The New Jersey Senate advanced a trio of healthcare bills sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to raise awareness, encourage prevention efforts, and support New Jersey residents coping with Skin Cancer, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS,) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Sen. Robert Singer’s healthcare bills raise awareness, encourage prevention efforts, and support state residents coping with Skin Cancer, ALS, and COPD. (©iStock)
Senator Singer’s bill, S-2459, ignites an aggressive effort to fight COPD by creating an 11-member task force to investigate strategies to promote awareness on the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. The task force will also study the resources that are used statewide to combat COPD and determine the best way to improve the quality and accessibility of community-based services for those living with this disease. Nearly 451,000 people – 5.1 percent of New Jersey’s population – are living with COPD, according to the most recent statistics available from the CDC.
“We need to do more to help the hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents struggling with COPD – the third leading cause of death in the U.S.,” said Senator Singer. “By establishing a task force to evaluate how we can raise awareness and expand community resources, we are helping countless New Jerseyans with COPD live fuller, happier lives.”
The Senate also advanced Senator Singer’s bill to designate the third Wednesday in May of each year as ALS Awareness Day, and the month of May of each year as ALS Awareness Month to raise awareness and promote the importance of supporting research efforts to find effective treatments and ultimately cure the devastating disease.
“Last summer’s viral campaign to raise funds for ALS research, also known as the Ice Bucket Challenge, was inspiring but sadly short-lived,” said Senator Singer. “Right now, as many as 30,000 people nationwide are suffering from ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the brain and the spinal cord in victims as young as 40-years-old. This legislation creates a lasting impact by encouraging all New Jersey residents to resume their generous efforts to raise awareness and continue the fight against ALS.”
Sponsored by Senator Singer, SJR-50 designates May of each year as “Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month” to raise awareness of the dangers of melanoma and other skin cancers and promote prevention and early detection. Passed by the full Senate, the resolution also designates the first Monday in May of each year as “Melanoma Monday.” Nearly 245 people in New Jersey die of melanoma each year, according to the EPA.
“Today’s passage of SJR50 is a strong step forward in the fight to help all New Jersey residents prevent and detect melanoma and other skin cancers.” said Senator Singer. “This legislation gives everyone in our state the tools and information they need to fight this deadly disease by raising awareness at the beginning of every sunny summer season.”