Gov. McDonnell Ceremonially Signs Cancer Legislation at VCU Massey Cancer Center
Bills expand Commonwealth’s support for cancer research, treatment and education
At a celebration event on April 30, Gov. Bob McDonnell ceremonially signed four cancer-related bills at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center. The legislation continues the commonwealth’s unprecedented support for advancing cancer research, treatment and education at Massey and throughout Virginia.
Last year, the Governor presented $5 million in state funds for cancer research at Massey, representing a substantial increase over the $1 million in annual funding provided previously by the Commonwealth. This year, state support for Massey climbed even further to $7.5 million, with the opportunity to apply for additional funding through the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund as stipulated in one of the bills signed.
The increased funds for cancer research and new cancer legislation underscore the commonwealth’s commitment to reducing suffering and death from cancer, which is the core mission of Massey.
“The legislation signed today expands Virginia’s support for advancing the life-saving cancer research at institutions like VCU Massey Cancer Center,” said Governor McDonnell. “While we can celebrate that more and more Virginians are surviving cancer today because of the work of cancer organizations like Massey, we must continue to work to find a cure. With the Commonwealth’s support, that important work will continue and expand.”
“VCU is proud to host Governor McDonnell and our state legislators at Massey Cancer Center for the signing of critical cancer-related bills,” said VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. “The university is also deeply thankful to the commonwealth for investing additional resources in Massey’s groundbreaking and valuable research. Massey serves on the front lines of the war on cancer and the work done here exemplifies VCU’s laser focus on research that makes a difference and our unwavering commitment to human health.”
Said Sheldon M. Retchin, M.D., CEO of the VCU Health System and vice president of health sciences at VCU: “This legislative endorsement demonstrates the state’s acknowledgment of the importance of VCU Massey Cancer Center’s nationally recognized research in advancing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and the value of our world-class care in Virginia.”
“VCU Massey Cancer Center is pleased and appreciative of the commonwealth’s commitment to alleviating the effects of cancer,” said Massey Director Gordon D. Ginder, M.D.
“The increased funding and new legislation will enhance Massey’s ability to continue pursuing the scientific innovations that will ultimately save and improve lives.”
The following cancer bills were signed:
* HB1182 (Cox, Jones) Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund; uses – Allows the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund to provide grants to Virginia’s NCI-designated cancer centers to conduct cancer research in the Commonwealth’s tobacco-dependent counties
* HB83 (Orrock)/SB544 (Edwards) Mammograms; information on breast density – Requires physicians to report dense breast tissue to patients post mammogram
* HB1273 (Peace)/SB450 (Vogel) Health insurance: parity of coverage for oral chemotherapy medications – Requires health insurers to provide coverage for oral chemotherapy on par with coverage provided for intravenously administered or injected anticancer medications
* HJ120 (Sickles) Designating Mesothelioma Awareness Day – Designates September 26 as Mesothelioma Awareness Day