DENVER -- The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) awarded five people Advocacy Travel Awards. Awardees receive free conference registration, up to four nights' accommodations, a free IASLC Membership and travel stipend.
"Patient advocates are a critical component in the fight to conquer lung cancer and this is a great way to help integrate advocates into the World Conference," says Kristin Richeimer, director of Membership and Staff Liaison to the IASLC Advocacy Committee. "Awardees will be asked to identify ways they can share information from the conference with others in their region who may not be able to attend."
Winners include Beth Ida Stern, Executive Director of the Lung Cancer Foundation of America; Melinda Kotzian, CEO of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation; Robert Vojakovic, President of the Asbestos Disease Society of Australia; Merel Mountain, President of the Clifton F. Mountain Foundation and Trinidad Donoso, a lung cancer survivor and advocate from Chile.
"There is a lot to be done in lung cancer in Chile, one of the countries in Latin America with the highest smoking rates and the highest percentage of women smokers," says lung cancer survival Trinidad Donoso. "The conference would be a place to gather relevant information on strategies that civil society organizations have implemented in other parts of the world to successfully advocate for lung cancer care."
"I am thrilled to represent the Clifton F. Mountain Foundation at the upcoming 15th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Sydney, Australia and to use the materials and information I gain there in a dynamic fashion to work collaboratively with the IASLC and to help the world of lung cancer patients everywhere - even those as yet undiagnosed," Mountain says.
"The upcoming WCLC will be the first to include a patient advocacy group, (Lung Foundation Australia) on the local organizing committee. The WCLC 2013 program will include sessions that are relevant to patient advocates and provide access to hear the latest research and advances in treatments," says Glenda Colburn, chair of the IASLC Patient Advocacy Committee and a Director at Lung Foundation Australia.
Funding for the 2013 Advocacy Travel Awards has been generously provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb.