Conversations centered on health equity in the Black community.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) participated in the 52nd annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC), the nation's leading policy conference on issues impacting African Americans and the global Black community, from Sept. 20 through Sept. 24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. During this year’s conference, ACS CAN and American Cancer Society team members participated in a plethora of engagement opportunities alongside national industry leaders, elected officials, health care professionals and citizen activists.
ACS CAN President Lisa A. Lacasse together with Dr. Katherine Crew, director of the Clinical Breast Cancer Prevention Program at Columbia University Medical Center and Ricki Fairley, founder of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance, served as a panelist on the topic, “From Diagnosis to Survivorship: Personalized healthcare and navigating breast cancer for women of color.” The panel, hosted by Genentech, examined the challenges of triple-negative breast cancer, the importance of early detection precision diagnosis and treatment. Lisa discussed ACS CAN’s continued advocacy work to pass bills in states that will expand insurance coverage of comprehensive biomarker testing as well as the vast underrepresentation of Black women participating in clinical trials.
Several other notable events were held at this year’s conference. ACS CAN was a proud sponsor of The Phoenix Awards VIP Reception and Gala, where President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were featured speakers for the gala. ACS CAN also sponsored the ALC Day of Healing Prayer Breakfast. The ACS CAN Federal Relations team also hosted a roundtable entitled, “A Family Affair: Black Men’s Prostate Health & Racial Disparities” with Pfizer, Inc. and ZERO Prostate Cancer. The discussion focused on the current state of prostate cancer screening, upcoming education and awareness initiatives, and next steps around advancing federal legislation. Featured speakers included Congressman Troy Carter (D-LA); Marvin Figueroa, director of the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Anabella Aspiras with Cancer Moonshot and Rep. Jazz Lewis (D-MD), House Majority Whip, Maryland State Senate.
In addition to empowering attendees to influence change in ending cancer for everyone, ACS CAN showcased its recent ad campaign “Fight Cancer: Make Time,” to advocate for support of the PSA Screening for HIM Act through geotargeted ads displayed around the Convention Center.
Held concurrently with the CBCF Annual Legislative Conference, ACS CAN participated and cosponsored a separate event, The House of Inclusion, to reinforce the importance of health equity with its tobacco control and advocacy coalition partners. ACS Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Tawana Thomas Johnson along with Leslye Miller Fraser, national director of programs, The Links, Incorporated; Pamela R. Hill, national treasurer of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; and Rachel Israel, director of Regional Patient Advocacy Relations, Genetech, served as panelists in an informative discussion on the need to demand public policy change to eliminate the cancer burden in the Black community. In addition to the panel discussion, ACS CAN Vice President of Federal Advocacy & Strategic Alliances Tammy Boyd emphasized the importance of storytelling to enact change by sharing personal experiences through film from ACS CAN volunteers, faith leaders and supporters.
Visit ACS CAN’s website to view patient stories and obtain additional resources on ways to advocate for change.