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ACS CAN opposes Tennessee's Medicaid waiver request

Says it would delay or eliminate access to early detection and treatment.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) made clear its strong objections to Tennessee’s Medicaid waiver request today in comments filed with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS).

Tennessee’s waiver request—which was approved by the Trump administration in January but reopened for federal public comments last month—would “block grant” the state’s TennCare program, thereby severely limiting federal funding to the state and essentially necessitating significant cuts to coverage and eligibility. The waiver also authorizes the state to establish a closed prescription drug formulary which could limit the prescription drugs available to treat complex conditions like cancer. 

The following is a statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):

“Radically restructuring federal funding and removing critical operational rules governing the Tennessee Medicaid program would undoubtedly harm thousands of the most marginalized Tennessee cancer patients, survivors and those at risk for the disease. Block grants, like the one being proposed in this waiver, do not account for economic downturns or major state disasters—like the state’s recent floods—which could create greater need for Medicaid coverage. Rather than federal funding automatically adjusting as needed, capped or block payments would remain the same, leaving the state and its residents financially vulnerable when they need help the most.

“For cancer patients, these changes could mean delayed or eliminated access to early detection screenings and treatment, later-stage diagnosis with more severe or limited treatment options, and lower odds of survival. 

“Additionally, allowing a closed formulary for prescription drugs would seriously disadvantage cancer patients. There is no single oncology drug that works to treat all cancers; oncology drugs often have different indications, different ways in which they work, and different side effects – all of which need to be managed to fit a patient’s individual needs. Denying people access to the most appropriate therapies would ultimately harm patients and could cost Medicaid more money in the form of increased medical visits and services due to poor health outcomes.

“Waivers like Tennessee’s do not serve to improve the Medicaid program, but rather risk leaving thousands of people without the coverage they need to prevent, detect, and treat disease. We urge CMS and the Biden administration to rescind this waiver and protect patients’ critical access to care through the Medicaid program.”

Read the full submitted comments.

  • Patient groups praise paid family and medical leave program

    ​Ways and Means Committee considers legislation to create the country’s first national paid family and medical leave program.

    More than a dozen patient advocacy organizations are commending the House Ways and Means Committee as it begins considering details of legislation to create the country’s first ever national paid family and medical leave program as part of the budget reconciliation package.

    The legislation includes up to 12 weeks of paid medical, parental, and caregiver leave for all workers starting in 2023, and would be structured to minimize economic hardship for all workers who need to take leave.

    “Paid family and medical leave is critical for people with serious illnesses and health conditions and their caregivers,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “Cancer treatment and recovery—like many illnesses—is often difficult and drawn out. We need to do everything we can to ensure people can care for themselves and their loved ones without facing financial devastation.”

    The provisions included in the legislation meet many of the standards that more than two dozen patient and health care partners put forth in July detailing what a comprehensive family and medical leave program should include, such as inclusion of medical and caregiving leave, inclusion of an adequate, equitable, and sufficient duration of paid leave, and availability to all workers.

    Currently only about one-fifth of workers in the U.S. have access to employer-paid family leave and only two in five have access to short-term disability insurance through their jobs that allows them to receive partial pay while they recover from their own serious health issue. Fewer than 60% of workers qualify for job-protected, unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and workers of color, low-wage workers and single parents are disproportionately excluded.

    “We need Congress to act swiftly and ensure a meaningful and comprehensive leave program is included in the reconciliation package. Millions of American families need this essential benefit,” Lisa said.

    Here are the patient groups and partners calling for a paid family and medical leave policy: The AIDS Institute, Alliance for Aging Research, ALS Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, Cancer Support Community, The Child Neurology Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, Family Voices, Hemophilia Federation of America, National Alliance on Mental Illness, National Hemophilia Foundation, National Organization for Rare Disorders, Susan G. Komen, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease; UsAgainstAlzheimer's.

  • FDA misses deadline, leaving harmful e- cigarettes on the market

    ACS CAN says allowing additional delays is "unconscionable."

    On Sept. 9, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to meet its court-ordered deadline to rule on all e-cigarette and other tobacco product manufacturers’ applications to keep their harmful products on the market.

    The Sept. 9 deadline was set as the result of a 2018 lawsuit filed by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and numerous other public health groups challenging the FDA’s decision to delay reviewing products based on if they are “appropriate for the protection of the public health” until August of 2022.

    A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN follows:

    “The FDA’s failure today to act on applications by JUUL, the manufacturer with the single biggest e-cigarette market share, is extremely disappointing and will allow the industry to further endanger public health and hook more kids on their highly addictive products. The FDA has had ample time to review the applications and allowing additional delays is unconscionable. There is overwhelming data to demonstrate the negative impact these kinds of flavored products have had on public health and their role in the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The time to act is now.

    “If we are to reduce suffering and death from cancer, we must prevent youth tobacco initiation and FDA’s premarket review process must play an important role in that work. While we assess options for expediting this process in earnest and urge the FDA to move swiftly, federal, state, and local officials should continue their essential work regulating these highly addictive and harmful products.”

    The FDA said on Thursday that it had so far denied the applications of 946,000 flavored e-cigarette products to remain on the market, mostly made by small companies. Still undecided is how the regulatory agency will rule on the applications of Juul Labs and other major e-cigarette companies.

    Companies have to show that their vaping products are less harmful than traditional cigarettes, and that their usefulness in helping smokers quit outweighs the risk that some people will start using nicotine through the products.

  • September Monthly Advocacy Update: ​Register now for ACS CAN's 20th anniversary celebration on Sept. 29.

    Below is a monthly message from Lisa A. Lacasse, president, ACS CAN:

    The month of September is always near and dear to ACS CAN, as it brings about our two largest events: Leadership Summit & Lobby Day, and Lights of Hope. 

    This September holds particular meaning as we prepare to mark 20 years since ACS CAN was founded in 2001. It’s a bit surreal to reflect on what the past two decades have meant for ACS CAN: momentous growth, incredible impact, significant public policy and grassroots milestones, and countless fond memories with our volunteer advocates and colleagues. I am so grateful for each cancer patient and survivor, volunteer, staff member, partner, and elected official who has contributed to our mission.

    More to follow in the coming weeks about how you can join in the celebration and honor ACS CAN’s legacy of meaningful impact. In the meantime, I hope you’ll mark your calendar for our 20th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 29, a free virtual event featuring fun trivia about ACS CAN’s past, present and future! RSVP here.

    Lights of Hope Across America: Saturday, Sept. 18

    ACS CAN’s signature fundraising event is just weeks away! Lights of Hope Across America will be celebrated in communities across the country with a livestreamed ceremony at 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 18. This powerful event will feature volunteers displaying their lights in front yards, community parks and iconic landmarks across the country, in honor of all those we fight for. I’m excited to participate live from Washington, D.C. alongside ACS CAN Board Chair Sandi Cassese. Set your calendar reminder here

    I invite those of you who have yet to donate to dedicate a Lights of Hope bag to a loved one who has been touched by cancer and visit our website for more details on the live event and other ways to share this impactful fundraiser, including with the hashtag #LightsOfHope. This event raises critical funds that allows us to have even greater impact on the fight against cancer, so please donate.

    #CancerLobbyDay: 2021 Leadership Summit & Lobby Day

    We’ll close the month with our 15th annual Leadership Summit & Lobby Day (LS&LD), when our advocates will meet virtually with their members of Congress to do what they do best: urge elected officials to make cancer a national priority.  

    LS&LD will start on Sunday, Sept. 26 as we celebrate our anniversary, honor our Advocacy Award recipients and hear from staff and volunteer leadership including ACS CAN Board Chair Sandi Cassese. Tuesday, Sept. 29 will kick off with remarks from our CEO Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, as well as some of our National Distinguished Advocacy Award winners, before ACS CAN advocates spend the day meeting virtually with their lawmakers and their staff about issues critical to our cancer fight, including cancer research and prevention funding and increasing affordability of care. Volunteers will participate in multiple trainings leading up to the event to hone their advocacy skills in preparation for their virtual Hill day.

    Visit our website for more event information, and follow the hashtag #CancerLobbyDay on social media to stay up-to-date on what will be an incredible few days in the fight against cancer.

