Bill to Provide Cancer Survivorship Services Passes First Committee

Funding to Help Patients Receive Support through Diagnosis, Treatment & After

Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s bill to fund needed programs to help New Mexico cancer patients and survivors passed the House Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday.

“While there is much to celebrate after successful cancer treatment,” Armstrong said, “cancer patients and their families continue to need support even when the cancer is gone. And they need that support to start on the day of diagnosis.”

HB 41 appropriates $350,000 to the New Mexico Department of Health to support so-called survivorship services, which include “community-based education, practical and emotional support services and lodging for cancer patients” to help patients and families from the time of diagnosis, through treatment and after.

“From dealing with physical changes caused by treatment to working through their feelings about their illness, cancer patients and survivors have unique health care needs that, as a state, we can help to address,” Armstrong said.

HB 41 now moves to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee for consideration.

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About Rep. Armstrong: Debbie, Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, is a long-time health care advocate serving her second term in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Having started her career as a physical therapist, she has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Debbie is the mother of three adult children. She lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  Follow her on Twitter @NMRepArmstrong and on Facebook, and sign up for email and text updates.

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