State Rep. John Zerwas received the National Distinguished Advocacy Award this week, the most prestigious award presented by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, in recognition of his dedication to ensuring continued investment in the lifesaving Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, presents the annual award to select lawmakers who demonstrate outstanding leadership in the area of cancer-related public policy advocacy.
“Rep. Zerwas’ steadfast support of cancer research and prevention programs has greatly contributed to our mission of reducing the burden of cancer, both in Texas and nationwide,” said Lisa Lacasse, president of ACS CAN.
“He has established himself as a true advocate for public health by prioritizing the research that will fuel future advancements in cancer treatment and prevention.”
As chairman of the Texas House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Zerwas championed legislation during the 2019 Texas State Legislature to reauthorize and fund CPRIT, the nation’s second largest funder of cancer research after the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute.
House Joint Resolution 12 authorizes $3 billion in bond funding for cancer screening and research to be considered by voters at the general election in November.
“Rep. Zerwas’ leadership was integral to the reauthorization of CPRIT, and it is thanks to public leaders like him that Texas can continue to be at the forefront of the fight against cancer,” said ACS CAN Texas Government Relations Director Marina Hench.
“Now Texas voters must help finish what he and other leaders started by voting yes on Proposition 6 to fully fund CPRIT.”
The award was announced at ACS CAN’s annual Leadership Summit and Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., as nearly 700 volunteers and staff from across the country convened to ask Congress to support policies that increase cancer research funding, improve patient quality of life, make colorectal cancer screenings more affordable for seniors and restrict flavoring of tobacco products to protect youth.