ACG Supports Colorectal Cancer Survivors on Capitol Hill

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    Karlitz Headshot

    Dr. Jordan Karlitz, Chair ACG PR Committee

    This week, I was honored to be an invited speaker at an advocacy day on Capitol Hill organized by the non-profit group, Fight Colorectal Cancer.  Their “Call on Congress” brings colorectal cancer survivors along with their friends and family members to Capitol Hill to visit Congressional leaders.

    The College partners with Fight Colorectal Cancer to support their mission to raise awareness of CRC prevention and promote policy change to make colorectal cancer screening more accessible.

    FightCRC 2016-2

    Fight CRC advocates on Capitol Hill March 16, 2016

    The first thing I noticed was the incredible energy and passion that the group possesses.

    The most powerful part of the day for me was to witness the efforts of the CRC survivors who are the true agents of change when it comes to assuring that colorectal cancer is in the spotlight with regard to awareness and healthcare policy.

    At the briefing session, the advocates heard from multiple Members of Congress including Representative Betty McCollum from Minnesota; Representative Mike Fitzpatrick from Pennsylvania; Representative Leonard Lance from New Jersey; Representative Donald J. Payne, Jr. from New Jersey; and Representative Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania.

     

    PayneFightCRC2016

    Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. lost his father, the late NJ Congressman Donald Payne, Sr., to colorectal cancer in 2012. He represents Newark, NJ in the House of Representatives where he is a champion for screening.

     

    Each of the congressional leaders who spoke to the group had a personal connection to colorectal cancer, either being a survivor or having family members affected by the disease. They are true champions when it comes to assuring that the goals of colorectal cancer survivors come to fruition.

     

    Dr. Karlitz with Louisiana Senator Williams Cassidy, a gastroenterologist

    Dr. Karlitz with Senator William Cassidy, a gastroenterologist

    On a personal note, I was honored to be able to meet with Senator William Cassidy from Louisiana who is a gastroenterologist, an ACG member and a great supporter of initiatives designed to assure that colorectal cancer screening rates continue to increase in the United States so that the goal of screening 80 percent of the U.S. population by 2018 is reached.

     

    We also discussed the importance of assuring the adequate resources are available in Louisiana, my adopted home state, which has one of the highest colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates in nation.  I was fortunate enough to meet with Senate staffer Arne Owens, the health care policy advisor for Senator David Vitter of Louisiana.  I was grateful for the great attention that Mr. Owens showed to the issues that were raised.

    While the meetings with the Senator and a key aide gave me great insight into how Congress works, the most powerful part of the day for me was to witness the efforts of the CRC survivors who are the true agents of change when it comes to assuring that colorectal cancer is in the spotlight with regard to awareness and healthcare policy.

     

    Jordan Karlitz, MD, FACG

    Chair, ACG Public Relations Committee

    Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA

     

    Dr. Karlitz addresses Fight CRC's "Call on Congress"

    Dr. Karlitz addresses Fight CRC’s “Call on Congress”

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    KarlitzonHill 2016-KarlitzCapitol

    On Capitol Hill March 16, 2016 for an event with advocates from Fight Colorectal Cancer

     

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