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HEALTH ADVOCATES ENDORSE GOVERNOR SPITZER�S AGENDA FOR PUTTING PATIENTS FIRST

Advocates from the Alzheimer�s Association, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association (ADA), American Heart Association (AHA), American Lung Association of New York, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society met with Governor Spitzer, Lieutenant Governor Paterson, and Senator Neil Breslin today to discuss the Governor�s health care plan.

(Media-Newswire.com) - Governor Eliot Spitzer and Lieutenant Governor David Paterson today were joined by a coalition of health care advocates who endorsed their patient-centered efforts to reform New York�s health care system.

Advocates from the Alzheimer�s Association, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association ( ADA ), American Heart Association ( AHA ), American Lung Association of New York, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society met with Governor Spitzer, Lieutenant Governor Paterson, and Senator Neil Breslin today to discuss the Governor�s health care plan.

Among other key elements of Governor Spitzer�s health care agenda is the expansion of health care coverage for nearly 400,000 uninsured children through the State�s Child Health Plus program.

�I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who know that state health care spending should be patient-centered,� Governor Spitzer said. �Our ability to effectively treat � and more importantly prevent � chronic diseases means we must invest in new public health programs, such as cancer screenings, obesity prevention programs, and anti-tobacco initiatives.�

�Support from patient advocacy groups is a testament to the strength of the patient-centered health care reform. Our budget represents a fundamental shift in how we spend health care dollars,� said Lieutenant Governor David Paterson.

Mary Ann Ragona, CEO of the Long Island Chapter of the Alzheimer�s Association said: "Once enacted, the Governor�s health care reforms will help create the foundation for a meaningful response to the expanding number of people with Alzheimer�s disease. Among its key components are measures to assist families who want to safely care for an impacted loved one in their home. Ensuring that the necessary support and resources are available, enabling them to provide care in a manner that is ultimately more humane and cost effective."

Donald Distasio, Chief Executive Officer of the American Cancer Society said: �On behalf of the American Cancer Society�s thousands of volunteers, staff, cancer survivors and caregivers across New York, we would like to express our appreciation and support for the Governor�s proposed Executive Budget measures on cancer prevention and early detection. We believe this budget holds tremendous promise for reforming health care and expanding access to health care coverage while maintaining a strong commitment to specific cancer related programs, including: $85 million for tobacco use prevention and cessation support, $27 million in state funding for breast, cervical, and colon cancer detection programs for the uninsured, and $5 million in new funding for HPV vaccines for uninsured young women.�

Steve Habbe, Associate Director of the American Diabetes Association said: �The Governor�s additional $1.8 million in funding for the New York Diabetes Prevention and Control Program will allow for strengthened community level initiatives to address prevention issues among both people with diabetes and those at risk for it. The ADA views stem cell research as a critical avenue of research in the ongoing search for a cure for diabetes.�

Paul Hartman, Director of Advocacy for the American Heart Association said: �The American Heart Association would like to commend Governor Eliot Spitzer for crafting a state budget that seeks to ensure that heart disease and stroke prevention and treatment are a priority in New York State. The Governor�s budget provides over $165 million in funding for AHA priorities such as tobacco control, obesity prevention, hypertension programs, emergency telecommunications, and public access to defibrillation.�

Deborah Carioto, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association of New York State said: �We commend the Governor for sending to the Legislature a health budget that emphasizes public health protection and the patient�s first agenda. Such an agenda can make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers with lung disease, including the 1.6 million with asthma. The budget submittal includes funding for an asthma disease management program to achieve reductions in hospital stays. With a price tag of over $9,000 per stay, there are tremendous savings to be gained from just this one area. This budget lays the foundation for more efforts to focus on disease prevention rather than disease treatment.�

Elisa Perreault, an active volunteer with the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation said: �This Executive Budget is a breath of fresh air for the Diabetes Prevention Control Program and will have a dramatic impact on the lives of children throughout New York. The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation also applauds the Governor�s commitment of $50 million for stem-cell research.�

Quentin �Chip� Lockwood, Jr., Executive Director of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society�s Central New York Chapter said: �For patients diagnosed with Leukemia, Lymphoma, and other blood-related cancers, immediate and affordable access to treatment is often the difference between life and death. The Society looks forward to working with Governor Spitzer to ensure New York�s health care system is equipped and ready to meet these demands.�

Additional Information

Publisher: http://www.ny.gov

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