RESEARCH PATIENT ADVOCATE PEG FORD MEETS WITH CONGRESSWOMAN SUSAN DAVIS IN WASHINGTON D.C. FOLLOWED BY PARTICIPATION IN INTERACTIVE FORUM ON THE FEDERAL BUDGET IN SAN DIEGO
On an extremely hot and humid afternoon recently, Peg Ford was fortunate to have a face-to-face meeting with Congresswoman Susan Davis in her office in Washington D.C. Peg, Chair of the Ovarian Cancer Advocacy Alliance of San Diego, was in DC to attend the 14th Annual Conference of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) as an Ambassador of the California Ovarian Cancer Network (COCN). Peg participated in OCNA’s Advocacy Day where more than 100 individuals visited the ‘Hill’ to call on their representatives in regards to several issues facing this most lethal gynecologic cancer. Research funding is vitally important to discover a screening test to save more women’s lives and certainly would affect budget funding levels as most women face recurrences requiring additional treatment to fight this disease to poor overall success. Unfortunately, the overall 5-year survival rate is a dismal statistic of only 45%. Statistics recently released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) indicate the anticipated number of ovarian cancer cases (approximately 22,000) will double within the next ten to twenty years due to the aging of the Baby Boomer Generation.
The following week, Peg participated in Congresswoman Davis’ Interactive Forum on the Federal Budget held in San Diego. She wanted to attend not only as a patient advocate, but mainly as a concerned citizen. The invite asked for participants to share their thoughts on federal budget priorities and challenges. It certainly proved to be an interesting process as initially, the discussions were lively and chaotic, but once each table settled down to how to cut costs from several major categories, the focus was intense and thoughtful. Congresswoman Davis had planned to be present, but due to the budget crisis, she was in D.C. but sent a video message. Our table wrestled with where to begin as handouts provided by the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan organization committed to reducing the federal deficit, facilitated the event. The handouts listed various options to increase or decrease the federal budget but not surprisingly every option could not be built-in including the cost of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan which would need to be considered under the Department of Defense. We were fortunate to have Kenn Anderson at our table who had prepared well by arriving with a copy of the entire federal budget with detailed line items! His line-item budget showed an assortment of other options not listed on the handouts. Kenn called for a 10% cut across the board to all agencies and after an energetic discussion, a majority passed at the table. Peg then proposed a possible key to decide which cuts by recruiting panels of citizens, to recommend what and where the cuts would be to each agency head on a non-partisan basis. At the conclusion of the task, individuals from each table shared their efforts showing some insightful possibilities for Congresswoman Susan Davis and her staff to consider. Informative, without question, insightful, absolutely, but most importantly, how ordinary citizens can be creative with the challenges our representatives face today. Perhaps it is time for such an inventive program, as this Forum, to occur around the country rather than vocal confrontation of opposing viewpoints. It certainly focused the energy and talent of ordinary citizens in the room that day on possible solutions.
Digital photograph of Congresswoman Susan Davis and Peg Ford and/or
Digital photograph of Team Table One at Interactive Forum on the Federal Budget available upon request.
Media Contact: Peg Ford (619) 437-8438 firstname.lastname@example.org