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State announces $25 million to fight opioid crisis, including $650K for GCASA

Posted 6 September 2018 at 2:58 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the distribution of $25.2 million dollars in federal funding through the Opioid State Targeted Response Grant, which will expand critical initiatives to combat the opioid crisis. In the second year New York State has been awarded this grant, 19 additional counties have been selected to receive funding. Funding will be distributed to programs that offer prevention, treatment, and recovery services in high-need areas across the state to increase access to treatment, and reduce unmet need and overdose-related deaths.

“This opioid crisis devastates families and entire communities and we must do everything in our power to fight back against this very real threat to New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “It’s critical that we continue to lead the nation in implementing new, effective solutions to save lives, and this funding will provide the expanded services and treatment that those suffering from addiction so desperately need.”

Funding for the Opioid State Targeted Response Grant is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Last year, 16 counties were recipients of the grant funding. This year, 19 additional counties have been identified as having high needs, for a total of 35 counties being supported through the second year of the grant. New counties to receive funding were designated as having high needs based on the number of opioid overdose deaths, hospitalizations involving opioids and residents leaving the county to access addiction treatment services.

The 19 counties awarded funding through the second year of the grant are: Suffolk, Broome, Oneida, Orange, Bronx, Cortland, Schenectady, Monroe, Richmond, Genesee, Nassau, Columbia, Kings, Herkimer, New York, Otsego, Dutchess, Queens, and Wayne. These counties will share more than $15 million to increase access to treatment through initiatives that include expanded mobile treatment, telepractice and peer services.

The Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc. has been approved for $650,000.

In addition, these high-need counties will share more than $1.3 million to expand medication-assisted treatment and treatment transition for patients in local correctional facilities and state parole violator facilities.

Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has instituted an aggressive, multi-pronged approach to addressing the opioid epidemic by expanding access to traditional services, such as treatment programs, and recommending new, non-traditional services, including recovery centers and 24/7 open access centers. The governor has also worked to increase the availability of naloxone, resulting in more than 300,000 individuals in New York State receiving training to administer the opioid overdose reversal medication.

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (Short Code 467369).

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Gillibrand says unfair trade policies from Canada hurt U.S. dairies

Posted 5 September 2018 at 2:50 pm

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

WASHINGTON, DC – As NAFTA renegotiations resume with Canada this week, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, on Tuesday urged the Trump Administration to reject any trade agreement unless it protects New York dairy farmers.

Unfair Canadian trade policies limit American dairy producers’ access to the Canadian market, and Gillibrand called on the Administration to end these practices in any new trade negotiation. In addition, with the Administration’s trade war and historically low dairy prices continuing to harm dairy farmers, Gillibrand also called on the Trump Administration to immediately distribute authorized emergency relief payments to help support dairy producers.

“New York’s dairy farmers are struggling right now,” said Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Milk prices are too low, our dairy insurance programs aren’t working, and the trade wars that President Trump started are hurting our dairy industry. As the Trump Administration renegotiates NAFTA, I am calling on the Trump Administration to guarantee that any final deal with Canada protects our dairy farmers. In addition, I am calling on the Secretary of Agriculture to immediately release the emergency relief payments that have been authorized for dairy farmers to help them bear the burden of the Trump Administration’s trade war. I will always fight for New York’s dairy industry in the Senate, and I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that any new trade deals protect our dairy farmers.”

Gillibrand wrote to the United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to ensure that any new trade agreement creates opportunities for dairy farmers. Under NAFTA, American dairy producers have not benefited from fair trade or unrestricted access to the Canadian market for their products. Instead, Canadian dairy subsidies and discriminatory trade quotas restrict New York dairy producers from selling their products to the nearest trade market. Gillibrand called for any final agreement with Canada to prioritize the well-being of dairy farmers, end discriminatory practices, and establish fair trade opportunities.

