully advocated to increase or protect funding for breast and cervical cancer early detection programs in 43 states in 2021.
  • The Ohio Department of Health expanded Medicaid eligibility for treatment of individuals who are diagnosed with cancer through the state’s breast and cervical cancer program, a change ACS CAN worked with state lawmakers to pursue.

Health Equity

Cancer impacts everyone, but it doesn’t impact everyone equally. Significant disparities in cancer prevention, screening and treatment persist, meaning not every individual has an equitable opportunity to survive and thrive after cancer. ACS CAN holds a strong commitment to addressing these disparities and advancing health equity in communities nationwide. In 2021, we prioritized public policy changes that break down barriers to care and partnered with organizations leading this work across the country.

Successfully fighting cancer depends on access to timely, high-quality affordable health care, yet substantial disparities exist in certain communities’ ability to access the care they deserve. Learn more.

  • The Medicaid Covers US project hosted virtual events to highlight the importance of Medicaid in our work to reduce health disparities.
  • Medicaid in the US Territories: How Inequitable Funding Exacerbates Health Disparities explored the role of Medicaid in Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories and featured patients, health care providers and Medicaid administrators discussing the importance of Medicaid in addressing health disparities, responding to natural disasters and the pandemic as well as the major problems caused by block grant funding for Medicaid and the uncertainty of supplemental funding.
  • Improving access to biomarker testing is important for advancing health equity. Notable racial, ethnic and socioeconomic disparities exist in accessing and utilizing this innovation. Learn more. ACS CAN held an educational briefing about this topic with the National Black Caucus of State Legislators in 2021, highlighting actions lawmakers can take to bridge these gaps.

Research is critical to accelerating the fight against cancer, but barriers to participation mean that clinical trials do not accurately reflect the face of cancer in our country. Learn more.

  • Communities of color and other groups that are medically underserved have higher cancer rates and are underrepresented in cancer clinical trials, which is why increasing access to clinical trials is a top priority for ACS CAN by advocating for the DIVERSE Trials Act. Our survey found that financial barriers are a major factor in patient willingness and ability to participate.
  • ACS CAN released Cancer Research and Disparities: Understanding and Addressing the Issues, which takes an in-depth look at disparities across all areas of cancer research and recommends policy solutions to address the gaps.

Early detection of cancer through screening can reduce mortality from certain cancers, but inequitable access means certain individuals are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage. Learn more.

We continue to see significant disparities in tobacco use by socioeconomic status, race and ethnicity, educational level and sexual orientation, largely perpetuated by the tobacco industry’s predatory tactics. For example, tobacco use by adults with a household income less than $35,000 a year is double that of adults with an income greater than $100,000. Learn more.

  • Big Tobacco has aggressively and intentionally targeted communities of color, low-income communities and LGBTQ+ communities with flavored tobacco products – in particular, menthol products. As a result, Black individuals consistently report the highest prevalence of menthol cigarette use, which is why ACS CAN strongly advocates to end the sale of all flavored products including menthol.
  • U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, PhD, ACS CAN Board member and president of The Links, Incorporated, joined ACS CAN for a Facebook Live event to discuss health equity. Rochester spoke about her Quit Because of COVID-19 Act, which will make it easier for Medicaid enrollees to successfully quit smoking.
  • La Opinión, the nation’s most-read Spanish-language newspaper, published an op-ed authored by a Los Angeles pediatrician in partnership with ACS CAN, in support of our efforts urging the City Council to pass an ordinance prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco including menthol.
  • As part of ACS CAN’s Cancer Votes electoral program, we partnered with local radio stations in Atlanta to air promos and interviews during the mayoral race and runoff, focused on the health disparities resulting from tobacco use.

ACS CAN, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the National Minority Quality Forum joined together to present recommendations for policy and practice changes to overcome inequity in cancer care and directly address the disparities and racial bias experienced by communities of color as part of the Elevating Cancer Equity Project. Co-led by ACS Board Member, Robert Winn, MD, director and Lipman chair in Oncology of VCU Massey Cancer Center, these recommendations inform our future efforts to have more impact in reducing cancer disparities.

