Florida Legislature Passes Budget with Landmark Cancer Funding

ACS CAN applauds investments in cancer research, early detection and prevention efforts

March 8, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – March 8, 2024 – The Florida legislature ended its 2024 session today by passing a budget that included landmark funding for cancer priorities in the Sunshine State, including meaningful increases for the Florida Cancer Innovation Fund, the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and the Casey DeSantis Cancer Research Program.

The budget triples the state’s investment in the Florida Cancer Innovation Fund, which provides pilot grants for cancer research to health care institutions, bringing the fund’s total to $60 million.

The budget also adds $1.2 million to the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, bringing the program’s total funding to $3 million. The Mary Brogan Program is a federal-state partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health, providing lifesaving cancer screenings for women between the ages of 50-64 with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level.

“Communities who are underserved experience higher mortality rates of cancer, primarily because of limited access to health care. This significant obstacle prevents many from getting routine screenings, even though we know screenings can be lifesaving,” said Susan Harbin, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in Florida. “At current funding levels, the Mary Brogan Program serves less than 10 percent of eligible women. Increasing funding will provide more women with access to lifesaving early detection services.”

Breast cancer survivor and ACS CAN volunteer Debbie Denardi called the increased funding meaningful for cancer advocates.

“My mother died of triple-negative breast cancer. After receiving the same diagnosis, I was afraid I’d be facing the same fate,” Denardi said. “Thankfully, the cancer was detected in stage 1, and I was able to get timely treatment. Early detection saved my life. The boost in funding for the Mary Brogan program means more women will have the chance to receive crucial detection services that could save lives.”

The budget also invests $127.5 million in the Casey DeSantis Cancer Research Program, around $20 million in other biomedical research grant programs and $86.9 million in the state’s tobacco control program to provide vital prevention and cessation services.

“It’s exciting to see such a large state investment in cancer efforts,” Harbin said. “With more than 160,000 Floridians expected to face a cancer diagnosis in 2024, this funding will be critical to help reduce the cancer burden and give people access to ways to prevent, detect, treat and survive the disease.”

Media Contacts

Stacy Jacobson
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager