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Washington, DC [March 10, 2011]-- Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) President and CEO Laurie Fenton-Ambrose issued the following statement today on the death of Pamela Hicks of Granville, NY:
On behalf of the Board of Directors, our staff and fellow advocates, Lung Cancer Alliance offers the deepest sympathy to Sarah and Jason on the death of their mother, Pamela.
Pamela was one of our “pioneer advocates” and a co-founder of LCA’s New York State chapter in 2006, one year after her diagnosis. Pam brought her years of experience in highly skilled advanced practice nursing and in advocacy for many public health issues to focus on lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death yet one of the least funded.
Fellow NY co-chair, Phyllis Goldstein said: “Pam was an inspiration to me. She is a true advocate.” Praising Pam for dedication despite her worsening condition, Phyllis recalled: When we had an appointment with the Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Health and his key staff, Pam had to hire an aide to drive her from Granville to Albany and accompany her on the visit.
Within a year, Pam and Phyllis were able to see introduced the first state legislation in the nation on lung cancer early detection research through a bill sponsored by then Assembly woman and now Senator Elizabeth Little and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.
Pam, who never smoked, was particularly concerned about how the stigma of smoking and the blame associated with lung cancer had led to the underfunding of research. In 2002, her brother, who had quit smoking in the early 1980’s, died of lung cancer just two months after diagnosis.
Prior to her diagnosis, Pam was Director of the New Directions Program for Bon Secours Hospital System. She was the founding President of the Medical Auxiliary of Henry County, VA, and subsequently program director and teacher in community health promotion counseling program at Trinity College in Washington, DC.
Pam also worked with Veterans Readjustment Counseling Centers and was deeply concerned about the lack of interest in the higher incidence and mortality from lung cancer among veterans.
“We stand on Pam's shoulders ,” said Laurie Fenton Ambrose, Lung Cancer Alliance President & CEO, “as her early and dedicated work to bring increased compassion, understanding and support for the entire lung cancer community not just in New York but across this country has paved the way for us all as we grow our movement. Pam set history in motion -- and we will continue to draw upon her legacy."