ACS CAN greatly values our ongoing partnerships with members of the Congressional Tri-Caucuses in our collective commitment to eliminate health disparities and drive action toward policy solutions.

  • ACS CAN sponsored virtual events for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference that examined racial disparities in cancer screenings during the pandemic and how to reengage the Black community in screening, as well as how racial disparities impact cancer survival. We also sponsored the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Health Summit, during which Carmen Guerra, MD, MSCE, FACP, American Cancer Society Board Scientific Officer, spoke about the importance of breaking down financial barriers to clinical trial participation. 
  • ACS CAN was proud to sponsor the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies’ 2021 Health Summit, and provide the cancer perspective in a panel on health equity and digital health during COVID-19, alongside U.S. Representative Judy Chu (D-CA), chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
  • ACS CAN sponsored Urban One’s Engaging Black America special supplement, an annual publication shared with members of Congress. ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse co-authored an editorial piece with Robert Carlson, MD, CEO of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and Gary Puckrein, PhD, president and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum, on the critical need to address the longstanding barriers to clinical trial participation for diverse populations, particularly Black Americans.

2021: Adapting Our Cancer Fight

Return to Screening

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact aspects of the health care continuum, including cancer screenings and other preventive care. An ACS CAN Survivor Views survey in June 2021 found that 1 in 3 (35%) people with cancer and survivors reported the pandemic affected their ability to access care, with 1 in 6 reporting a delay or interruption in their cancer screening schedule. The American Cancer Society launched a nationwide effort to restore and even exceed pre-pandemic screening rates, an effort that ACS CAN supported through public policy advocacy. This critical work has continued through the American Cancer Society Get Screened initiative.

ACS CAN urged Congress to protect and increase funding for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP), the only nationally organized cancer screening program for breast and cervical cancer for people in the U.S. who are underserved. The NBCCEDP is highly effective at detecting and treating these cancers in a population that may otherwise not be screened, but, according to most recent data, less than 2 in 10 eligible people received screenings through this critical program.

  • ACS CAN launched a new ad campaign urging lawmakers to prioritize increased funding for the NBCCEDP, emphasizing the gap in those eligible compared to those getting screened through the program.
  • ACS CAN successfully advocated to increase or protect funding for breast and cervical cancer early detection programs in 43 states in 2021.
  • ACS CAN successfully advocated in five states for policies that eliminate cost sharing for preventive colorectal cancer screening tests for people 45 and older who need a follow-up colonoscopy following a positive stool-based test.
  • ACS CAN collaborated with the Institute for Medicaid Innovation on a study that found eligibility for breast and cervical cancer screening programs increased in over 30 states in 2020 compared to 2019.

Protecting Immunocompromised Patients

One of the defining highlights of 2021 was the development and rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations. ACS CAN advocated that people facing cancer be prioritized in the vaccine distribution given their immunocompromised status.

  • Two ACS CAN volunteers were featured in a Washington Post article sharing their experiences as people with cancer trying to access COVID-19 vaccines.

A number of state legislatures considered harmful legislation that would undermine vaccine requirements that help protect immunocompromised patients including those with cancer. ACS CAN spoke out against these measures on behalf of the millions of individuals with chronic illnesses like cancer, and their families. As a public health organization, ACS CAN believes the health and safety of the patients we serve is our top priority, and we will continue to oppose efforts that undermine evidence-based, public health policies.

Special Thanks and Recognition


Anderson & Kreiger

Democracy Forward


K&L Gates

Hogan Lovells

Kilpatrick Townsend

King & Spalding

Morrison & Foerster

Zuckerman Spaeder



Bristol Myers Squibb

Exact Sciences Corporation



Janssen Oncology

Merck & Co., Inc.

