Rep. Flowers Receives National Distinguished Advocacy Award for Championing Lifesaving Cancer Public Policy

Award is Highest Honor Presented by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

September 29, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, IL –  State Rep. Mary Flowers received the National Distinguished Advocacy Award this week, the most prestigious award presented by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), in recognition of her significant contributions to the fight against cancer and leadership on the successful passage of first-in-the-nation legislation for comprehensive biomarker testing.

"A longtime and established champion of health care issues, Leader Flowers again took on a leading role to help ensure cancer patients can access the right treatment at the right time," said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. "On behalf of cancer patients and survivors, ACS CAN thanks Leader Flowers for going above and beyond to improve the lives of those touched by cancer."

ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, presents the annual award to select lawmakers who demonstrate outstanding leadership in the area of cancer-related public policy advocacy.

"For Illinoisans with serious diseases like cancer, Leader Flowers knew that we must improve access to biomarker testing to make sure they are receiving the best treatment possible," said Shana Crews, ACS CAN government relations director. "Leader Flowers has a longstanding track record on health care issues and she knows improving access to biomarker testing is essential for advancing our shared goals around health equity."

The award was presented on Sept. 28 as part of the annual ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day. Nearly 700 cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones met virtually with their elected officials to urge them to support policies that increase funding for cancer research and prevention programs and address barriers that prevent diverse populations from enrolling in clinical trials.


About ACS CAN at 20 
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society's nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we're more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting 

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Michelle Zimmerman
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager