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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.

2018 Award Recipient: Beverly Canin

Following her diagnosis of breast cancer in late 2000, Beverly Canin became aware of the importance of advocacy because, she says, “so much conflicting information fueled by many different agendas makes it very difficult for a person to make sense of it all. We need advocates to sift through the huge amount of information, but, more importantly, we need advocates to sift through the misinformation.”

Her concerns about environmental links to breast cancer, and her desire to learn where all the money raised in the name of breast cancer was going, propelled her into action. She joined the ad-hoc ‘Follow the Money’ working group (an outcome of Breast Cancer Action’s Think Before You Pink Campaign) to not only promote more transparency in fundraising associated with breast cancer, but to encourage fundraisers to consider patients’ concerns about the kinds of research being funded. Beverly has advocated for clinical trials to be more patient-centered, reviewed grant proposals for breast cancer research programs, presented patient advocate perspectives at scientific meetings, co-authored peer reviewed articles, chaired patient advisory committees and served or serves on state and national boards/committees.  

Beverly is currently a member of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester’s   Research Advisory Committee and the nation-wide Cancer and Aging Research Group. She resides in Rhinebeck, NY where she is board president of Breast Cancer Options, a patient-driven grassroots support, education, and advocacy organization serving the Hudson Valley.