Georgia Breast Cancer Retreat Scheduled

The Georgia Breast Cancer annual retreat is scheduled for January 20, 2018.  We are always excited about this Board requirement so we can plan out all the exciting things Georgia Breast Cancer will be doing for 2018.

This Year

This year, the Georgia Breast Cancer plans on working more with patients, and funding medical and diagnostic testing for women and men who have had abnormal mammograms and need additional testing.  We will also be working with lymphadema patients, and working towards providing them with the sleeves they so badly need.

In addition to the good work we have planned, we are going to increase our Board presence by adding new Board members, and have our Board visit the community more often.  We will also be building new partnerships so we can spread awareness, and help raise funds to assist more patients with transportation, tests, groceries, and whatever else they need to relieve some of the stress they have.

Georgia Breast Cancer will also continue its advocacy this year with a visit to the State Capital.  We are working with Pfizer to help facilitate a luncheon, and support various bills that can help breast cancer patients.

Lastly, we will be scheduling more fundraisers this year and are always looking for donations of gift cards, cash and silent auction items.  Feel free to contact Jennie Palmer, our Executive Director if you can help.

2018 is going to be GREAT!

Sheryl Cherico, President

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Breast Cancer Research Program (DOD BCRP), AHCA in the Spotlight

March 20, 2017–We attended the National Breast Cancer Coalition‘s (NBCC) Team Leader Training in Washington, DC. This unique training session is designed to give advocates from across the country, the opportunity to hear first hand what issues are being considered in Congress and help train them for leading a team from their state to advocate in May of each year. After the training, Team Leaders including our Executive Director, Amy Upchurch, were able to meet with elected officials from their states. Upchurch met with the following members of the Georgia Congressional delegation: Representative David Scott; Representative John Lewis; Representative Barry Loudermilk; Representative Buddy Carter; Representative Tom Graves; Representative Jody Hice; and Representative Drew Ferguson. At the meetings, NBCC asked us to discuss two issues:

  1. The Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) FY2018 funding. The appropriations process for FY2018 has begun. A “Dear Colleague” letter to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member in support of funding for the program is currently being circulated. Upchurch asked each office to sign onto the letter in support of this important program. The DOD BCRP was created in 1992 to “eradicate” breast cancer by funding innovative, high-impact research through a partnership of scientists and consumers.” The program is widely viewed as a unique and efficient medical research model which has proven to be accountable to the public and has produced extraordinary results, including the drug Herceptin. This program was the very first Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) and many other CDMRPs have been created based on this model.
  2. Guaranteed Access to Quality Care for All. Ensuring access to quality, evidence-based health care has been a top priority of NBCC and GBCC for many years and is an essential component of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020. There are a few concerns that the NBCC and GBCC have with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) expected to be voted on in the US House of Representatives on March 23:
  • Rating Bands: The average age of diagnosis for breast cancer is 60. The AHCA would allow insurers to charge older Americans (60+) up to five times more than younger Americans, resulting in premiums rising 22%.
  • Essential Health Benefits: The AHCA would potentially repeal certain standards about how much coverage insurers must provide for what are considered essential health care services in preventive care, including mammograms.
  • Coverage Lapse Surcharges: Beginning in 2019 under the AHCA, a lapse in coverage of more than 63 days before reapplying for insurance would allow insurers to charge up to a 30% surcharge. Often, breast cancer patients stop working during treatment and many experience financial hardship due to costs such as co-pays and out of pocket expenses. A surcharge could result in additional financial burdens for these patients.

An amended bill (released late Monday evening) is still concerning to GBCC/NBCC because it ends traditional Medicaid by capping and cutting funding and leaves states shouldering far more costs than they do today. The bill goes to the House floor on March 23. GBCC urges all Georgians to educate themselves on what this bill means for them individually as well as for our state. All Georgians can contact their legislator and make their voices heard about how they feel regarding the AHCA. Together, we are GEORGIA’S VOICE to END BREAST CANCER!

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National Breast Cancer Coalition is Hiring

The National Breast Cancer Coalition is hiring a Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs.  See below.

Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs

In 2010, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), a grassroots advocacy organization, launched Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, with a goal of knowing how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. NBCC’s blueprint for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® is a strategic plan of action for knowing how to prevent the development and spread of breast cancer. Since 1991, NBCC has been at the vanguard of the breast cancer movement – elevating breast cancer to an issue of national significance, leveraging billions of federal dollars for research and care, and empowering tens of thousands of breast cancer survivors to become effective advocates for themselves, and for all those at risk of breast cancer.