     August Recess Grassroots Activities

    As is true every year, ACS CAN volunteers have been busy during Congress’ August recess, working to advance our federal policy priorities. Volunteers are submitting and asking questions at various Congressional townhalls related to our cancer advocacy agenda. Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) and Rep. Kai Kahele (HI-2) both answered our questions about making Affordable Care Act subsidies permanent to increase affordability of care for cancer patients.  

    President Biden Urges Capping Medicare Patient Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs 

    President Biden called on Congress to bring down patient prescription drug costs, including by establishing an annual cap on Medicare enrollees’ out-of-pocket expenses. ACS CAN appreciates this commitment to patient affordability and looks forward to working with the administration and lawmakers to identify ways to ease the financial burden of treatment, an issue of critical importance to cancer patients. Read our press statement here.

    Bipartisan Legislation Would Make It Easier for All Patients to Participate in Clinical Trials

    The DIVERSE Trials Act would increase racial, socioeconomic and geographic diversity in clinical trials and make it easier for all cancer patients to participate. The bipartisan, bicameral legislation would help address health equity by allowing trial sponsors to reimburse patients for ancillary costs associated with trial participation, such as travel or lodging. ACS CAN strongly urges Congress to pass this legislation. Read our press statement here. 

    Upcoming Deadline: FDA to Grant or Deny Authorization of Sale for JUUL and other E-cigarette Products

    Sept. 9 is a court-mandated deadline for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine whether new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, should be allowed to be sold in the U.S. In particular, ACS CAN and our public health partners submitted a letter to FDA in April, urging it to deny authorization of the sale of JUUL e-cigarette products that have been on the market for years, causing immeasurable damage to the public’s health. The letter asserts that evidence shows that JUUL’s marketing, use of flavors and high nicotine concentrations have greatly contributed to the youth tobacco epidemic. JUUL's products continue to have the largest share of the e-cigarette market.

    After FDA issued its first denials of flavored e-cigarettes last week, ACS CAN strongly urged the agency to continue this approach for all flavored products, including menthol, and to enforce their decisions swiftly. Read our press statement here.

    RSVP Now: Upcoming Virtual Events

    • Congressional Briefing: Paid Family and Medical Leave – On Sept. 14, ACS CAN will join with partner organizations to host a virtual panel discussion for policymakers and their staff, “Paid Family and Medical Leave: A Critical Need for Patients and Their Caregivers.” This timely event takes place as Congress is expected to begin consideration of the upcoming reconciliation package, which could potentially include several ACS CAN priorities related to health care, including a national paid family and medical leave program. ACS CAN recently established a coalition of patient advocacy organizations and interested partners to advocate for paid family and medical leave for people with serious illnesses and caregivers. RSVP here for the virtual panel. 
    • Medicaid in the U.S. Territories – Our next Medicaid Covers US virtual event will be on September 30th and will focus on the role of Medicaid in the U.S. territories, particularly the program’s role in addressing health disparities and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters. Inequitable funding of Medicaid in the territories have threatened access to care and funding for health systems. ACS CAN is doing a significant amount of work, including supporting legislation that would provide an extension on funding for Medicaid in U.S. territories that will expire on Sept. 30 if no action is taken. RSVP here for the virtual event. 

    State & Local Advances

    • La Opinión, the nation’s most-read Spanish-language newspaper, published an op-ed authored by a Los Angeles pediatrician in partnership with ACS CAN, in support of our efforts urging the City Council to pass an ordinance prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco, including menthol. 
    • Illinois Gov. Pritzker signed into law legislation that will improve access to care for cancer patients by expanding coverage for biomarker testing, the first state to do so. ACS CAN helped with the successful bill passage by working closely with bill sponsors and activating our Illinois grassroots volunteers to make sure the legislature knew the law’s importance. Four million Illinoisans will have access to biomarker testing through Medicaid and state-regulated coverage, effective Jan. 1, 2022.
    • Kentucky ACS CAN advocates successfully defeated a proposed cigar bar exemption amendment to the local Louisville smoke-free ordinance. Advocates had conducted volunteer calls to the Louisville Metro Council to share our opposition to the amendment and this was a huge win against Big Tobacco. 
    • The North Carolina House’s state budget included a proposal to establish a new revenue fund for the money the state received as part of a settlement with e-cigarette company JUUL. $21 million would be dedicated to protecting kids and teens from tobacco. ACS CAN applauded the historic move while urging for sustained, adequate funding for the state’s long-underfunded tobacco prevention and cessation program. 

