DAVIE, Fla. —October 25, 2017— More than 50 people attended today’s Florida Policy Forum on Access to Care hosted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). The event brought together experts, government officials, patients and leaders from the cancer community to explore the benefits of having broader to cancer screenings and treatment, identify barriers that limit access and discuss ways to better serve at-risk populations.
“Improving access to cancer screenings and treatment is essential in the fight to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem,” said Heather Youmans, ACS CAN’s senior director for government relations in Florida. “Through programs like the Mary Brogan Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, we are providing thousands of at-risk women in the state with access to proven screenings that can improve their chances of having their cancer detected at an earlier, more treatable stage.”
The forum took place at Broward College and was sponsored by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squib. Maureen Mann, executive director of Lynn Cancer Center, and Mario Landera, assistant professor at Miami Miller School of Medicine, moderated two panel discussions featuring representatives from: the Florida Department of Health in Broward County; Broward Community and Family Health Centers; Miami Beach Community Health Centers; and, Pfizer, Inc. Additionally, Makeda McLune, a local cancer survivor and advocate, was on hand to share her story and perspective on the importance of programs like the Mary Brogan program.
“On behalf of the 132,500 women who have had the experience of going through this program over the past 5 years, I want to say thank you,” said McLune. “Thank you to the legislators who are providing funding. Thank you to the advocates who help to speak up for people like me. And, most importantly, thank you to the wonderful network of medical professionals and social workers who are at the heart of the Mary Brogan program.”
Approximately 124,740 Floridians are projected to be diagnosed with cancer this year and 43,870 will die from the disease. There are also more than 1.3 million people living in Florida today who have had a cancer diagnosis.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.