Posts Tagged ‘Chris Hahn’

Meso Foundation commends U.K. efforts on mesothelioma, urges U.S. to follow suit

17 Mar 2010 by under Legal, News, Organizations, Research/Treatment
straw Meso Foundation commends U.K. efforts on mesothelioma, urges U.S. to follow suit

UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw

Earlier this month, Chris Hahn, executive director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) expressed his support for the recent announcement from the UK that it plans to not only endorse compensation for mesothelioma victims, but to promote research and treatment. In a news release, Hahn praised the for its recognition “that society’s obligation and moral responsibility to remedy the tragic legacy of decades of asbestos use requires funding research to develop effective medical treatments.” Then, he asked the all-important question: “Will the United States follow?”

Hahn’s praise and plea followed remarks by the U.K.’s Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw, who has been outspoken about the government’s role in caring for workers harmed by asbestos on the job.  Straw issued a statement Feb. 25, 2010, in response to an ongoing debate over the government’s decision on the question of compensation for pleural plaques.

Although pleural plaques, which are small areas of fibrosis in the pleura of the lung caused by asbestos exposure, indicate that a person has been exposed to asbestos, they generally do not cause any significant change in lung function. As a result, the Law Lords on Oct. 17, 2007 determined that people who have pleural plaques, but no other asbestos-caused illness, are not eligible for any compensation for medical treatment or other financial claims. The debate over pleural plaques sparked a national debate about asbestos disease.

Although subsequent research did not provide enough evidence to overturn the Law Lords’ ruling, it has provided significant information about asbestos disease, including mesothelioma and lung cancer. The government also is establishing a number of policies to make it easier for those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma or serious asbestos disease to receive compensation more quickly. Additionally, the research has encouraged the UK government to take a stronger stand on mesothelioma research and treatment.

According to Straw’s statement, “The fact that the UK has one of the highest rates of death from mesothelioma in the world is a legacy of our industrial heritage and the part that asbestos played in it. Just as the UK was a global leader in the asbestos industry, we must now become a global leader in research into asbestos-related disease.”

The government of the UK is calling for the creation of a National Centre for Asbestos-Related Disease, which will be a “collaborative network of funded researchers whose core purpose would be to advance medical research into the prevention, cure and alleviation of asbestos-related disease – primarily mesothelioma,” according to Straw. He said the insurance industry has pledged £3 million toward this research effort.

Benefits of such a concentrated and cooperative research and treatment program would not only benefit mesothelioma patients, but also would significantly reduce the costs of litigation, death and disability benefits, and health care costs, Hahn points out.

“This is exactly what the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has been urging in the United States the past ten years,” Hahn says. “Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases are a fundamental problem of social justice. And a just solution to that problem requires medical research to develop effective treatments to end the suffering and save lives. It is encouraging to see that the U.K. is getting it; we hope the U.S. will catch up soon.”

Read Hahn’s statement.

For more information, visit online at www.curemeso.org.


Meso Day resolution passes in Senate, pending in House

2 Oct 2009 by under Events, Legal, News, People

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation has issued a news release announcing the resolution introduced last week in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Patty Murray to designate September 26 as National Mesothelioma Day has passed! The resolution introduced simultaneously in the House of Representatives by Rep. Betty McCollum, designated as H.Res. 771, is still pending.

The Meso Foundation is urging the mesothelioma community to contact their House Representative to urge him or her to co-sponsor the bill. Representative McCollum still needs 13 more co-sponsors to complete the passage of National Mesothelioma Awareness Day in both the House and the Senate.

The news release quotes Chris Hahn, Executive Director of the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, “Thanks to the concern of Sen. Murray and Congresswoman McCollum, and their introduction of the federal ‘National Mesothelioma Awareness Day’ resolution, we hope that mesothelioma will finally become part of a broad national conversation about its tragic impact in our society and the critical need to fund reserch to develop treatments and, ultimately, find a cure for mesothelioma.”

Your help is urgently needed to encourage House Representatives to co-sponsor this resolution. Visit the Meso Foundation’s “Action Center” at www.curemeso.org/action to send an email to your congressional representative.


Girl honors grandpa at Mesothelioma symposium

30 Jun 2008 by under Events, Organizations, People

As part of the International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma, held last week in Washington, D.C., 13-year-old Lexi Miletto presented a keynote address to more than 200 top-level cancer researchers, scientists and physicians, as well as mesothelioma survivors, caregivers and their families. The Symposium is an annual event presented by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (). Lexi’s grandfather, Joe Miletto, died from mesothelioma three years ago.

When her grandfather passed away, 9-year-old Lexi, who lives just outside Allentown, Pennsylvania, channeled her grief into a letter-writing campaign, hoping to raise awareness of mesothelioma. According to an article in The Morning Call, a publication that serves Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, Lexi wrote medical research organizations, political leaders including President George Bush, and even television celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, hoping to spread the word about asbestos danger and mesothelioma.

This year, the Meso Foundation invited Lexi to give the keynote address Friday, June 27, at its International Symposium. The Morning Call quotes , the foundation’s executive director, as saying, ”We wanted to show the full spectrum of the disease’s effect on families. How inspiring it is that this young gal going into eighth grade has this concern for a much bigger national problem.”


DoD funding for Meso research

12 Mar 2008 by under Organizations, Research/Treatment

I’m a little behind with this, since the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (MARF) announced it in January, but I think it’s important enough to share in case there are others, like me, who didn’t know.According to a release on MARF’s website, the Department of Defense (DoD) Peer Reviewed Medical Program was appropriated $50 million in the Defense Appropriations bill that the President signed in mid-November 2007. For the first time, mesothelioma will be included as a research priority within the DoD’s Medical Research Program, which was set to begin in February.In the press release, Chris Hahn, executive director of , says, “ has been working with fifteen senators, led by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), advocating the federal government to respond to the mesothelioma crisis through a commitment of new federal research dollars.”As a candidate research area within the program, mesothelioma investigators are eligible to compete for funding through the program’s 2008 grant cycle.For more information, read the full release online, or contact the Meso Foundation directly at (805) 563-8400.