Become an Advocate
Working with like-minded organization and collaborators, Susan G. Komen Upstate New York is at the forefront of patient advocacy on local, state, and national levels.
We invite you to join us in acting as the bold, non-partisan voice of over 3 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. and the people who love them by joining the Komen Advocacy Alliance. As a Komen Public Policy Advocate, you ensure that the fight against breast cancer remains a priority among our state and national policymakers. As a Komen Research Advocate, you make certain that the perspectives of survivors and co-survivors are considered in the decisions that impact our progress toward ending breast cancer forever.
Every two years, the Komen Advocacy Alliance identifies issues that have the greatest potential impact on achieving our Bold Goal: to reduce breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026.
The Alliance gathers perspectives and view points from it’s network of Komen Affiliates, representatives from the African-American Health Equity Initiative (AAHEI), the metastatic breast cancer community, Advocates in Science (AIS), Komen Scholars and subject matter experts, and other stakeholders with a vested interest in breast cancer-related issue.
Collectively, our mission is to translate Komen’s vision of a world without breast cancer into action at every governmental level so that we can discover and deliver the cures for this devastating disease.
Komen Upstate New York Advocacy Activities
We congratulate the family and loved ones of Shannon Saturno, and thank Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for signing into law NY S.3852A | A.06731C, “Shannon’s Law,” in July 2019. The legislation was sponsored by New York State Senator Monica Martinez of Suffolk County and State Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, also of Suffolk County.
This law expands early detection efforts by mandating that large group insurance policies cover annual mammograms for persons age 35-39 upon recommendation by a physician. New York State law previously enacted as part of the “Get Screened. No Excuses.” initiative supported non-cost-sharing coverage of a baseline mammogram only for those age 35-39, with covered annual screening provisions beginning at age 40.
The law is named in honor of Shannon Saturno of Babylon, Long Island, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 28 while pregnant. She lost her battle in 2016, at age 32.
We celebrate the June 2019 passing of NY S.2849 | A.2969, sponsored by New York State Senator Neil Breslin of Albany and Rensselaer Counties and New York State Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes of Erie County.
This legislation ensures that all prescriptions breast cancer patients are currently taking will remain at the same formulary level and cost throughout the contract period. Consumers who buy a health insurance plan based on a specific drug formulary are often patients with chronic illnesses, such as breast cancer, that have worked with their health care team to find the best treatment plan for their specific needs.
Mid-year, non-medical switching takes treatment decisions out of the hands of doctors and patients and is not based on what is medically best for the patient.
2019-2020 Komen Public Policy & Advocacy Priorities
Ensuring Access to Affordable, High-Quality Health Care
- Protect access to affordable, high-quality health care for all patients.
- Support Medicaid expansion and expanded eligibility for Medicaid’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (BCCTP).
- Ensure continued access to Medicaid coverage without burdensome restrictions.
Advancing Breast Cancer Research
- Expand federal funding for all biomedical research, especially breast cancer research conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and at the Department of Defense (DOD).
- Support state funding for breast cancer research programs conducted through state institutions.
- Support increased education, utilization of and access to clinical trials for all patient populations.
Increasing Coverage and Access to Breast Cancer Screening and Diagnostic Services
- Support federal and state funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP).
- Support policies to modernize NBCCEDP state programs to expand eligibility and provide breast cancer screening and diagnostic services for additional populations.
- Reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic imaging.
Reducing Insurance Barriers to Treatment
- Protect patient preference and enhance coverage, including policies that would require oral parity, preclude specialty tiers, prevent step therapy protocols, prevent non-medical switching and limit patients’ out-of-pocket costs.
Supporting New York State’s Cancer Services Program
New York State’s Cancer Services Program (CSP) provides no-cost life-saving services for the early detection of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers to low-income, uninsured and/or underinsured New Yorkers.
The programs also provides clinical breast exams, mammograms, surgical consultations and diagnostic testing. If a breast cancer diagnosis is found, eligible clients can enroll in the Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program for Medicaid coverage for the duration of their treatment.
NYCSP operates through an extensive network of 36 Partnership organizations, including 5,000 hospitals, clinics and physician offices. Komen Upstate New York is a strong advocate and partner of the program in various regions throughout our service area. We aim to ensure full budget funding remains in tact for this important safety-net program in the New York State.