Gillibrand also called on the Trump Administration to immediately distribute emergency relief funding for dairy farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced $12 billion in assistance to farmers across America. Dairy is supposed to receive an estimated $127 million, but there has been no clear explanation for how or when these payments will be issued. As historically low dairy prices and the Administration’s trade war continue to force dairy farmers to shoulder increasing amounts of debt to continue operating their farms, Gillibrand called on the USDA to issue these payments immediately to help keep farmers out of bankruptcy.

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WNY health departments want state to insist on stringent environmental review of turbine projects

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 September 2018 at 8:11 pm

File photo by Tom Rivers: This photo from Oct. 14, 2015 shows some of the 400-foot-high turbines in Sheldon, Wyoming County. Apex Clean Energy is proposing projects that would have taller turbines in Barre, and also the towns of Yates and Somerset.

The Western New York Public Health Alliance, which includes the public health departments in Orleans and seven other counties, is asking the state to make sure industrial wind turbines get a stringent environmental review that addresses local concerns.

The state, since it enacted the Article 10 process for siting large-scale wind energy project, has waived a thorough environmental review at the local level. By deeming the projects Type II actions a more detailed environmental review can be waived at the local level, The Western New York Public Health Alliance wrote in a letter to the Public Service Commission.

“Under the Article 10 legislation, our local boards of health home rule ability to take steps to safeguard the health and wellness of our residents and protect the environment within our counties has been put at risk,” according to a June 12 letter from the WNY Public Health Alliance.

The Alliance sent the letter to the Honorable Kathleen H. Burgess, secretary to the commissioner of the Public Service Commission. The Alliance today sent a press release to the media, drawing attention to the group’s stance on the issue.

“What is the State’s position and plan to ensure that our residents’ health is protected and the impacts on our local environment have been reviewed and vetted through the standard state assessments for projects of this magnitude?” the letter asks.

The Boards of Health for Niagara and Orleans have earlier sent a similar letter to the Public Service Commission, asking that environmental concerns over the projects be a high priority.

“Our membership believes that any project of this nature and magnitude only be considered following a complete and transparent process including all the standard environmental and health impact studies and local input,” the Alliance states in its letter. “The WNYPHA, lacking both the resource and expertise in this very broad matter, believe it is both reasonable and prudent to require a full SEQRA environmental review prior to any further consideration or action by the Article 10 Siting Board.”

The state has formed a seven-member Siting Board that includes two representatives from a local community where a project is proposed, as well as the chairman of the Department of Public Service, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation, commissioner of the Department of Health, chairman of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, and the commissioner of Economic Development.

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2 new laws in NY will assist people with autism, other developmental disabilities

Staff Reports Posted 30 August 2018 at 9:08 am

State Sen Robert Ortt, chairman of the Senate’s Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, is praising the passage of two laws that will assist people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

One of the new laws requires the state to establish new screening guidelines for autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in children under four years old. Screening is a way to detect a disorder, such as autism, before the onset of symptoms. Previously, there had been no standardized screening approach for the early identification of autism, Ortt said.

Recent studies indicate that early detection and treatment have proven to be highly beneficial for the well-being of children who are on the autism spectrum, and thanks to this legislation, established and consistent screening guidelines will now be in place, he said.

“This will make certain that all parents and children, regardless of where they are tested, receive the most effective and beneficial methods that medical providers have to offer,” Ortt said.

The second new law creates a new optional identification card to help improve communication with people who have developmental disabilities. The new optional identification cards can be given to law enforcement or other first responders in an emergency and convey important details, such as potential difficulties with interpersonal communication or physical contact, or an inability to respond verbally, as well as additional contact information.

“Creation of an official document with consistent language, appearance, and application standards will improve the ability of individuals with developmental disabilities across the state to effectively communicate important information about their diagnoses,” Ortt said.

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16-week workshop can help prevent or delay diabetes

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 August 2018 at 8:57 am

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Jessica Downey, left, and Cindy Perry with Community Partners at Orleans Community Health display a poster board with information on prediabetes. Community Partners is offering classes in Medina and Albion on identifying those at risk and the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Orleans Community Health’s Community Partners is offering a free 16-week workshop that has proven to help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes, according to Cindy Perry, director of outreach, education and marketing at Community Partners.