    Advocacy in the News

  • FDA blocks sale of 55,000 flavored e-cig products

    The agency says the products pose a risk to public health.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued its first denials of flavored electronic cigarettes after the agency determined the manufacturer’s products pose a greater risk to public health than any potential benefit. 

    The denial, issued late Thursday, comes ahead of a court-ordered deadline of September 9 for the FDA to determine whether new tobacco products, including most e-cigarettes, can be sold in the U.S.

    A statement from Keysha Brooks-Coley, vice president of federal advocacy at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:

    “The FDA’s decision to deny more than 55,000 flavored e-cigarette products from being sold on the market is an important first step toward effectively addressing the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use in this country. The tobacco industry has long used flavors to hook kids, and e-cigarette manufacturers have taken that strategy even further with their unregulated products. All flavors are a threat to public health, including menthol. Menthol has been used by the tobacco industry to target specific populations, in particular the Black community, for addiction and premature death. All menthol flavored products should be denied marketing orders.

    “FDA’s decision to deny authorization of sale of these first products indicates the agency is putting kids’ health above the interest of an industry built on luring people into a lifetime of addiction. FDA should quickly enforce the removal of any of these products that are currently being sold on the market.

    “We strongly urge the FDA to continue this approach for all flavored products, including menthol, and to enforce their decisions swiftly.”

    About ACS CAN at 20 

    ACS CAN makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government, and empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. It believes 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 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 it marks its 20th anniversary, ACS CAN is more determined than ever to stand together with its volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Learn more at

  • ACS CAN supports the DIVERSE Trials Act

    The bipartisan legislation would ensure more patients have a chance to enroll in the best treatment options available.

    The DIVERSE Trials Act, introduced in both the House and Senate, would increase diversity in clinical trials and make it easier for all cancer patients to participate. 

    The bipartisan bicameral legislation, sponsored by Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (D-S.C.), and Reps. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) Larry Buschon (R-Ind.), would help address health equity and disparities by allowing trial sponsors to reimburse patients for ancillary costs associated with their trial participation, such as travel, parking, food, or lodging. 

    This legislation would also increase participation by removing barriers to allow trial sponsors to provide patients with technology necessary to facilitate remote participation in clinical trials. These recommended changes to policy are beneficial to both patients and researchers because they would expand socioeconomic, geographic, and racial diversity of trial participants.

    A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:

    “ACS CAN is committed to not only increasing patient participation in clinical trials but also ensuring diversification of trial enrollment. Clinical trials are essential for continuing to improve cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. We need to remove barriers to ensure that all patients are able to participate.

    “Patients should not have to shoulder the extra costs of increased trips to the doctor or new technology required to be an active participant in a trial that could save their lives or that of others. This kind of financial burden has been proven to dissuade some patients from enrolling; especially those with lower incomes.

    “The DIVERSE Trials Act will ensure more patients—regardless of their economic means or their geographic location—have a chance to enroll in the best treatment options available without having to bear additional costs or inconveniences. We urge Congress to quickly take up this bill and pass it into law.”

  • ACS & ACS CAN support COVID-19 booster for immunocompromised cancer patients

    Last week, the FDA approved, and the CDC recommended a COVID-19 booster for immunocompromised cancer patients. This morning, Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, CEO of the American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, issued the following statement, which has been posted in the Press Room on

    “Evidence shows that cancer patients who may be immunocompromised are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and have increased risk of serious complications.

    As an organization dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients and their families, the American Cancer Society strongly supports efforts to protect and improve the health and well-being of our community. Early data clearly demonstrate that immunocompromised individuals may not develop the same level of protection from vaccination as the general public. Given that this applies to a critical subset of cancer patients, the American Cancer Society supports the CDC recommendation and highly encourages cancer patients to talk with their doctors about whether a booster dose is right for them.

