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Advocacy Committee

The mission of the Advocacy Committee is to create and maintain relationships with local, state, and national officials so that we may have opportunities to advocate for and lend support to breast cancer relevant bills and public policies.

  • We work with the local, state, and national elected officials to help them understand that breast cancer is a major health issue in this country affecting millions of women and families.
  • We attend the National Breast Cancer Coalition‘s Advocacy Training Conferences each year in an effort to provide our own community with as many trained advocates as our funds will allow.
  • We participate in medical and scientific conferences each year to strengthen our position in the scientific community.
  • We work with the National Breast Cancer Coalition by contacting our members of Congress regarding legislation on quality and availability of care, healthcare reform, and research funding.
  • We work with citizen and environmental agencies and organizations, such as NYPIRG, BCERF, the Just Green Partnership and RAMP, to increase awareness about environmental hazards related to breast cancer and other public health risks.

Harriet Susskind-Rosenblum Advocate’s Spirit Award –

The Advocate’s Spirit Award is named for Harriet Susskind-Rosenblum, a Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester Founder, a poet, and a fearless advocate who fought a glorious battle against breast cancer. 

Harriet never wavered in her commitment to eradicate breast cancer. Her hope was that her daughters would not have to live with the fear and uncertainty caused by the disease that she fought against so fiercely. Her Advocate’s Spirit lives on in all of us who had the privilege of knowing her. Harriet died of the disease in October 2002.

Advocacy Committee

Christina Thompson, Chair

H. Anderson

R. Burke

M. Capineri

P. Connelly

B. Crumity

A. Dennison

C. Dykes

S. Gambacorta-Hoffman

N. Gramkee-Cuer

J. Grela

M. Gross

K. Guglielmi

D. Hennekey

A. Jackson

C. Nelson

M. Ockenden

L. Rayburn

M. Sargent

R. Solomon

M. Steinberg

O. Toale

D. Webster

2021 Harriet Susskind-Rosenblum Advocate’s Spirit Award Recipient

Congressman John Katko
(24th District, New York, United States Congress)

Congressman John Katko represents breast cancer survivors in our region in the United States House of Representatives. He has been responsive to requests for support of cancer-related bills in general and to breast cancer legislation in particular. In May of 2021, Representative Katko announced the introduction of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act. The bipartisan legislation would provide immediate access to support and medical care for individuals with metastatic breast cancer who already qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and are therefore eligible for Medicare. The bill was introduced alongside Representative Kathy Caster (D, FL-14) and 36 other members of Congress.

Under current law, individuals diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer must wait five months for SSDI and 24 months for Medicare benefits to take effect. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act would waive both waiting periods, providing immediate benefits and health care to individuals with metastatic disease.

An entire country of breast cancer survivors who live with metastatic breast cancer desperately needed bipartisan sponsorship of this bill, and Representative Katko immediately stepped up to cosponsor.

Nominated by the Breast Cancer Coalition Advocacy Committee.