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May 12, 2010

DiNapoli is First to Receive American Cancer Society
Donald H. Gemson Cancer Prevention Public Policy Award

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today received the first annual Donald H. Gemson Cancer Prevention Award at an awards ceremony sponsored by the Eastern Division of the American Cancer Society. DiNapoli received this award for influencing public policy changes that reduce the personal and financial toll of chronic disease, particularly cancer.

With more than 25 years of public service, DiNapoli is being honored for his strong support for programs that aim to improve the health and wellness of New Yorkers, including his efforts to fight childhood obesity, and his ongoing advocacy for clean air and clean water for all New Yorkers.

“Dr. Gemson was a public health champion who understood the link between public policy and medicine,” DiNapoli said. “His passion and courage are an inspiration. I’m honored to be the first recipient of this award. I’ll keep on fighting for the health of every New Yorker.”

The award recognizes individuals who exemplify the spirit and work of Dr. Gemson in developing, advocating, advancing and implementing prevention-focused policies and practices to reduce the incidence and burden of cancer.

"We're so pleased to honor Comptroller DiNapoli with the first annual Donald Gemson award for his advocacy on clean indoor air and his work making healthy food and beverages for New York schoolchildren a priority,” said Don Distasio, CEO, American Cancer Society, Eastern Division.

“Don Gemson constantly urged us to do the right thing when it came to reducing tobacco use, promoting healthy eating and physical activity, and assuring access to good health care for all New Yorkers. Comptroller DiNapoli's actions help Don's legacy live on."

DiNapoli has conducted numerous audits looking at nutrition and exercise programs in New York schools; established a health care cost-basis for the obesity problem in New York; and partnered with non-profit community health organizations like the American Cancer Society to create a plan to help combat obesity and smoking in New York. In 2008, DiNapoli issued a major report measuring the impact of childhood obesity in New York State. During his tenure in the State Legislature, DiNapoli was a prime sponsor of countless bills to protect the environment and public health, including legislation to require health insurance contracts and policies to include coverage for ovarian and prostate cancer screenings.

DiNapoli’s office recently underwent a CEO Cancer Gold Standard Assessment by the American Cancer Society to evaluate the Office of the State Comptroller’s health benefits and workplace culture.

On May 26th, OSC will convene the first gathering of state agencies on the issue of wellness in the state workforce. Agency leaders from across the spectrum will be in attendance, including those from the GOER, Department of Health, Civil Service and New York State Insurance Department.


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