July 28, 2010
Floor Statements

July 28, 2010

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia:  Madam Speaker, I take great pride in the fact that Virginia is home to the Patient Advocate Foundation and that the Nation's most vulnerable citizens have such a great group of people working diligently on their behalf. I cannot mention health care in Virginia or the Patient Advocate Foundation without telling you how proud I am to know and have worked with its founder, Nancy Davenport-Ennis. Not only is she an incredible force for health care in Virginia and the Nation, she is also a constituent and a friend.

    Nancy's efforts embody the struggle of her friend and mentor, Cheryl Grinnel. Cheryl's battle with cancer and her frustration with the insurance industry inspires Nancy and all of us to do what we can to correct the egregious context in which a patient has to operate in trying to obtain the level of medical care needed to address a serious health condition. Drawing on that inspiration, Nancy and her husband, John Ennis, founded the Patient Advocate Foundation. Nancy and John have worked tirelessly to get laws on the books in Virginia, and she is now at the forefront of the effort to close the health disparities gap and secure more funding for research and clinical trials.
      Since 1996, the Patient Advocate Foundation has advocated for patients who are working through the complexities of a serious illness while navigating through health insurance red tape, selecting the right treatment options for them and their family, while dealing with possible financial problems that arise due to the chosen method of treatment and addressing care giver stress. The Foundation gives hope to many patients and their families on a daily basis. Its number one goal is to get patients the necessary treatment after they are diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening diseases. Through the Virginia Cares for the Uninsured program, VCUP, the Patient Advocate Foundation provides assistance to individuals who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness but do not have health insurance to pay for treatment or cannot afford treatment. The goal of the Foundation is to connect these individuals with doctors and facilities that will donate treatment services or accept reduced fees while ensuring the patient gets all necessary treatment. The advocacy efforts and community connections of Nancy and John, the executive board of directors, staff and volunteers at the Patient Advocate Foundation are often critical in making this happen.

        Madam Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Nancy Davenport-Ennis, president and CEO, the executive board of directors, the staff and volunteers of the Patient Advocate Foundation on the opening of the Foundation's new headquarters in Hampton, Virginia. The Patient Advocate Foundation's executive board of directors includes directors from Virginia as well as national directors including Admiral Deborah Parham Hopson, appointed to serve this year on the Federal Coordinating Council. Three national non-profit patient advocacy organizations are represented on the executive board of directors by Dr. Lovell Jones, co-founder of the Intercultural Cancer Council; Dr. Alan Balch of the Preventive Health Partnership, a collaborative of the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society; and Venus Gines, executive director and founder of the Dia de la Mujer Latina, Inc. The Foundation's support is partially derived from national non-profit organizations in the United States including the American Cancer Society, Lance Armstrong Livestrong, the Leukemia Lymphoma Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Support over the years has also come from the Centers for Disease Control, the federal appropriations process, the Commonwealth of Virginia and by the Foundation's annual fundraiser in Hampton Roads, where it receives strong support from the business community.

        Madam Speaker, with the assistance of 180 full-time employees in their national headquarters in Hampton Roads, a corporate foundation office in San Diego, California, and with satellite locations in Iowa, Florida, North Carolina, New York and Nevada, the Foundation successfully closed 55,364 cases of patients diagnosed with chronic, debilitating and/or life-threatening conditions just last year. The Foundation provides services in both English and Spanish with special national outreach programs to underserved populations, specifically, the African American community and the Hispanic and Latino communities. Additionally, the Foundation serves the Asian population and Pacific Islanders.

        Madam Speaker, access to quality, affordable health care is critical to the well being of our country, today and in the future. While we have accomplished a tremendous feat by passing the health care reform bill this year, we still have much more work to do in Congress and on Main Street U.S.A. I believe the work that the Foundation does is key to fixing our health care system not only in Virginia, but nationwide. It is imperative that we have organizations like the Patient Advocate Foundation to assist the chronically ill through the health care system by helping them get insurance coverage, medical assistance and medication.
        Again, I commend the Foundation for all of the work that it has done for the citizens of the 3rd district of Virginia and wish it continued success in its new home.