New Venture Fund


Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America


AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals


ClearWay Minnesota

Eli Lilly and Company

EMD Serono


Fight Colorectal Cancer

Foundation Medicine



McKesson Corporation






Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Boston Properties





Seattle Cancer Care Alliance


American Clinical Laboratory Association



Avid Hospice


Blueprint Medicines

Boehringer Ingelheim

Boston Children's Hospital

Cancer Center at Brown University


City of Hope

CRISPR Therapeutics

Daiichi Sankyo, Inc.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

G1 Therapeutics, Inc.

Guardant Health

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield


Inova Schar Cancer Institute


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


Myriad Genetics


Sanford Health


Third Rock Ventures

Thomas Jefferson University

United States Pharmacopeia

USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

WuXi AppTec


Amica Mutual Insurance Company

Biocom California

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Empire Health Foundation


GCI Communication

Hartford HealthCare

Harvard Medical School

Holy Cross Hospital

Idaho Society of Clinical Oncology

INOVIO Pharmaceuticals

Intermountain Healthcare

Karmanos Cancer Network

Landmark Medical Center


Massachusetts Biotechnology Council

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

McLaren Health Care

Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center

Miami Cancer Institute

Moffitt Cancer Center Malignant Hematology & Cellular Therapy at Memorial Healthcare System

National Association of Chain Drug Stores

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island

New England Laborers’ Health & Safety Fund

Northwell Health

Oregon Oncology Specialists

PacificSource Health Plans

Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara, LLC

Peace Health

Penn Medicine Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


Roche Diagnostics

Sellas Life Sciences Group

Sentara Healthcare


Society of Utah Medical Oncologists

Texas Society of Clinical Oncology

The Cancer Center at Tufts Medical Center

Tombras Group

UAW International


University of Virginia Cancer Center

VCU Health System Authority

Women & Infants Hospital

Scarlott Mueller

William Underriner

Dr. Richard Deming

Dr. Douglas Kelsey

Maureen Mann

John J. Manna Jr.

Omar Rashid, MD, JD

Michael Shult

Dr. Bruce Waldholtz


Dave Alber

John & Bridgette Alfonso

Mark Anderson

Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corporation

James & Kathleen Bond

Boston University – Boston Medical Center

Keysha Brooks-Coley

Sandra Cassese

Cassia County Fair & Rodeo


P. Kay Coleman

Molly Daniels

Dr. Margaret Drugay

e4h Environments for Health Architecture

Dr. Elizabeth Fontham

Dr. Lewis Foxhall

Hilary Gee Goeckner

Dr. Mark Goldberg & Dr. Ursula Kaiser

hodes & landy

Bernard Jackvony

Jim Knox

Grace Kurak

Michael Kurak

Lisa Lacasse & Bruce Lesley

Unice Lieberman

Dr. Scott & Mary Lippman

Dr. Donna Lundy

Sara Mannetter

Michael Marquardt

Massachusetts Society of Clinical Oncologists

Medical Oncology Association of Southern California

Dr. Karen Moffitt

James Murphy

Philip R. O’Brien

OU Health

Providence Health & Services

Ujwala Deshmane Rajgopal, MD, FACS, FICS

Jose Ramos Jr.

Gary & Cindy Reedy

Carolyn Rhee

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Emanuel & Marilyn Rouvelas

Mary Rouvelas & William Gould

Dr. Christy Russell

Dr. Stephen Sener

Daniel Smith

Carter Steger

Gary & Susan Streit

Subject Matter

Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Oncology

Allison Jones Thomson

Dr. & Mrs. Alan Thorson

Pam Traxel

University of Washington Medical Center

Dr. Shalini Vallabhan

Wake Forest Baptist Health

Washington State Medical Association


AARP Nebraska

AARP Rhode Island


Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association

Alera Group Northeast

American Lung Association

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Atrium Health

Autumn Allen Your Real Estate Gladiator

Bank of Rhode Island

Bank on Buffalo

Joseph Barbetta

Barbara Behal

Benefis Health System

David Benson

Jocelyn Bernson

Bernstein Shur

Betty & Smith

Billings Clinic

Bio Nebraska

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island

Blue Cross of Idaho

Kathy Bonnette

Bozeman Health

Tamara Brookfield

Broward Regional Health Planning Council, Inc.