    We continue to encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated, including cancer patients and caregivers in consultation with their health care providers, along with continued use of masks while we are seeing so many areas with high levels of community transmission.

    While breakthrough infections are rare among vaccinated individuals, they may be more likely to occur in immunocompromised individuals. Getting vaccinated is one way of helping to protect people living with cancer in your community and other immunocompromised individuals.”

  • August Monthly Advocacy Update from Lisa Lacasse

    Mark your calendars: Lights of Hope Across America takes place Sept. 18.

    We ended July celebrating yet another significant victory in our ongoing work to increase access to quality, affordable health coverage: the Missouri Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the state must implement Medicaid expansion, finding a ballot initiative that voters approved last year was constitutional. More than 275,000 low-income individuals could gain access to affordable health coverage through expansion, making this a meaningful win for our cancer mission. ACS CAN has been a leading voice in this work including strongly advocating for the 2020 ballot measure and filing an amicus brief with the state Supreme Court.    

    This victory was a fitting backdrop for an outstanding virtual event illustrating the importance of Medicaid expansion in our work to reduce health disparities. ACS CAN hosted Medicaid and Health Equity: 100 Years After the Tulsa Massacre on July 23, featuring community leaders, health care providers and historians from Tulsa, Oklahoma to share the history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and explore the intersection of racial violence, systemic racism and health disparities. I highly encourage you to watch the recording.

     U.S. House Appropriations Committee Prioritizes Medical Research; Bill Lacks Adequate Funding for Critical Prevention Programs

    The U.S. House Appropriations Committee’s proposed FY2022 spending bill included a $6.5 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, including a $432 million increase for the National Cancer Institute, and $3.5 billion to create the Advanced Research Project Agency on Health (ARPA-H) to accelerate the pace of biomedical research. We are pleased to see our ongoing efforts to increase funds for cancer research being heard by our members of Congress. 

    However, the bill does not provide the funding needed for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program to meet critical increased demand for delayed screenings due to the pandemic and to serve all eligible individuals. ACS CAN urges Congress to pass a final bill that reflects the critical need for cancer research and prevention. Read our press statement her

    Bill Introduced in U.S. House to Extend Medicaid Coverage in U.S. Territories

    Bipartisan legislation has advanced in the U.S. House that would extend funding for Medicaid in the U.S. territories, funding that is set to expire on Sept. 30 if action is not taken. Long-term funding issues in the territories have threated access to health coverage and funding for health systems. ACS CAN will work with lawmakers to extend funding for lifesaving Medicaid programs in the U.S. territories before the September deadline. Read our press statement here.

     Making Equal Access to Cancer Clinical Trials a Reality for Black Patients

    For the fourth year in a row, ACS CAN sponsored Urban One’s Engaging Black America special supplement, an annual publication shared with members of Congress. I was pleased to co-author an editorial piece in the supplement with Dr. Robert Carlson, CEO of National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and Dr. Gary Puckrein, president and CEO of National Minority Quality Forum, on the critical need to address the longstanding barriers to clinical trial participation for diverse populations, particularly Black Americans. Together, we call on Congress to pass legislation clarifying that trial sponsors can provide financial support to patients that offset non-medical out-of-pocket costs associated with clinical trial participation, such as transportation and lodging. Read our editorial here.  

    ACS CAN Leads 28 Patient Advocacy Groups To Call for a National Paid Medical Leave Program

    More than two dozen patient groups and partners, led by ACS CAN, are joining forces to call for a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, including for caregivers. The groups want Congress to include a national paid leave program in the proposed upcoming human infrastructure package. This collaborative effort follows two years of research executed by ACS CAN to better understand how critical paid leave is to our cancer mission, by allowing patients and caregivers to keep their jobs, their health insurance and compliance with their treatment.

    The groups sent a set of principles that any such national paid family and medical leave program must meet in order to best serve patients to Congressional leadership and the administration. We will urge lawmakers to support paid leave for people with medical conditions and their caregivers in the coming months. Read the principles here. 