“Just making small changes in diet and exercise can be beneficial,” Perry said. “Exercise, which can just be cleaning house, can make a big difference.”

The Prevent T2 Lifestyle Change workshops will be offered at locations in Albion and Medina.

The Albion location will be at the Orleans County Health Department, with classes from 9 to 10 a.m., beginning Sept. 26.

In Medina, the classes are scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. at Community Partners, 200 Ohio St. (Medina Memorial Hospital).

Trainers (or coaches) will be Perry and Jessica Downey.

“We are offering a night class to accommodate people who have careers during the day,” Downey said.

Individuals will learn skills to make lasting lifestyle changes, including healthy eating, adding physical activity to their lives, managing stress and staying motivated.

A study conducted by the Center for Disease Control showed that nine out of 10 people don’t know they have prediabetes, and those who took part in a structured lifestyle change program cut their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58 percent (71 percent for people over 60).

The study was so successful, it was discontinued ahead of time, Perry said.

In a previous program sponsored by Community Partners, one participant lowered her A1c from 6.3 to 5.7, which is the very bottom of the pre-diabetes range. She also lost seven percent of her body weight.

“My goal was to prevent diabetes and lower my A1c,” said the woman, who asked to be identified only as Anna. “It is possible to achieve positive results. It does take dedication and isn’t always easy, but it is definitely worth it. The class really helped me to become healthier. I enjoyed the interaction from the other participants, and we helped each other to stay on track and remain motivated.”

The impact of taking this program can last for years to come, Perry said. After 10 years, people who complete the program are one-third less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

To register for the program, call 798-9541 or e-mail NDPP@orleanscountyny.gov.

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Governor says all SUNY campuses statewide will have food pantries by end of fall semester

Posted 29 August 2018 at 4:04 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 100 percent of all New York State public colleges at The State University of New York and The City University of New York will have a food pantry or stigma-free food access for students in need by the end of the fall semester.

The accomplishment will make New York the first state in the nation to have such a comprehensive program to combat student hunger. Currently, as classes begin, nearly 90 percent of SUNY and CUNY campuses offer these services as part of the Governor’s “No Student Goes Hungry Program.”

“Hunger should never be a barrier for those seeking to achieve their dreams of a higher education,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is proud to be the first state in the nation to require every public campus to have a food pantry, ensuring that our students have all they need on the path to success.”

In his 2018 State of the State address, the Governor announced a five-point plan to combat hunger for students in kindergarten through college. The plan seeks to provide healthy, locally-sourced meals to the almost one million children in New York who do not have access to the adequate nutrition they need. As part of that plan, the Governor tasked SUNY and CUNY with the establishment of physical food pantries on campus or stigma-free access to free food.

“Food insecurity can affect anyone, including the students enrolled in our campuses,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. “Under the Governor’s leadership and with incredible support from all 64 SUNY campuses and partnerships across the state, we are quickly changing not only the conversation about hunger on our campuses, but how we support our students in critical need. Together, we are providing needed nutrition, ending the stigma around food insecurity, and helping ensure no student is forced to drop out because of limited access to the healthy food they need.”

In 2018, directly following the Governor’s announcement, SUNY created a Food Insecurity Task Force, drawing members from a broad spectrum of constituencies, including students; staff; faculty; auxiliary food service providers; food bank associations; civic organizations; and community and philanthropic organizations, to study the issue of food insecurity on college campuses and recommend the necessary changes and best practices to alleviate this serious issue to date.

In addition to the expansion of and access to food pantries, the task force’s efforts have helped establish and grow innovative intervention programs on SUNY campuses, including mobile food trucks, local farm crop sharing, a subsidized on campus grocery store, and programming that allows students to “pay” a campus parking ticket in food donations to an on-campus pantry.