Marissa Brown

California Life Sciences

Cambridge Savings Bank


Carson Higgins Memorial Foundation

Pearl Carter


Castle Biosciences

Catholic Health Services and Catholic Hospice

Charlotte Radiology

CharterCARE Health Partners

Cherry Tree Wealth Management

CHRISTUS St. Frances Cabrini Hospital

Clean Eatz

Cleveland Clinic Main Campus

Clinical Trials Education Network of Wisconsin

Columbus Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma

Cool Air, Inc.

Cornerstone Government Affairs

Covering Kids & Families Indiana

Alissa Crispino

Dr. Kevin Cullen

Linda Daschle

Norman Davis

Diana Diaz

Barbara Diver

George Diver Jr.

Jennifer Dockum

Denis Ducey

Dr. Nancy Duckles 

Espousal Strategies


F.L.Putnam Investment Management Company

Fairway Fast Mortgage

Jeff Fehlis

Dr. Mark Fleury

Geisinger Health System

Dan Glickman


Dr. Willie Goffney Jr.

The Honorable Maryellen Goodwin 

Rebecca Greene

Leslie Hand

Christopher Hansen

Jennifer Hawks Bland

Karyl Hayden

Health Forward Foundation

Dr. Enrique Hernandez

Michael Holtz

Ronald Hoover

Hospital Sisters Health System

Stephen Howell

Kevin Howley

Ye Hua

Paul Hull

Dr. Barry Hummel Jr.

Brian Hummell

Illinois CancerCare, P.C.

Indiana Oncology Society

Invitae Corporation

Iowa Biotechnology Association

Kim Isenberg

Farrell Jackson

Sharon Johnson

Kaiser Permanente

Kay Kamm

Mel Katz

Carolyn Katzin

Keesler Federal Credit Union

Cynthia Kellogg

Keudell Morrison Wealth Management, LLC

John Killpack

Michael Kinch

Anita Kinney

Marianne Kipper

Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD

Leak Sealers, Inc.

Cynthia LeBlanc, EdD

Loftus Family Foundation

Ann Long

Cheryl Lucarell

Joe Marchetta

Vincent Marchetta

Jeannine Marks

Anya Martin

Jeffrey Martin

Kathy Ann Martin

Margaret McCaffery

McDermott Quilty & Miller, LLP

Melissa McLain

Medical Alley Association

Miami Beach Community Health Center

Madalene Milano

Minnesota Council of Health Plans


Mississippi Association of Health Plans

Mississippi Hospital Association

Montana State Oncology Society

Montana’s Credit Unions

Amber Morgan

John Mossberg Jr.

Mountain Health CO-OP

N&D Transportation Company, Inc.

Laura Nathan, PhD

Navigant Credit Union

Michael Neal

Nebraska Medicine

Nebraska Oncology Society

Nova Southeastern University

Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Olson Remcho

Oregon Nurses Association

Oregonian Media Group

Kathy Ottele

Janine Patterson

Perry Undem, LLC

Timothy Phillips

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

Tyler Piekarski

Dr. Marcus Plescia

Prisma Health System

Providence St. John’s Health Center

Public Opinion Strategies, LLC

R & R Tree Service

Rapides Regional Medical Center

Michael Reich

Reser’s Cares Account

Lee Resta

Katie Riley

Will Ris

The River Church, Inc.

Riverside Medical Center

The RK Home Group

Robert Boissoneault Oncology Institute

Rockland Trust

Carolina Rowland

Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Saint Alphonsus Research Institute

Jeffrey Schultz

SCL Health

Evan Segal

The Seyboth Team Century 21

Kathleen Shannon-Dorcy

Dr. Laura Shawver

Peter Sheldon

The Silverberg Family

Dr. Cardinale Smith

David Smith

Soapbox Consulting

South Dakota Biotech

South Hampton Resources, Inc.

