RESPITE CARE ACT OF 2002 (S. 2489)

(October 4, 2002)

October 4, 2002

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate
467 Russell Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Clinton:

The undersigned organizations, representing cancer survivors, physicians, and researchers, are writing to express their support for the Lifespan Respite Care Act of 2002 (S. 2489). Your legislation responds to an important need for families caring for a loved one with a chronic disease, and we applaud your efforts to establish statewide respite care programs and implement a national respite care resource center.

As cancer increasingly becomes a chronic disease, the demands placed on individuals caring for adults and children with cancer will intensify and be accompanied by a greater need for respite care services. The availability of respite care for individuals with cancer is an important component of a system of quality cancer care, and your legislation would strengthen that infrastructure by enhancing the availability and the quality of respite care services.

The cancer community applauds your leadership on this issue, and we urge your participation in other, complementary efforts to improve the quality of cancer care from the time of diagnosis to the end of life. Reports from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) have included strong recommendations for improving the quality of cancer care that Americans receive. The most recent of these reports details important steps that must be taken to ensure that children receive appropriate care at the end of life. We hope to persuade Congress to take bold steps to implement initiatives to ensure appropriate end-of-life care by children and adults with cancer.

In the next Congress, the cancer community will turn its attention to initiatives that will improve access to quality cancer care, including hospice and palliative care. We hope we can count on your support for those efforts in the 108th Congress.


Cancer Leadership Council

American Society for Therapeutic Radiology & Oncology, Inc.
Cancer Care, Inc.
Cancer Research Foundation of America
The Children's Cause, Inc.
Colorectal Cancer Network
The Foundation for the Children's Oncology Group
Kidney Cancer Association
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Lymphoma Research Foundation
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
National Patient Advocate Foundation
National Prostate Cancer Coalition
North American Brain Tumor Coalition
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
Us Too! International - Prostate Cancer Education and Support
Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization