By Elridge Proctor, Director of Policy, Lung Cancer Alliance
My name is Elridge Proctor and I so am excited to introduce myself to you! I am LCA’s new Director of Health Policy. Before joining the team back in September, I spent 11 years working for the Tourette Association as its Vice President of Public Policy.
Throughout those years I worked hard to raise awareness and engage our Members of Congress on disability issues. I understand the reasons that prevent individuals from being heard and have devised strategies to shape public policy to better support those with disabilities. I am looking forward to applying these skills next to the needs of the lung cancer community.
Right now, we have the opportunity to build on what you started this past spring, during LCA’s National Lung Cancer Summit, when we witnessed the introduction of the bi-partisan (supported by both Democrats and Republicans) and bi-cameral (introduced in both the House of Representatives and the Senate) legislative bill, the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2016.
This legislation awaits action by the US Senate and House of Representatives. That means it could be passed as a bill on its own or it could be added as an amendment to legislation that is “moving” or has traction to pass this year. The 21st Century Cures Act is an example.
Given the unique impact lung cancer has on women – particularly non-smoking women, it is important that we have a clearer understanding of existing research and knowledge gaps to guide our approach to better addressing the leading cause of cancer death.
During the “lame duck” session of Congress that falls during Lung Cancer Awareness Month and part of December, we have the chance to raise the issue of lung cancer and advocate for improved research and screening strategies that will impact both women and men.
We urge you to contact your Members of Congress by the middle of December to share your story and ask them to pass S.2941 and H.R. 5263, the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2016.
It only takes two minutes to have your voice heard and make a difference for those impacted by lung cancer!