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Gillibrand announces legislation to reduce mortality rates for mothers

Posted 29 August 2018 at 7:16 am

U.S. has more pregnancy-related deaths than any other developed country

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Courtesy of Kirsten Gillibrand’s Office – Maternal deaths per 100,000 live births

WASHINGTON, DC – With maternal mortality rates on the rise across the country and New York State, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday announced the Modernizing Obstetric Medicine Standards (MOMS) Act, new legislation that would help prevent women from suffering from medical complications or dying before, during, and after childbirth.

The United States has more pregnancy-related deaths than any other developed country in the world, particularly among black women. Each year it is estimated that there are at least 50,000 women who experience a complication during childbirth, and according to an NPR and ProPublica report, for every woman who dies in childbirth in the US, there are 70 women who nearly die.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 60 percent of these deaths and complications are preventable. Hospitals often lack the funding necessary for supplies and proper training to implement standards to prevent complications and deaths arising from pregnancy and childbirth.

“Our state has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, and our country has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world,” Gillibrand said. “It’s even worse for black women, who are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. This is completely unacceptable and largely avoidable, and it’s a crisis that we can and must solve now.”

Kirsten Gillibrand

The MOMS Act would help reduce maternal deaths and complications in the United States by providing funding to states and hospitals to develop and implement standardized maternal safety best practices, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to prevent and respond to complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth.

New York State has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the country, and over the past decade, the state has experienced a 60 percent increase in maternal mortality. To date, in August 2018, the rate of maternal mortality in New York State is 20.9 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. In New York City, where half of the state’s births take place, there have been 22.6 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births so far this year. Racial disparities are also very evident, especially with black women, who are three to four times more likely to die from complications arising during or after childbirth. In New York City, black women are 12 times more likely to die from complications arising during or after childbirth.

“This much-needed legislation would help our hospitals monitor all mothers before, during, and after they give birth for preventable but potentially fatal conditions like hemorrhage and preeclampsia, and it would provide them with the federal funding they need to purchase supplies to implement new procedures and effectively treat patients,” Gillibrand said. “We need to protect and value mothers, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation to address the urgent crisis of maternal mortality and help end racial disparities in our health care system.”

The MOMS Act is cosponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA). This legislation would address the problem of maternal mortality by providing new funding to hospitals with obstetrics and gynecology practices that want to improve their response to pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated complications by implementing standardized best practices.

Specifically, the MOMS Act would do the following:

• Promote and update maternal safety standards and best practices for hospitals: The MOMS Act would expand the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) Program at HHS to develop new and update existing standardized maternal safety best practices and to provide technical assistance to states and hospitals to voluntarily implement such standards to prevent maternal mortality and morbidity.

• Create a grant program to help states and hospitals implement the standardized maternal safety best practices developed by AIM: The grant funding would be used to further develop, purchase the necessary supplies for, and conduct training to fully implement the new best practices for preventing maternal death and complications. Funding would be prioritized for hospitals serving low-income, at-risk, and rural populations.

• Improve the CDC Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System to include reports from state Maternal Mortality Review Committee (MMRC) investigations of pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths.

• Direct the CDC to provide technical assistance to State MMRCs to review pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated complications.

Gillibrand’s legislation is supported by Moms Rising, the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, and the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs. Gillibrand is also a cosponsor of the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies Act (S. 3363), which would authorize two new grant programs to address the racial disparities in maternal care; the Maternal Health Accountability Act of 2017 (S. 1112), which would provide funding to states and Indian tribes to establish a new, or support the work of an existing, MMRC; and the Quality Care for Moms and Babies Act (S. 2637), which would create new ways to measure the quality of existing maternity and infant care provided through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

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Albion natives who lost son to flu urge vaccinations

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2018 at 3:26 pm

Tony and Laura Sidari say young children are especially vulnerable

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – The Albion Rotary Club this morning presented a check for $2,670 to the Leon Sidari Memorial Fund, which will be used by Orleans Community Health to promote flu vaccinations and also for the annual Breakfast with Santa at Medina Memorial Hospital.

