NORWALK – Representative Lucy Dathan 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.
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.
“Cancer advocates in Connecticut and beyond are grateful to have a champion like Rep. Dathan leading us in the fight against this disease,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN. “Her support was instrumental very early in the success of our tobacco control funding campaign, and the critical backing she secured made it the first funding bill to be raised as a committee bill in Appropriations in at least the last fifteen years – a tremendous accomplishment. ACS CAN looks forward to her continued partnership and advocacy as we work to reduce the burden of cancer for all families.”
Rep. Dathan, a two term House member, was a legislative champion for ACS CAN’s campaign to increase the state’s tobacco control program funding from the outset of her tenure. Thanks in part to her early commitment, vocal support and lobbying of her colleagues, Connecticut restored $12 million in tobacco control funding – the first time the state has seen such an increase since 2015.
“For too long Connecticut ranked at the bottom of the nation in funding its state tobacco control program. Thanks to Rep. Dathan’s advocacy, we are finally dedicating funds to a program that we know will help prevent kids from using tobacco, and help current users quit,” said Bryte Johnson, director of Government Relations for ACS CAN in Connecticut.
The award was announced on Sept. 13 as part of the annual ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day. Nearly 600 cancer patients, survivors and their loved ones met in-person for the first time since 2019 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
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.