St. Luke’s Cancer Institute

Paul Stadfeld

State Farm

Stephen A. Comunale Jr. Family Cancer Foundation

Rebecca Stevenson

Dr. Tracey Stokes

Stowe & Degon, LLC

Surescripts, LLC

Tarplin, Downs & Young, LLC

George Ternes

Thompson Cancer Survival Center


Tricel Corporation

UC Davis Health


UF Health Shands

University of Illinois Cancer Center

Dr. Michael Vasconcelles

Virginia Mason Medical Center

Thomas Walles

Walmart Super Center – Nampa

Washington Trust Wealth Management

Rebecca Weintraub

Willmeng Construction, Inc.

Winning Connections, Inc.

Marilyn Winter

Wolfe County Farm Bureau Insurance

The Wracher Family

WVP Health Authority

George Young III

Margaret Yuen

Jerry Zhang


Josie Abboud

Paul Adam

Matthew Adams

Jim Anderson

Anita Bales

Baltimore Life

Chris Banaszak

Lynda Barbour

Cheryl Bartetzko

Schuler Bauer

Lucien Beaudry

Renee Behring

Bioscience Association of Maine

Alleson Bixler

David Bonfilio

James Borchardt

Randall Born

Richard Bounce

Shirley Brofee

Carol Browne

Phyllis Cafaro

Elizabeth Carde

Cary Medical Center

Cataldo Ambulance Service

CBC Federal Credit Union

Bennett Choice

City of Cullman Parks & Recreation Board

The Communication Center

Lois Conn

Karen Connor

Consultants In Gastroenterology, Columbia SC

Roger Crawford

Crowley Fleck PLLP Attorneys

Rodger Currie

Susan Danenberger

Maureen Davis

Denise Delisser

Amanda Demane

Cynthia Dickson

Philip Dregalla

Sharon Dymnioski

Jennifer Eckert

Natalia Edwards

Damian Eonta

Jamie Escoto

Joan Farmer

Fidelity Brokerage Services, LLC

Fieldstone Family Homes, Inc.

Margaret Fischbach

Flince Research + Design

Cary Franklin

James Frederico

Kim Fredrickson

Gastrointestinal Associates, PC

Robert Gengler

Giant Eagle

Bernadette Glenn

Gilles Godard

James Gray

Kimberly Green

Green Acres Landscape

Janet Grove

Ava Hage

Meloni Hallock

Kathryn Hansen

Health Services, Inc.

Robert Henkle Jr.

Hennepin Healthcare

John Heraz

Dr. Lars Heumann

Debbie Higgins

Eunice Hostetter

Huggins Insurance Services, Inc.

John Hussar

Jessica Hyfford

Inland Valley Federal Credit Union

Iowa Cancer Consortium

Stephen Jackson

Dr. Esther Jacobs

Valerie Janke

Betty Johnson

Bryte Johnson Jr.

Julie Johnson

Mary Johnson

Jonathan Hoff Memorial Shoot – Shootin’ For A Cure

Linda Karin

William Kelly

Donna Kemberling

Robert Kersh II

Kinard Consulting

Knights of Columbus

Margaret Kwadrat

Marc Lacasse

Deborah LaClair

Langco + Partners

Margaret Larkins-Pettigrew

David Lauer

Rose Marie Layman

Liz Legg

Lehrer Cumming

Daniel Lemieux

Joshua Levitats

Beth Lewis

Robert Lucarell

Madland Toyota-Lift, Inc.

Joe Paul Mann

MAS, Inc.

Bonnie May

Carolyn McAnallen

McClain Lodge, LLC

Karen McKay

James McKeogh

Kendra McLaughlin

Fred Meng

Katherine Miceli

Karen Moilanen

Mariah Monks

Montana Association of Health Care Purchasers

Montana BioScience Alliance

Patti Morris

Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation

Mike Myers

Diana Navarre

Nancy Neel

Rachel Nelson

Debra Nevels

Northcross Group

Nu-Yale Cleaners

Old National Bancorp

Mary Olsen Baker

Carrie Olson

David Olson

Albert Orr

Grace Pabalan

Tamara Palmer Nance

Teresa Parker

Cara Pearlman

C.B. Pearson

Steven Perlman

Cathy Peters

David Peterson

Alice Pomponio

Eugenia Posada

Premier Surgical Associates, PLLC

Erin Purcell

Lois Ramer

Red Bluff Round Up Association

Red Threads, LLC

Resources for Change

Tiana Richardson

Alan Roberts

Allison Rossett

Donna Russo

Patricia Ryan

Allen Schlinsog

Herbert Schmitz

Peter Sedlak

Michael Semenza

Linda Shaner

Marilynn Shaw

Kirsten Sloan

Charles Smith

Thomas Snodgrass

Betty Sparrow

Gwen Spencer

Catherine Standiford

Sue Stewart

Greg Storm

Diana Sulewski

The Summit Group of Oregon, LLC

Timothy Swen

Paul Sylling

Dr. Eric Taylor

Rosalind Taylor

Tennessee School of Beauty of Knoxville, Inc.

Teri’s Package Store

Leon Thomas


Margaret Timmel

William Tobin

Janet Todrank-Koressel

Tops Markets

Bing Ching Sophia Tsai

Julie Turner

William Turpin

Heidi Varner

Amanda Walker


Teresa Warnock

Marni Watkins

Megan Wessel

Carol Westfall

Dr. Richard White Jr.

Nan Whitmore

Keith Whittemore

Willamette Orthopedic Group, LLC

Carolyn Williams-Goldman

Anne Wilson

John Woodward

Lisa Worthington

Louise Wright

Joel Young


Abe’s Trash Service, Inc.

Alyce Adams

Steven Ai

Sean Alexander

John Alfano

Anderson Crocker Partners

Davin Aoyagi

Patricia Avery

Caroline Baker

Lance Barbour

Shelly Barsanti

Karla Batt

Frances Beeson

Barry Bendar

Jan Bennett

Vincent Beres

Betty Berger

Steven Bernitz

Karen Beshak

Douglas Bland

Michele Bloch

Brittney Block

Eileen Boerger

Julianne Bokenkamp

Michael Bovenzi

Virginia Brase

Anthony Brekke

Lori Bremner

Gloria Brooks

Larri Broomfield

John Buscher

Ron Butler

Theresa Bylone

Maria Cabrera

Anthony Cafaro Jr.

Carol Cafaro

Calvin Cagle Jr.

Grant Cale

Jackie Cale

Glenn Callihan

Mark Cameli

William Cance, MD, FACS

Carlino Law Associates

Ellen Cartun

Kay Casper

Jolynne Cavener

Lucas Cavener

Chaney Family Dental

Sharon Charette

Charities Aid Foundation of America

Roseanne Clevenger

Tiffany Cloud

Carolyn Coatoam

Lauren Coatoam

Nancy Coleman

Linda Cookingham

Kathleen Copelen

Patrick Costanzo

Dawn Crocker

Catherine Davies

Robert Dickey

E. Andrew Disabatino, Jr.

Meghan Divin

Rick Donner

Katie Donnewald

Dawn Donovan

Jackie Dunn

Marcia Earle

Bryan Earnest

Anita Eerdmans

Fred Eldridge

Dodi Emmons

Dr. Susan Escudier

Glenn Eyrich

Tracey Faiazi

Patricia Falconer

Jeff Fantozzi

Christopher Farrington

Corinne Finnerty

First Baptist Church of Fannin

Deb Fischer-Clemens

David Fisher

Kathy Flaherty

Lesa Foster

George Franck

Haviland Franck

Jeff Fuller

Jeffrey Gagnon Sr.

Janice Gainey

Fisher Galash

A. Garcia

Gloria Garcia

Lori Garcia

Robert Gaskin

Gastroenterology Specialties, P.C.

Carol Gerson

Miles Goda

Janis Gonzales

Kay Graven

Natatia Griffith

Jamie Gross

Ellen Guerrettaz-Buelow

Maria Guyette

Eric Hagemeier

Loren Halifax

Daphne Hall

Marcus Hall

William Hall

Bryan Hannon

Trista Hargrove

Todd Hauptli

Jenny Hausler

Jennifer Heglund

Dennis Helfman

Dr. Alan Henderson

Deanna Henkle

Sean Hennen

Mary Hess

Lorna Hill

Marilyn Hilton

John Hoctor

Gloria Holtz

Dana Hopkins

James Hoppe

Jackie Hoskins

Margaret Houlihan Smith

Jaslyn Hunter

Loreasa Hyde

Jerome Janzer

Janet Jenkins

Brian Johnson

Greta Johnson

Norma Kaehler

Irene Kalmer

William Kendall

Travis Ketterman

Riguey King

Mary Ann Klefisch

Patricia Knight

Katherine Kratcha

Stephanie Krenrich

Kendra Krueger

Cynthia Lacasse

Joan Lacasse

Shammra Lacy

Anita Lambert

Bethany Lane Wirin

Emily Leite

Michelle Lemmon

Jeff Lennon

Scott Lewis

David Light

Kim Lindgren

F. Joseph Loughrey

Patricia Luber

Nancy Lugn-Folds

Spencer Lyons

Lisa Madigan

Bonnie Maloy

Malcolm Manwell

Marketeching Solutions

Raymond Marlinga

Brian Marlow

Kim Marshall

Carla Martin

Auda Martinez

Alice Mathews

Cammille Matthias

Tonya Mattox

David McColgan

Brian Keith McCormick

Jill McFarland

Colleen McGuire Schmitz

Ebony McKinley

Stephanie McLean

Rebecca McMahon

Lisa Meier

Theresa Mendez

James Midtlien

Malia Molina

Libby Mongue-Wymore

Janice Montle

Gia Moody

Rosemary Moore

Ann Morey

Arden Morris

Cheri Morrison

Moundsville Lions Club

Emily Myatt

Karen Nestor

Barbara Nickles

Pam Niese

Chris Noble

Carol Noe

Tim Ochs

Pam O’Donnell

Rebecca Oechsner

Lawrence Okinaga

Bunny Oldham

Ruth Oshiro

Jillian Pait

Victor Panoff

Christian Patterson

Dr. Jean Paul

Brett Paulsrud

Julie Perona

Kassy Perry

Sylvia Perry

Diane Petagna

Christy Petty

Marie Pfeiffer

Diane Phillips

Erin Polak

Maggie Powell

Keith Prewitt

Robert Prieto

Matt Prokop

Joni Punsel

Leonor Pupo

Jason Ramos

Bryan Rause

Doreen Redente

Kael Reicin

Richard Reid

Donna Rennick

L. Scott Ritterbush

Dave Roberts

Michael Rodriquez

Donna Rogers

Jeanna Rogner

Denise Romand

Patsy Romero

Judy Rospenda

Jenell Ross

Lindy Roth

Bernice Sanders

Robert Sartin

Dr. Carmen Sato-Bigbee

Christine Schaub

Robert Schechner

Dr. Marguerite Schlag

Kevin Schlicht

Tara Scott

Cynthia Serna

Katrina Shaw

Jacky Sher Raker

William Sherman II

Shower Man

Rose Shulgay

Sue Sidensol

Caitlyn Sikorski

Marlene Sincaglia

David Smalling

Kim Smarsh

Penn Smith

Jennifer Sobajian

Southworth-Milton, Inc.

Paul Spiroff

Dr. Ellen Stein

Kira Sterling

Kris Stichman

Jane Streets

Ann Strohl

Matthew Sturm

Swell Mix, Inc.

Angie Sylling

Lorraine Thomas

Jarrod Thompson

Tina Thompson

Mary Tibbetts

Deborah Tomczyk

Jennifer True

Judith Tutela

Stephen Tyrrell

United Cancer Support Foundation

Valentine Auctions

Annette Vrolyk

Laurie Wagner

Molly Waite

Kyle Walker

Wayne Wallingford Jr.