Leon’s Fund was established as a non-profit organization in memory of Leon Sidari, who was 4 ½ when he died on Christmas, two days after getting the flu. Leon is the son of Albion natives Laura (Lyman) Sidari and Tony Sidari. They are both medical doctors who were based in San Antonio for six years before recently moving to Dayton, Ohio.

The Sidaris have been in Albion recently visiting family and friends. Pictured, from left, includes, Cindy Perry, Rotary golf tournament organizer and director of education, wellness and marketing for Orleans Community Health’s Community Partners; Cameron Sidari, 9 months; Laura Sidari; Tristan Sidari, 2; Tony Sidari; and Karen Sawicz, president of the Albion Rotary Club.

Leon Sidari

The funds from Rotary were raised during a July 19 golf tournament. The Sidaris are directing those funds to Orleans Community Health, which will be promoting flu shots in the community. Medina Memorial Hospital also has an annual breakfast with Santa and some of the golf tournament proceeds will go towards that event. Leon enjoyed Christmas and loved to give away presents.

“He was a fantastic kid,” his mother said. “We had a lot of hopes and dreams for him.”

The memorial fund in Leon’s name promotes flu shots and also has money to be given to help children with medical problems at Christmas time.

Laura and Tony said their son was very healthy and started showing flu symptoms on Dec. 23. Within 48 hours he died despite the efforts of a medical team at the hospital.

Leon had been vaccinated for the flu in prior years and was due for a flu shot soon after Christmas. He died from the strain of the virus called H3N2.

The Sidaris say young, healthy children can be ravaged by the flu. They are encouraging all children, 6 months or older, to be vaccinated.

Parents should have the children vaccinated every year to build their immunity in fighting off the flu, the Sidaris said. They urge children to be vaccinated early in the flu season in September or October.

“The flu shot reduces the risk of severe complications,” Tony said this morning at Hoag Library, where he and his wife accepted a ceremonial check from the Rotary Club.

Tony and Laura grew up together in Albion, attending the same preschool. Tony graduated from Albion in 2003 with Laura finishing Albion a year later. They were in the marching band together. They started dating at Cornell University.

They both earned licenses as medical doctors with Laura working as a psychiatrist and Tony as a rheumatologist. They are both in the Air Force.

Tony is the son of Lori Murek of Albion and Paul Sidari, who lives near Boston, Massachusetts. Laura is the daughter of Nathan and Gail Lyman, who now live in Ithaca.

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Madisonation golf tournament raises $7K for Lockport girl battling cancer

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2018 at 12:06 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

MURRAY – Th eighth annual Madisonation golf tournament was Sunday at Hickory Ridge Country Club. The tournament started in honor of Madison Muckle of Albion. She is pictured at right with her father Kevin Muckle, who organizes the annual event.

Proceeds from the tournament this year are being directed to Natalie Morley, 6, (left) and her mother Ariel Riddick of Lockport. Natalie is fighting cancer for the second time. She just endured a year of radiation and will be checked in October to see if the cancer is gone.

Natalie starts first grade today in Kenmore. She has been fighting stage 3of Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma Cancer, a soft tissue tumor. Her mother is optimistic the cancer is gone.

Muckle has been organizing the tournament for several years. He said he is grateful for the people who helped his daughter get through 2 ½ years of cancer treatments. On April 10 she reached the five-year mark of being cancer free.

Muckle of Batavia said he is very thankful for his daughter and her success in overcoming cancer. Madison, 10, starts fifth grade next week at Albion.

Mr. Muckle works as a traveling sales rep for a medical equipment company. He works on the golf tournament each year for about four months, lining up sponsors, raffle donations and golfers.

Scott Flick of Flicktures created this artwork of Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen. There were many memorabilia items at the auction for players from the Buffalo Bills, Sabres and New York Yankees.

