Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
September 26, 2016
114th Congress, 2nd Session
Issue: Vol. 162, No. 145 — Daily Edition
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THE FOUNDER OF THE ``LUNG CANCER MOVEMENT''
(Extensions of Remarks - September 26, 2016)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Pages E1361-E1362] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] THE FOUNDER OF THE ``LUNG CANCER MOVEMENT'' ______ HON. RICHARD M. NOLAN of minnesota in the house of representatives Monday, September 26, 2016 Mr. NOLAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Sheila Ross, a two- time lung cancer survivor who has devoted her entire career to public service and advancing better outcomes for those affected by lung cancer. I wish to pay special tribute to Sheila in light of her pending retirement at the end of the 114th Congress from the Lung Cancer Alliance, a non-profit guided by Sheila's unstoppable and indefatigable force to support anyone diagnosed with lung cancer. The organization provides patients with information and guidance and advocates for advanced life-saving research for the lung cancer community. It has been said that Sheila is the founder of the ``lung cancer movement,'' the first advocate ever to elevate her voice and walk the halls of Congress to bring attention to a public health imperative and to demand a more coordinated and compassionate response to the leading cause of cancer death. [[Page E1362]] After her initial cancer diagnosis in 1999 and then again in 2000, Sheila quickly grasped that public health policy must be linked to science. With the sheer force of will and survivorship, Sheila set in motion actions that history will look back upon as seminal moments in the battle to end lung cancer as we know it. Sheila's strategic expertise developed from 20 years of legislative and management experience on Capitol Hill as a Chief of Staff in both House and the Senate offices for Democrats and Republicans. After her career in Congress she spearheaded the creation of Lung Cancer Alliance, which today stands as the highest-rated and only national non-profit organization devoted entirely to supporting the lung cancer community and elevating awareness, changing health policy and advancing research. The group has been an invaluable partner ever since my colleagues Frank LoBiondo, Lois Capps and I created the first-ever Lung Cancer Caucus. While at the Alliance, Sheila can be credited with organizing the first-ever bipartisan and bicameral resolutions focusing on lung cancer, as well as the original Lung Cancer Mortality Reduction Act, requiring the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to give increased focus and funding to lung cancer early detection and research. Additionally, Sheila worked to establish the first and only dedicated lung cancer research pipeline within the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, she urged the Department of Veterans Affairs to swiftly implement a national screening program, expanded access to low dose CT scanning which detects lung cancer early on, and monitored NCI's National Lung Screening Trial which concluded ahead of schedule when the trial's goal was achieved earlier than expected. She also worked to secure Medicare coverage for CT screening for seniors and the disabled and established the only patient-powered CT scan donation program, Give A Scan, that allows those impacted to contribute directly to research. Sheila's contributions to better the lives of those living with and at risk for lung cancer will forever be remembered. When the defeat of lung cancer finally enters the annals of history--and it will--Sheila Ross's fearless advocacy will be included in the early pages of that historical document. I want to thank Sheila Ross and wish her all the best in a well- deserved retirement. ____________________