Georgia Cancer Control Consortium (GC3) hosts cancer advocacy breakfast
On February 7, more than 65 legislators, legislative aides, state officials, and oncology experts, survivors and advocates gathered for the first Cancer Advocacy Breakfast hosted by the Georgia Cancer Control Consortium (GC3) and produced by Georgia CORE. Sponsored by the Billi and Bernie Marcus Foundation and Winship Cancer Institute, the gathering was held in downtown Atlanta near the Capitol.
Among the cancer champions present were Senators Dean Burke and Kay Kirkpatrick. Dr. Burke is the Vice Chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and Drs. Burke and Kirkpatrick both serve on the Healthcare Delivery and Access Subcommittee. Dr. Chris Rustin represented the Georgia Department of Public Health, and Dr. Chris Parker represented the Georgia Health Policy Center. The organizations collaborate with the GC3 on the development of the Georgia Cancer Control Plan.
“We were energized by the attendance of our state’s leaders and their response to our efforts to address the decline in funding in Georgia for cancer prevention, detection, research and treatment,” said Georgia CORE President and CEO Nancy Paris. Paris gave an overview of the recently published policy briefing on Georgia’s tobacco settlement funds, highlighting that more than $3 billion has been allocated to Georgia to date, but less than 10 percent has been directed to cancer prevention and treatment in recent years.
The program also included a panel discussion on the work of the GC3 moderated by Erin Hernandez of the Northwest Georgia Cancer Coalition. Panelists were Cheryl Johnson, West Georgia Cancer Coalition; Jim Hotz, MD, Albany Area Primary Care; and Len Lichtenfeld, MD, American Cancer Society. The leaders provided examples of the impact of GC3 and the importance of the tobacco funding.
Georgia CORE Vice President Angie Patterson moderated a panel on promising opportunities to transform cancer care in Georgia, featuring Suresh Ramalingam, MD of Winship Cancer Institute and Brian M. Rivers, PhD of the Morehouse School of Medicine and Cancer Health Equity Institute. Cynthia George of Horizons Community Health and the South Georgia Cancer Coalition closed the program, wrapping up a robust discussion on overall cancer advocacy issues.
See photos from the event here.