This week, we’ve seen some attention around the foundation’s advocacy and lobbying efforts in Washington. I want to shed light on our goals and work over the last decade and the last few weeks in particular.
For more than 10 years, the Lance Armstrong Foundation has worked with our peers in the cancer community to represent the interests of survivors in Washington. Part of that important advocacy work involves lobbying: Pushing our elected leaders for more cancer research and patient program funding. Asking lawmakers for better access to health care for Americans fighting cancer and its effects. Advocating that U.S. foreign aid investments be used to strengthen health systems in the developing world so that more cancer patients receive treatment.
Like many non-profits headquartered outside our nation’s capitol, we work with various Washington-based lobbying firms to help us further those goals. We’ve done so for more than a decade.
The vast majority of the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s resources and efforts are devoted to programs that serve survivors. As of today in 2012, eighty-five cents of every dollar the foundation raises go to cancer programs like our free patient navigation services that help families overcome the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease. In fact, our program expenses to overhead ratio has been recognized by the charity watchdog group Charity Navigator with a four out of four star rating.
Being a frequent presence on Capitol Hill is an essential part of advancing the fight against cancer and advocating for survivors. Last week is a great example: In addition to meetings with elected leaders and their staff, we had a number of Foundation representatives and volunteers on the Hill for One Voice Against Cancer’s lobby day. This annual event brings the cancer community together to ask Congress for increased funding to fight the disease. We also had Lance Armstrong Foundation staff attending a briefing on a new national breast health initiative, designed to provide free and low-cost screenings to women throughout the U.S. And given our long-standing support of the Affordable Care Act due to its many benefits to survivors, we were also there to monitor the effort in Congress to overturn this important piece of legislation.
As we continue our regular interactions with lawmakers and their staff about the fight against cancer, of course other topics arise, like news about our founder. The foundation has publicly stated its hope that Lance receive a fair chance to clear his name. And we’re not shy about repeating that hope, wherever and whenever the topic comes up.
Advocacy is a tremendously important part of the cancer community’s work and the Foundation is committed to continuing to push our government for more funding, more access to care and better laws to protect survivors.
Vice President, Communications and External Affairs
Lance Armstrong Foundation