Governor Wolf Signs Bill Aimed at Increasing Public Awareness of Prostate Cancer

June 16, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Wolf ceremoniously signed SB 609, sponsored by Senator Bob Mensch. This bill creates greater public awareness of measures available to detect, diagnose and treat prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions.

“As many of you know, earlier this week I underwent an outpatient procedure to treat my prostate cancer. My case was diagnosed early,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Fortunately, that early detection allowed me to have the opportunity to make decisions and schedule an effective treatment. My case was diagnosed as a result of a routine checkup, which is why SB 609 is an extremely important bill”

The legislation directs the Department of Health to establish a 19-member task force on prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions to investigate and make recommendations. It creates greater public awareness of the measures available to detect, diagnose and treat prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions and directs the Department of Health to establish a 19-member task force on prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions to investigate and make recommendations

It will help medical professionals, insurers, patients, governmental agencies, and patients have accurate knowledge about screening, diagnosis and treatment options for prostate cancer.

“Legislation that I sponsored, now Act 66 of November 2015, established a Prostate Cancer Task Force with the purpose of investigating, raising awareness and making recommendations concerning prostate cancer and prostate cancer related conditions,” said Senator Mensch.  “The findings of this task force will be invaluable to the health of all men and can be a model for other states. We need to take these recommendations from the task force and act on them to further help those suffering with this terrible disease.”

“I am very thankful that my doctors caught my cancer quickly and have worked with me to plan a treatment schedule that will address my medical issues while serving the people of Pennsylvania,” said Governor Wolf. “I want to encourage everyone in Pennsylvania to make sure they schedule regular checkups with their doctors and are aware of screening guidelines so early detection and treatment can be possible.”

The following are current members of the task force:

  • Sharon Sowers, Plan and Policy Development Section Chief; Pennsylvania Department of Health
  • Peter Speaks, Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs; Department of State
  • David Bruno, Consumer Liaison; Pennsylvania Insurance Department
  • David Galinsky, Chief Medical Officer; Pennsylvania Department of Aging
  • Barry Wingard. MD, Medical Director; Office of Medical Assistance Programs
  • Angelo A Baccala Jr., MD, Chief, Division of Urology; LVPG Urology, Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • Benjamin Davies, MD, Associate Professor of Urology; University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine
  • Eric Horwitz, MD, Chair, Radiation Oncology Department; Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • Christopher Peters, MD, Partner of Raditation Med. Associates of Scranton (RAMAS), Medical Director of NE Raditation Oncology Center, Chair of Department of Radiation Oncology, Chair of Cancer Committee Board of Directors; Northeast Radiation Oncology Center-Dunmore
  • Charnita Ziegler-Johnson, PhD, MPH, Asst. Professor, Thomas Jefferson University
  • Theda Shaw, RN, MSN, Genitourinary Program Coordinator, Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute
  • James Williams, Col. (Ret.), Chairman, PA Prostate Cancer Coalition
  • Jerry Bortman, Survivor Advocate
  • Alan Schein, MD, Family member of Prostate Cancer patient

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