Extensions of Remarks
By the Honorable Frank R. Wolf of Virginia
February 24, 2010
Next Generation Choices Foundation:
Mr. WOLF. Madam Speaker, like so many Americans, my family and I have been touched by cancer. I have worked over the years in Congress as a member of the Congressional Cancer Caucus as well as my service on the Appropriations Committee to support measures to help fight cancer, including historic increases in research funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). I have always believed that ensuring adequate funding for medical research on diseases such as cancer is an important priority for the federal government.
There is another important component in the fight against cancer being lead today, Madam Speaker, by Bill Couzens, one of my constituents from Middleburg, Virginia. He heads a grassroots nonprofit organization – the Next Generation Choices Foundation – that he founded over six years ago, to build awareness for cancer prevention by reducing environmental exposures both known and suspected to be linked with cancer. After the loss of his sister and several close friends, he felt the need to create an organization that would focus on the root causes of the worldwide cancer epidemic and increase awareness on ways to reduce exposures and choices linked with human health and the environment. He says he learned that there are healthy choices that can be made by individuals and communities to work toward a world with less cancer, including nutritional food options for families.
Next Generation Choices in turn has formed the Less Cancer Campaign, which has grown to become a worldwide leader in cancer prevention awareness, with over 10,000 members, friends, and fans on Facebook. The reach of the Less Cancer Campaign has been wide; numerous other organizations have followed its lead and collaborated to fan the flame for cancer prevention around the globe. These combined efforts have raised awareness for Less Cancer, not just here in America, but around the world.
The Less Cancer and new Healthy Town campaigns are working to help guide communities and individuals on understanding the importance of making strong choices, and providing information on options and resources available to assist them in making healthy decisions. While most often pointing to options for the consumer, the organization in some rare cases has provided food cards, information for healthy food choices, and even shoes for children who need to get out and move, run and play.
Mr. Couzens personal experience inspired his passion to help lessen the grip of cancer on society, he also understood the importance of working with scientists and physicians who have a depth of work in evidenced-based science. Next Generation Choices board of directors includes Ronald B. Herberman, M.D., founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, associate vice chancellor for cancer research, Hillman professor of oncology, and professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Herberman is an internationally recognized tumor immunologist who has made major discoveries in his field and has fostered the application of this information to novel approaches in cancer therapy, diagnosis and prevention. The phenomenon of natural killer (NK) cell-mediated cytotoxicity against tumors was first discovered in Dr. Herberman’s laboratory at the National Cancer Institute in the early 1970s. In addition to his pioneering investigation of NK cells, Dr. Herberman has played a leading role in multiple areas of tumor immunology.
Other leaders in science and medicine on the board are Maryann Donovan, Ph.D., the director of the Center for Environmental Oncology, and Thomas M. Sherman, M.D., a gastroenterologist. The board also includes professionals in industry and business. Greg Lam and John Couzens both contribute from their years in business and nonprofit management. Miles M. O’Brien is a 26-year broadcast news veteran. Based in New York City, he owns a production company that creates, produces, and distributes original content across all media platforms. For nearly 17-years he worked as a correspondent, anchor, and producer for CNN based in Atlanta and New York. At various times he was CNN’s science, space, aviation, technology, and environment correspondent. Also on the board is Veronique Pittman, a trustee of The Rainforest Foundation and Round Hill Hotels and Villas, and a partner with Rainforest Native, which imports fair-trade ecological products from the Amazon rain forest. In addition, she sits on the Leadership Council of the Green Schools Alliance and is an Advisory Board member of the Sustainable Acai Project and Global Goods Partners.
Next Generation Choices, Less Cancer, and Healthy Town are closely associated with cancer prevention, but also work to reduce all illnesses associated with human health and the environment. As Mr. Couzens has said, “When communities and individuals work to make healthier choices, great strides toward preventing cancer and other illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity can be made. By educating people and unifying individuals and programs – transformation will occur for the next generation.”
Madam Speaker- the fight against cancer will take the work of individuals, communities, businesses and governments, and we salute the effort of Bill Couzens and Next Generation Choices as they raise awareness on ways we can all be involved to help prevent cancer.