ABOUT THE POSITION:
As NBCC approaches its critical Breast Cancer Deadline 2020, the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs will work with leaders across the organization and movement to ensure NBCC achieves its goal of knowing how to end breast cancer. In partnership with the President, the VP Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs will play a leading role in planning for the deadline and designing NBCC’s strategy to end breast cancer long-term. This is an ideal opportunity for someone who is passionate about ending breast cancer to help shape the vision, strategy, and external presence of a premier national breast cancer movement. The VP of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs’ role will be national in scope, and s/he will be a primary liaison and spokesperson to external constituents and coalition members. The VP of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs will also manage relationships that impact the organization’s mission and future impact goals across a range of initiatives including the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program and the Artemis Project. Reporting directly to the President, the VP of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs will be a critical member of the NBCC senior leadership team.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • In partnership with the President and COO-Chief of Staff, develop and refine the organization’s strategic plan, focusing on NBCC’s work with external audiences, ensuring these voices are reflected in the organization’s vision and strategy
  • Cultivate strong relationships with relevant subject matter experts (e.g.: policy makers, leading scientists, healthcare executives, etc.) and movement leaders to understand their interests and incorporate them into NBCC’s national strategy to end breast cancer
  • Work with colleagues across the organization to understand and develop NBCC’s key positions and priorities; communicate key messages about these priorities and positions externally
  • Actively participate in important local and national conversations about breast cancer, serving as a representative of NBCC
  • In partnership with the President, contribute to federal, state, and local advocacy efforts on behalf of NBCC
  • As a member of the senior leadership team, and external voice for the organization, participate in meetings with key donors and support the organization’s development efforts as appropriate

 CANDIDATE REQUIREMENTS: The ideal candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  •  A deep personal connection to NBCC’s mission and the ability to authentically represent that mission to external stakeholders
  •  Minimum of 10 years in a senior organizational leadership position in any sector or field, with proven leadership skills with the ability to attract, develop, and inspire others
  • Demonstrated success serving as a leading voice for an issue, with the ability to effectively advocate for NBCC across a spectrum of platforms and forums
  • Experience navigating a complex political landscape and developing relationships with key stakeholders, with the ability to build alliances and partnerships with community organizations, policy makers, funders, and other stakeholders
  • Cultural competence, with experience working with and conducting outreach to diverse communities
  • Excellent critical thinking skills, with the ability to set long-terms goals and strategies, and then translate those strategies into effective actions
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment
  • Desire and capacity to work autonomously, as well as take direction as needed
  • Maturity, humility, strong work ethic, sense of humor, and a collaborative roll-up-my-sleeves attitude

LOCATION: Washington, DC

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: Salary and benefits will be competitive and commensurate with experience.

QUALIFIED INDIVIDUALS, PLEASE APPLY: https://www.on-ramps.com/jobs/1119

NBCC is an equal opportunity employer that especially welcomes applications from breast cancer survivors, women, and people of color. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

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GABCC Hosts Interactive Advocacy Day at Georgia Capitol

Atlanta, Ga. (February 28, 2017) – The Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund (GABCC), a nonprofit organization serving as Georgia’s voice to end breast cancer, is holding a free community event that brings together citizens and lawmakers to discuss the impact of breast cancer on Georgia.

“Nearly 9,000 Georgians will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. This disease is devastating, not only for these women, but for their families and our communities. It is our goal to provide attendees with a unique opportunity to build and enhance their advocacy skills as well as get up close and personal with their elected officials,” said Amy Upchurch, GABCC’s Executive Director.

Led by trained breast cancer advocates, the workshop will be held at the Georgia Capitol from 10 am-12 pm on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. The workshop is free, however, registration is required to ensure adequate materials for all attendees.

Please register here or call 404-633-6499 for more information.

The Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund (GABCC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving as Georgia’s VOICE to END breast cancer. GABCC has been a leader in advocacy and education efforts since 1994. Through its targeted efforts, the organization has empowered more than 7,500 citizen advocates to join the fight against breast cancer, and has educated legislators at the state and national levels about the importance of enacting legislation to increase access to medical treatment for those diagnosed with breast cancer and funding research for a cure. For information about GABCC, visit our website: www.gabcc.org.

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Advocacy Works. Are you WITH us?

Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th President and one of our great leaders, once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”

His words still ring true today. If we don’t do anything, we will continue to lose more than 40,000 women and 450 men to breast cancer each year in this country, and 522,000 women around the world. So, what can we do about breast cancer? How can we end this disease once and for all?

Although, scientists have discovered a great deal about this disease over the past 30 years, the dialogue about breast cancer hasn’t changed much at all. Awareness masks the hard truths that cannot be made better with a pink ribbon, like the fact that people are still dying.

It’s time for a new conversation. We need action. We need real results. We need to end our addiction to comfortable. To easy. To good enough. It’s time to be leaders. True leaders—that means every one of us who want to play a role in knowing how to end breast cancer must take action. We all must find the will, the strength, the belief to do what it takes to achieve the end of breast cancer.

