Senators Blunt and Casey to Be Honored at AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting

U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Bob Casey (D-PA) will receive the 2017 AACI Public Service Award on October 16, in Washington, DC, during the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting. Both senators have been outspoken supporters of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the cancer centers in their respective states. AACI’s Board of Directors, the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting Program Committee and the AACI Government Relations Forum Steering Committee selected the senators for recognition.

Sen. Blunt is chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies. Since assuming the chairmanship, he has worked tirelessly to boost federal funding for the NIH and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Chairman Blunt has displayed bipartisanship as chair of the subcommittee, working with his partner across the aisle, 2015 AACI Public Service Awardee Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), to ensure increases for the NIH over the last two budget cycles.

In June, Chairman Blunt publicly rejected the Trump administration’s proposal to cut NIH funding, saying “a cut to NIH is a cut to lifesaving treatments and cures, affecting research performed all across the country.” Chairman Blunt served as a member of the House of Representatives prior to his election to the Senate in 2010 and has been an ally to Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis.

Sen. Casey is a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). For the last several years, he has partnered with Republican colleague, 2015 AACI Public Service Awardee Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), in writing appropriators, requesting a strong funding commitment for the NIH in the appropriations bill. Sens. Casey and Burr have maintained that a strong investment in the NIH yields scientific advances and improves health outcomes. They warned that any cut to biomedical research funding would cause the country to lose its competitive edge, as well as discourage young researchers from pursuing a career in the field. The bipartisan letter garnered 55 signatures.

Sen. Casey has been a friend to Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Temple Health; Penn State Cancer Institute; Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University; The Wistar Institute; and UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Both senators will be honored at the annual awards luncheon on Monday, October 16.

The meeting will be held at the Grand Hyatt Washington from October 15-17. Friday, September 15 is the last day to register before late registration rates apply. More information on the meeting, including the program and electronic registration is available on the AACI website. Reserve your hotel room today to take advantage of currents rates and availability.