Legislation introduced in the United States House and Senate supports efforts to “raise awareness, improve education, and encourage research and treatment of the psychosocial needs of children, adolescents and young adults diagnosed with a childhood cancer and their families.”  See the links below.

HR 262: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=hr112-262

HR 3015: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-3015

S. 1613: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1613

This is an exciting and very important step towards the much needed delivery of evidence based psychosocial care for children with cancer and their families, across the full course of treatment. Building on solid evidence base of the impact of childhood cancer on families, the legislation would support pilot projects to evaluate model systems of care for pediatric cancer patients and their families and the dissemination and implementation of the many evidence based treatments now available but often not utilized at pediatric cancer treatment centers.

A related Congressional Briefing and Scientific Symposium on Capitol Hill next month will bring together leaders in pediatric psychosocial research and care - Robert Noll, Ph.D. (Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh), Andrea Patenaude, Ph.D., (Children’s Hospital Boston), Lori Wiener, Ph.D. (National Cancer Institute), Kenneth Tercyak, Ph.D. (Georgetown University), and Anne Kazak, PhD (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). The event is sponsored by the Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation (www.mattiemiracle.com). This is an important opportunity to address lawmakers and representatives from foundations and advocacy groups about the need for effective, evidence-based psychosocial care to reach all children with cancer and their families.

What would you want your lawmakers to know as they consider legislation like this?