Because statistics show that African Americans are less likely to be diagnosed with and more likely to die from cancer than any other racial or ethnic group, NBCSL has chosen to focus this year’s event entirely on the fight against cancer.
The conference will educate participants on the facts surrounding cancer including the disparities in diagnosis, the effect culture and community involvement can have on the disease and the legislative impact NBCSL members can make by helping to shape comprehensive state action plans.
“When President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordability Act into law on March 23, 2010, our nation took a momentous step toward lowering costs, guaranteeing more choices, and enhancing the quality of health care for all Americans. As we gather in Indianapolis, NBCSL is helping to implement this healthcare reform at the state level,” said Rep. Calvin Smyre (GA), NBCSL President. “It is now the task of the state legislators to effectively roll out healthcare reform and NBCSL has a tremendous role to play in ensuring that this legislation positively impacts our respective communities.”
Former CNN Headline News Correspondent Kat Carney will serve as the Keynote speaker. Additional speakers scheduled include Dr. Leonard Weather, Jr., President of the National Medical Association, Dr. Kathleen Spears, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Cancer Support Community and Congressman Andr Carson (D-Indiana).
“Although cancer is a chronic disease, we have proven as a Nation that we can significantly reduce the effects of cancer through education and mobilization. It is now time for all Americans to focus their attention on the disproportionate effects the disease is having on African Americans,” continued Smyre. “As a result of this year’s event our members will be empowered to return to their districts and develop initiatives that will close the diagnosis gap and help reduce the number of cancer-related deaths in our community.”
For the past 17 years, the conference has been supported through a generous grant from Eli Lilly and Company.