(The following press release and photo were provided from the American Lung Association. The association notes Sen. Thad Cochran welcomed Joye Lee-McNelis, a lung cancer survivor and head coach of the University of Southern Mississippi women’s basketball team, to Washington this week. Coach McNeilis along with Victoria Stein of Flowood, development coordinator for the American Lung Association in Mississippi, were in Washington to participate in the third annual Lung Force Advocacy Day.)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 15, 2018) – At a reception last night honoring lung cancer survivors and their loved ones, the American Lung Association announced that U.S. Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi has been honored with the Lung Health Research Champion Award. Senator Cochran received this award for his strong and unwavering support for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health and public health programs that have led to more and better treatments for people living with lung cancer and other lung diseases.
“We are proud to honor Senator Thad Cochran for his efforts to improve the health of Mississippians and all Americans,” said American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold Wimmer. “More than 32 million Americans are living with a lung disease, including 417,800 Mississippi residents. Thanks to Senator Cochran, Mississippians and all other Americans have had the benefit of better diagnoses and treatments due to the research he helped fund at the National Institutes of Health. We thank Senator Cochran for his service and for all he has done to improve lung health.”
Senator Cochran was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1972; he was elected to the Senate in 1978 and has represented Mississippi since. In addition to serving as a staunch advocate for health research funding, he has also been a strong supporter of public health programs – including for asthma and tuberculosis – at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Senator Cochran recently announced his intention to resign at the end of the month, capping off the 10th longest tenure in Senate history.
“Discovering new prevention and treatment methods are key to improving health and controlling healthcare costs. The significant funding increases for medical research in recent years are a testament to the diligence of advocates like the American Lung Association. I commend the Association for its good work,” Senator Cochran said. “I am honored to receive this award.”
The award was announced in Washington, D.C., when LUNG FORCE Heroes – those whose lives have been impacted by lung cancer – gathered with American Lung Association nationwide staff and volunteers during LUNG FORCE Advocacy Day. They share with members of Congress how lung cancer has impacted their lives, and asked members to protect healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions, and to support $38.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health in Fiscal Year 2019 so there can be better treatments and improved methods of early detection for lung cancer.