Statement on the Passing of State Senator Maryellen Goodwin

The American Cancer Society joins Rhode Islanders in mourning the death of Sen. Goodwin from cancer & promises to honor her legacy

April 16, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – April 16, 2023 – A statement from Ryan Strik, Director of Government Relations at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network in Rhode Island, follows on the death of Rhode Island’s Majority Whip and the second-longest serving member of the Senate, Maryellen Goodwin, from her battle with cancer:

 “We are incredibly saddened by the news of Senator Goodwin’s passing. On behalf of the American Cancer Society and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, we express our sincere condolences to Sen. Goodwin’s two sisters, nieces and nephews, close friends and partner Charles Fogarty.

“Throughout her tenure in office, Sen. Goodwin was a champion of many health-related issues, sitting   on the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network’s Rhode Island Cancer Caucus and shepherding invaluable legislation for Rhode Islanders, including improving their access to precision medicine through biomarker testing. In 2021, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network awarded Sen. Goodwin with our highest honor, the National Distinguished Advocacy Award for her fearless advocacy on behalf of the cancer community. Just as we did in 2021, we celebrate the Senator’s passion for equitable health policy in her beloved home state.

“A cancer diagnosis is all the battle that any one person should have to fight, but since her diagnosis several years ago Senator Goodwin has continued to approach her public service with vigor, pursuing progress and equity-oriented legislation. Her support was instrumental in eliminating barriers in access to colorectal cancer screening. The legislation, which is sure to save hundreds of lives each year, was named in her honor.

“Senator Goodwin dedicated her life to serving Rhode Island, securing its residents—and her constituents in District 1, in particular—greater access to quality health care. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network seeks to honor her legacy by continuing to advocate for legislation to alleviate the burden of cancer throughout Rhode Island.”



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 improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. 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 advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting

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