194711 An overview of recent legislation promoting awareness of cancer health disparities

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:30 PM

Linnea Laestadius, MPP , The MayaTech Corporation, Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, Silver Spring, MD
Kerri M. Lowrey, JD, MPH , Public Health Law Network, University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, MD
Blake Kline , The MayaTech Corporation, Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, Silver Spring, MD
Jamie Weinstein, MPH , Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Regina el Arculli, MA , Director, State Cancer Legislative Database Program, National Cancer Institute Office of Government and Congressional Relations, Bethesda, MD
A key strategy in addressing health disparities is to ensure that physicians, policymakers, and the public are aware of disparities' causes and impacts. Devoting a day, week, or month to heighten cancer awareness is a time-honored state and Federal legislative mechanism; laws and resolutions have increasingly also been used to raise awareness of cancer disparities and to create “state capacity” for addressing them, e.g., by establishing offices of minority health. We will present the results of a qualitative analysis of state cancer disparities awareness legislation enacted between 1/1/2007 and 12/31/2008, as well as laws establishing state entities charged with addressing disparities enacted as of 12/31/2008. We will present any correlations between awareness and state capacity measures and minority demographics using state census data. Data from the National Cancer Institute's State Cancer Legislative Database (SCLD) were analyzed to identify state laws and resolutions addressing cancer disparities awareness and state capacity. Between 1/1/2007 and 12/31/2008, 20 states passed legislation relating to cancer disparities awareness. An initial analysis indicates that of the 57 enacted laws, 15 related specifically to prostate cancer, 12 to cervical cancer, 10 to colorectal cancer, and 9 to breast cancer. As of 12/31/2008, 31 states had statutes establishing an entity charged with addressing disparities. Preliminary results indicate that states are adding disparities to traditional cancer awareness resolutions and several states have passed awareness legislation focusing specifically on minority populations. This presentation will describe associations between these types of disparities legislation and state demographics.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) describe the most common types of cancer disparities awareness legislation, (2) identify any relationships between demographics and awareness and state capacity legislation, and (3) determine related policy gaps and opportunities.

Keywords: Health Disparities, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting health policy analysis with the State Cancer Legislative Database for three years. In 2008 I presented research at the APHA annual meeting relating to legislation addressing language barriers to care. I am also currently a Master of Public Policy candidate focusing on health policy.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.