FROM THE HEADLINES: What the Supreme Court Decision and the ACA Mean to Mesothelioma Patients

Statement: Kathy Wiedemer, Executive Director, Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation is pleased the Supreme Court has found the Affordable Care Act constitutional.  We have worked with other national health organizations to ensure the concerns of our patient and family caregiver communities addressed through the Act were upheld by the Court. The blog below will clarify many of the questions regarding the Act and how it will affect mesothelioma patients.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  By a vote of 5 to 4, the Court ruled that the law is constitutional.  Chief Justice Roberts (considered a conservative) joined the four liberal justices to uphold the law. A copy of the decision is available here.

You may wonder what this really means, and how will it affect meso patients.  In a nutshell, here is what happened…

The decision of the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate provision, which requires American citizens to be insured or subject to a penalty tax.  This means that the majority of citizens must either hold private health insurance, be covered under an employer-based health plan or be enrolled in a public plan such as Medicare or Medicaid. Those who are not covered under one of these programs will be subject to a tax. Whether and how this tax would be enforced is unclear, though the court was clear that it would be considered a tax like any other. Continue reading “FROM THE HEADLINES: What the Supreme Court Decision and the ACA Mean to Mesothelioma Patients” »

The Meso Foundation’s Pioneer of the Year Award Recipient: Dr. David Sugarbaker, MD

At the Meso Foundation’s annual Symposium — this year, happening July 12-13 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC — individuals are bestowed honors for superlative service to the community, ranging from volunteer efforts to advancement in research. The Pioneer Award was designed to support individual scientists and clinicians of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering – and possibly transforming approaches – to major challenges in mesothelioma treatment and/or research. This year’s recipient of the Pioneer Award is Dr. David Sugarbaker. Dr. Sugarbaker in addition to his novel approaches to mesothelioma surgery has contributed a vast array of impressive research topics in peer reviewed medical journals.  He has trained many young surgeons and has inspired countless others to remain committed to mesothelioma research and treatment.

Have you made arrangements to join us — either virtually or physically — for this year’s symposium? The Meso Foundation Symposium 2012 takes place in Washington DC this year, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. This year, guests include Raja Flores, MD, Stephen Hahn, MD, Raffit Hassan, MD, Robert Kratzke, MD, Harvey Pass, MD, Daniel Sterman, MD, David Sugarbaker, MD, and Robert Taub, MD, PhD among others. Presentations include a wide range of topics covering the latest research, novel approaches to treatment, and reflective moments with members of the meso community. With so many amazing people in attendance, come join us in Washington DC or join us online as we at the Meso Foundation ask you “What’s Your Question?”

FROM THE HEADLINES: The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Appears before the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations

Last week, on June 6, 2012, Mary Hesdorffer, MS, APRN, nurse practitioner and medical liaison for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, appeared before the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations – Subcommittee on Defense, at their Fiscal Year 2013 Appropriations Outside Witness Testimony Hearing. Speaking with the voice of the Meso Foundation and its community, Mary made an appeal to the lawmakers for their attention concerning mesothelioma and its impact on those who served to defend the United States.

The Meso Foundation played a critical role in making peritoneal mesothelioma and pleural mesothelioma eligible topics within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. The first ever DoD award for mesothelioma occurred in 2008 when one investigator obtained over $1.3 million for research. A total of $7.7 million has been awarded to mesothelioma research through the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program and the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program, both divisions of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, which is administered by the Department of Defense since Fiscal Year 2008. Continue reading “FROM THE HEADLINES: The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation Appears before the United States Senate Committee on Appropriations” »

The Meso Foundation’s Volunteers of the Year Award Recipients: Erica Iacono and Janice Malkotsis

At the Meso Foundation’s annual symposium — this year, happening July 12-13 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC — individuals are bestowed honors for superlative service to the community, ranging from volunteer efforts to advancement in research. The Volunteer of the Year award honors an individual who has given both time and resources to advance the mission of the Meso Foundation. Recipients of this achievement have taken it upon themselves to make sure that mesothelioma, its devastating effects, and the pressing necessity of ongoing research continues to be brought to the forefront of the world in order to effect change. This year, the Meso Foundation is thrilled to bestow this honor to Erica Iacono and Janice Malkotsis. Erica and Janice have over the past seven years been organizing a run/walk in the New York area, raising over $100,000 for mesothelioma. They are huge advocates for mesothelioma awareness and research, and continue to assist the Meso Foundation in getting the word out there about this disease.

Erica Iacono took a moment to chat with us at the Meso Foundation about how she and Janice began their collaboration to raise awareness. “We actually met through the Meso Foundation. My dad passed away in 2000 from mesothelioma, and I eventually got in touch with the Foundation, wanting to volunteer, raise awareness; but at the time, the Meso Foundation was a brand new organization so the volunteer network was limited. Continue reading “The Meso Foundation’s Volunteers of the Year Award Recipients: Erica Iacono and Janice Malkotsis” »