The American Lung Association in Maine today announced that one of the organization’s highest honors will be bestowed upon the state’s senior Senator, Susan Collins, in thanks for standing up for patients and for protecting the health of hundreds of thousands of Mainers and millions of Americans.
Senator Susan Collins will be honored with The Roselle Huddilston Award at the Lung Association’s Turquoise and Tapas event taking place during Lung Cancer Awareness Month on November 9th.
“We are proud to honor Senator Susan Collins for her efforts to protect the health of Mainers,” said Jeff Seyler, Executive Vice President of the American Lung Association, Northeast Region. “Over 32 million Americans have lung diseases, of whom 200,400 live in Maine. Thanks to Senator Collins, Mainers and all other Americans will continue to receive the vital care they need, while countless others will have access to essential preventative services. Making the choice to preserve the health and wellbeing of her constituents and all Americans highlights Senator Collins as a rare and independent public servant, and we in Maine are lucky to have her.”
The Roselle Huddilston Award was created in 1957 in honor of Roselle Huddilston of Orono, a past president of the American Lung Association in Maine and an exceptional volunteer dedicated to improving the health of the Maine community. Past awardees include former Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson (2004) and G. Steven Rowe, the Maine Attorney General who oversaw the tobacco settlement for Maine (2000).
“For more than a century, the American Lung Association has made a tremendous difference in improving lung health through research, education, and advocacy,” said Senator Collins. “I am honored to receive this award for my work to enhance the health and wellbeing of individuals in our state and across our country.”
Senator Collins has been unwavering in her commitment to protecting quality and affordable healthcare for Maine and the entire country. She has continued to demonstrate her promises to the people of Maine by voting against the Better Care Reconciliation Act, which would have undermined patient protections and would have had profound and negative effects on Medicaid, a vital safety net program that tens of millions of Americans rely on for their healthcare – many of whom have lung disease. Earlier this month, she announced her opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill, which would have resulted in millions of Americans losing their healthcare. The American Lung Association was a leader in the coalition of non-partisan patient advocacy organizations that opposes both pieces of legislation, citing the dramatic impact both bills would have had on the ability of Americans who need healthcare the most to have quality and affordable care.
Senator Collins has also fought for key protections to protect our nation’s public health from tobacco products and continues to work to ensure that the Food and Drug Administration’s authority to protect our youth from e-cigarettes and cigars is not weakened. She has also carried on the Maine tradition of supporting Clean Air Act authored by Senator Edmund Muskie. Senator Collins defended the landmark public health law against extremely dangerous Congressional Review Act resolutions that would have permanently overturned air pollution limits on mercury and other toxic air emissions from power plants, as well as permanently blocked limits on air pollution that blows across state lines affecting millions of Americans, including Mainers, who live downwind from major sources of pollution.
The event will also honor local Maine resident and LUNG FORCE Hero Lisa Eid, who is currently battling Stage 4 Lung Cancer. Lisa has been a dedicated advocate, selflessly sharing her story to promote awareness around the disease, even as she undergoes targeted therapy treatment through a clinical trial in Boston.
"You never expect to get a cancer diagnosis, but my story proves that it can truly happen to anybody. Working with the Lung Association has allowed me to raise a red flag for those at risk and hopefully inspire people to talk to their doctors and get screened," Eid said. "Being educated about lung cancer can be the key to individual prevention - just as smart public policy and research can be the key to creating a world free of cancer."
The Turquoise and Tapas event is a public fundraiser and part of a national series that supports the Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE initiative.
This year LUNG FORCE launched its Saved By The Scan Campaign in partnership with the Ad Council, designed to educate and motivate eligible individuals to undergo a new low-does CT scan which can reduce mortality for those at high risk. The Campaign was released earlier this fall, building up to Lung Cancer Awareness Month in November.
Tickets for Turquoise & Tapas are available to the public at Go.lungne.org/METapas. The event is expected to draw over 100 health professionals, physicians and passionate advocates of lung health and will include cocktails, entertainment and tapas. All proceeds of the event will go to the Lung Association’s mission of education, advocacy and research of lung disease.