There were about 100 golfers on Sunday and the banquet was attended by about 160 people.

In the past the tournament has benefitted Camp Good Days, the Ronald McDonald House, the Make-A-Wish Foundation or other local families with a child fighting cancer.

Muckle met with Natalie and her mother and decided the funds this year should help Natalie’s family.

“She is a great kid,” he said.

Muckle was connected to Natalie’s family through a social worker at Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo.

The tournament raised $7,000. That will help with out-of-pocket medical costs, gas, parking, food and other expenses.

Muckle thanked the many supporters for the tournament.

“Looking out and seeing all of these people is an emotional thing,” he said. “We do this because we want to give back.”

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$1 million in federal budget for national firefighter cancer registry

Posted 22 August 2018 at 1:02 pm

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer

Photo by Tom Rivers: Albion firefighters battle a garage fire on Jan. 2, 2016 on South Clinton Street.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that as an amendment to the upcoming FY2019 Health and Human Services (HHS) minibus appropriations bill, the U.S. Senate passed $1 million in FY2019 funding for the national firefighter cancer registry.

Schumer explained that in June of this year, Congress passed legislation that would establish a specialized national firefighters’ cancer registry to be managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Schumer has long fought for this critical registry that would improve collection capabilities and activities related to the nationwide monitoring of cancer incidence among all firefighters, both career and volunteer. Schumer called the Senate passing funding for this registry a big step in the right direction, and vowed to see the funding through Congress and signed into law.

“Firefighters risk their lives every day, exposing themselves to harmful toxins and pollutants, and charging into extreme danger,” Schumer said. “We owe it to these courageous men and women to ensure that if they fall ill, they receive first-rate medical care and treatment.”

According to a five-year study conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, there are twice as many firefighters in the U.S. with malignant mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, when compared to the general population. The same study also found that firefighters have an increased risk of death from lung cancer and leukemia as compared to the general population.

“That’s why I was so proud to lead the effort to pass this bill and support this funding for the first-ever national firefighter cancer registry,” Schumer said. “The Senate took a big step in getting this vital program up and running. This registry, which I’ve long supported, will help researchers track, treat, and eventually prevent firefighters being stricken by cancer. I’ll always work tirelessly on behalf of our first responders, and vow to see this funding through Congress and signed into law.”

Schumer explained that firefighters are exposed to a range of harmful toxins when responding to emergency situations, often as a result of the noxious flame retardants and other chemicals that are used in everyday items, from furniture to clothing, and to even children’s toys. Experts and scientists have repeatedly sounded the alarm on the danger of these toxic chemicals because they have been found to cause developmental delays in children from long-term exposure in addition to rare cancers in firefighters when these products burn and the toxins become airborne.

Schumer said research has indicated that there is a strong connection between firefighting and an increased risk for several major cancers, including testicular, stomach, multiple myeloma and brain cancers. However, there has never been a long-term registry put in place that could be used to track the potential connections between firefighting and incidences of cancer.

Schumer, therefore, said this national firefighter cancer registry is of the utmost importance, so experts and researchers can more effectively monitor nationwide trends and incidences of cancer among firefighter – both career and volunteer. Schumer said such a registry would help medical professionals more effectively identify and treat cancer in firefighters over the long-term.

Specifically, this national firefighter cancer registry will do the following:

• First, this registry will compile in one place the epidemiological information submitted by healthcare professionals related to cancer incidence among firefighters.

• Second, it will make anonymous data available to public health researchers so that they would have access to the comprehensive datasets that will allow them to expand this groundbreaking research.

• Third, this registry will improve our understanding of cancer incidence as the registry grows, which could potentially lead to the development of advanced safety protocols and safeguards for the firefighters on the front lines each day.

• Finally, this legislation will allow for increased collaboration between the CDC and epidemiologists, public health experts, clinicians and firefighters through regular and consistent consultations to improve the effectiveness and accuracy of the registry.

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