Linda Webner

Judith Weil

Irwin Weiss

Welltree, Inc.

Larry Wenzler

Mary Weyant

Cory Whiting

Jacqueline Williams

Susan Williams

Alex Williamson

Scott Williford

Linda Wright

Julie Wrigley

Amanda Yager

Corey Yarborough

Ray Young

Greg Zadel

Dr. John Ziegler



Special Thanks and Recognition

Following are some of the individuals and organizations that helped make 2021 such a successful year for ACS CAN despite the challenges collectively faced by our country. We also extend a sincere thank-you to those not specifically mentioned here, as this list is by no means exhaustive, and to our colleagues to whom we had to bid farewell in 2021. Please know your contributions did not go unnoticed.

State Lead Ambassadors
Ambassador Constituent Teams
National Ambassador Team
American Cancer Society Staff
ACS CAN Board of Directors

Speakers at the 2021 Lights of HOPE Across America Ceremony:

  • Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
  • Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO)
  • Chris Boerner, Chief Commercialization Officer, Bristol Myers Squibb

The House Cancer Caucus
The Senate Cancer Coalition

ACS CAN’s efforts are supported by the work of attorneys who donate their time, services and specialized expertise as part of the Judicial Advocacy Initiative (JAI) to help advance our mission. Thank you to these individuals.

Melissa Allison

Kenneth Choe

Allison Cohen

Adam Cooper

Jeffrey Dubner

Ashley Edmonds

Bruce Merlin Fried

Andrew Goldfarb

Matthew Higgins

Lindsay Kaplan

Gabriel Krimm

Scott Lewis

Talia Linneman

Seth Lloyd

John Longstreth

Christina Marshall

Joel McElvain

Joseph Palmore

Beth Petronio

Andrew Pincus

Cybil Roehrenbeck

Emanuel Rouvelas

William Schultz

2021 Advocacy Award Recipients

ACS CAN recognizes exceptional volunteers, staff members and elected officials throughout our annual Leadership Summit & Lobby Day.

The National Distinguished Advocacy Award (NDAA), which is ACS CAN’s most prestigious advocacy honor, is awarded to public officials for leadership in the mission to end cancer as a public health problem. The 2021 NDAA recipients were:

U.S. Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL)
U.S. Representative Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ)
State Senator Maryellen Goodwin (D-RI)
State Representative Mia Ackerman (D-RI)
State Representative Mary Flowers (D-IL)

Volunteer Award for Excellence in Advocacy*:
Michael Holtz, Tennessee

State Lead Ambassador of the Year:
Gloria Garcia, Florida
Butch Rivera, Florida

Ambassador Constituent Team Leads of the Year:
Carol Baker, California
Pearl Carter, Mississippi
Francina Booker, North Carolina
Donna Kemberling, Pennsylvania

Emerging Leader:
Aditya Indla, California

State Advocacy Team of the Year:

Judicial Advocacy Initiative:
Joseph Palmore, Morrison & Foerster

*The Volunteer Award for Excellence in Advocacy, ACS CAN’s highest honor for volunteers, is presented annually to exemplary volunteers in recognition of outstanding leadership and continuous service in the area of advocacy and public policy. 

Field Government Relations Professional of the Year:
Shana Crews, Illinois Government Relations Director

Field Grassroots Professional of the Year:
Audrey Miller, Oregon Grassroots Manager

American Cancer Society Partner of the Year:
Megan Wessel, Vice President, Cancer Control, Southeast Region

Regional Professional of the Year:
Maggie Osborne, Director, Grassroots Organizing

Alan Mills Award*:
Sister Maggie Lopez, Grassroots Manager, New Jersey

*The Alan Mills Award, ACS CAN’s highest honor for advocacy staff, is presented to the individual who best embodies the passion and dedication of the late Alan Mills, a former American Cancer Society staff lobbyist and one of the founders of the National Government Relations department.

Join us. Because we can't end cancer without your help.

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