    Mark Your Calendars: Lights of Hope Across America on Sept. 18

    We’re just six weeks away from our 11th annual Lights of Hope event! This year’s ceremony will again be shared in communities across the country as volunteers display tens of thousands of Lights of Hope at their home and in their neighborhoods. I hope you’ll join the livestreamed event at 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 18. Last year’s event was a phenomenal success and I can’t wait to participate in this year’s celebration, broadcasting from Washington D.C. with our Board Chair, Sandy Cassese. 

    If you haven’t already, please be sure to dedicate a Lights of Hope bag in honor of a loved one online.  This powerful nationwide display will show our elected officials how critical they are in the fight against cancer.   

     State and Local Advances

    • The step therapy reform bill passed in Arizona would ensure that patients receive timely consideration of their request to avoid step therapy protocols that require patients to first try less expensive, potentially less effective treatments before beginning the medication their doctor recommended. Once signed by the governor the law will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023. 
    • Our California team successfully led a coalition effort to stop legislation to allow marijuana cafes to serve food and beverages, which would have undermined the existing state smoke-free restaurant and bar law. 
    • ACS CAN thanked District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser for signing a bill that ends the sale of some flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and e-cigarettes. We now call for the bill to move swiftly through Congressional review and for the D.C. Council to fund this important legislation. 
    • In Georgia, ACS CAN is leading public health groups to urge the Augusta-Richmond County Commission to oppose a motion that would allow cigar smoking in certain indoor spaces. This loophole would roll back the existing smoke-free ordinance and jeopardize the health of residents and workers. 
    • In Louisiana, the Shreveport City Council reversed a vote to repeal its smoke-free bar and casino ordinance, meaning the ordinance will be implemented as planned on August 1. ACS CAN and our public health coalition partners provided testimony ahead of the vote and ACS CAN sent 400 calls into City Hall urging local elected officials to support the smoke-free law and put the health and safety of Shreveport workers first.
    • Maine Gov. Mills signed into law a bill requiring Medicaid coverage of palliative care.
    • The Massachusetts FY2022 budget includes a $500,000 increase for the state tobacco cessation and prevention program and a $200,000 increase for a prostate cancer research, education and awareness program. 
    • Oregon’s legislative session ended with the successful passage of a statewide Tobacco Retail Licensing provision. This was the seventh attempt to enact this law, which is vital to implementing the state’s new voter-approved tobacco tax increase and preventing the sale of tobacco to youth.
    • When the Tennessee Department of Heath initially indicated it would no longer promote HPV vaccination, ACS CAN and the American Cancer Society quickly urged – and we continue to do so – the importance of ensuring families have information about the importance of the vaccine and access to the vaccine itself to prevent several cancers in future generations.

    Advocacy in the News

  • ACS CAN featured in Engaging Black America Special Supplement

    Article co-authored by Lisa Lacasse urges equal access to clinical trials.

    The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is featured in the Urban One 2021 Engaging Black America Special Supplement issued today.

    Published by the largest media company aimed at reaching the reaching the Black community, the annual publication focuses on issues impacting Black Americans. It is delivered to members of Congress and features editorial content by lawmakers and sponsor organizations on issues such as health care and education. In addition, the publication is also featured across Urban One media network websites.

    In this year’s supplement, ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse coauthored editorial content with Dr. Robert Carson, CEO of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), and Dr. Gary Puckrein, president and CEO of the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), focused on the issue of increasing diversity in cancer clinical trials, especially among Black patients. 

    The editorial discusses this health equity topic and how it impacts cancer disparities, and calls on lawmakers to pass legislation that would help to offset non-medical costs for patients associated with participating in a clinical trial. Increasing diversity in clinical trials is a priority for ACS CAN, which is partnering with NCCN and NMFQ closely on this issue through the Elevating Cancer Equity project

    ACS CAN’s efforts to increase clinical trial accessibility for all individuals regardless of race, age, gender, sexual orientation, income level, or ZIP code are part of its broader health equity advocacy work. In addition, an ACS CAN advertisement about this important issue is featured on the back cover of the supplement. 

    For more information on ACS CAN’s health equity advocacy work, visit

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