For more than 20 years, the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund has been dedicated to state and national legislative advocacy efforts…fighting to ensure funds were, and continue to be appropriated for breast cancer research and treatment; and to ensuring that all women have access to quality medical treatment for the disease. We lead interactive education workshops throughout the state, arming attendees with key information on breast health, diagnosis, treatment, research and essential advocacy tools.  We also work with the Georgia General Assembly and the US Congress to ensure that funds raised actually support programs and services for the families who are affected, both now and in the future. We are working to change the conversation about breast cancer.  And you can too.

Advocacy is inherently political and attempts to increase the power of the powerless with our elected officials.  Advocacy is action aimed at changing the system. And advocacy makes a real difference! In fact, without it, we wouldn’t be where we are in breast cancer today.

Successful grassroots advocacy efforts are dependent upon individuals. Not necessarily political experts. But individuals who are passionate about an issue and prepared to make their voices heard. No experience necessary. If you can plead a cause, defend those in need, and speak up for those who choose not to, you are an advocate.

Every legislative session brings changes that directly impact access to breast cancer prevention, screening, and treatment. Individuals who are committed to eradicating breast cancer, must be diligent in monitoring legislative changes and making sure that their voices and opinions are heard.  Our involvement is essential to make elected officials care about breast cancer issues and take a position. Because only we can effectively explain why we care about breast-cancer related legislation.

The legislative process is complicated, but becoming an effective advocate can make a real difference. Are you with us? Are you ready to join us as Georgia’s VOICE to END Breast Cancer? Join us on Tuesday, February 28, for Georgia Advocacy Day at the Capitol. Because together we can change the conversation from awareness and screening, to prevention and saving lives. And together, we ARE Georgia’s VOICE to END Breast Cancer!

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Advocacy Alert: Affordable Care Act

As you may know, Senate Republicans are working now to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate met late into the night Wednesday and approved the budget they will use as the vehicle for repealing ACA. Among more than 100 amendments submitted, Democrat Senators put forth several proposals that were voted on and defeated that could impact women and men with and at risk of breast cancer should repeal happen, including:

  • Lowering prescription drug costs
  • Preexisting condition guarantee (preventing ACA repeal from eliminating the law’s protection for those with preexisting conditions)
  • Protecting women’s health environment (including a measure that ensures women aren’t charged more for their insurance because of their gender)
  • Ensuring rural hospitals stay open (preventing rural hospitals and health care providers from being weakened under repeal)

The late night Senate action is the first step in the repeal process. The Senate budget action will now move to the House. Once the House approves the budget, they will draft a repeal bill. 

We don’t know the specific timeline but it is likely that things will move very quickly. For now there is still time for us to raise our voice and it is critical that we do! Repealing the ACA will take health insurance away from tens of millions of Americans and increase health care premiums for millions more.  Women and men with and at risk of breast cancer need care NOT chaos!

Please contact your Senators and demand that they NOT REPEAL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT! We fought far too long and we’ve come too far to let this Congress destroy a system that provides health care to millions of women and men with and at risk of breast cancer. When you call, deliver this message:  Senator __________, I am a constituent and I urge you, do not repeal the Affordable Care Act that women and men with and at risk of breast cancer need. Our lives depend on it and we are watching!

Do you have friends or family who live in Alaska, Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia? The Senators listed below are key targets for calls.

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)          202.224.6665

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK)               202.224.3004

Senator John McCain (R-AZ)               202.224.2235

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)                    202.224.4521

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)            202.224.3744

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)                     202.224.3254

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)             202.224.2523

Senator Dan Heller (R-NV)                 202.224.6244

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)             202.224.3353

Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)                202.224.4254

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)       202.224.4944

Senator Shelly Capito (R-WV)             202.224.6472

Thank you for your support!

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DOD Breast Cancer Research Program

Your advocacy is working! As of this week, these Representatives have signed the letter in support of level funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) peer-reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP). We really need you continuing to contact your members to urge them to sign the letter. The deadline for signing is Monday, March 14th

If your Member’s name is not on this latest listing of FY 2017 letter signers, contact her/him with the following message:

I urge you to show your support for ending breast cancer by signing the letter to Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Frelinghuysen and Ranking Member Visclosky calling for $120 million—level funding—for the DOD peer-reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program for FY 2017.  

It is very important that you act immediately to let your Representatives know how essential the DOD BCRP is to breast cancer research. If a Representative has questions you can’t answer, let us know and we’ll follow-up.

If your Representative agrees to sign the letter, her/his staff should email one of the following staffers of the letter sponsors to make it happen:

LaRissa Ferrell in Representative Hastings’ office or
Katherine Loughead in Representative Costello’s office

Be sure to contact the key targets from your state—members who signed last year’s letter who are not yet on the list of FY 2017 letter signers. Email us at NBCC and let us know that your Representative has agreed to sign the letter or if you have any questions.

Thank you for taking action today!

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