Governor signs Cancer Research Advisory Panel Bill authored by Sen. Sawyer

Posted at 9:53 PM on Jul 22, 2019


Special to

RALEIGH – Gov. Roy Cooper signed the Cancer Research Advisory Panel bill authored by Sen. Vickie Sawyer on Friday, July 19.

S297 was drafted by Sawyer (R-Iredell, Yadkin) while working in conjunction with members of the Iredell County Task Force set up in response to community concerns regarding thyroid cancer. Members of the task force include Jane Hinson and Brady Freeman of the Iredell County Health Department, Iredell County Commissioners, Iredell County Manager Beth Jones, and Iredell County Deputy Manager Susan Robertson.

Rep. John Fraley (R-Iredell) and Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins were also involved in the creation of this legislation. Primary Sponsors of the bill include Sen. Ted Alexander and Sen. Jim Perry.

The bill directs the N.C. Policy Collaboratory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to assemble a research advisory panel to study and develop recommendations on strategies for implementation of a research program to determine whether any clusters of cancer incidents exist within the state.

Sawyer’s main motivation for sponsoring the bill comes from a desire to seek answers regarding the elevated rates of thyroid cancer in Iredell County and across the state.

“As the state senator for Iredell County, and as a mother and a wife to a family in Mooresville, N.C., I feel a personal commitment to finding answers as to what may be causing the increased rates of thyroid cancer affecting our community," Sawyer explained. "Creating this legislation to study and research cancer clusters around the state is definitely a step in the right direction and I’m grateful this bill was able to become law with bi-partisan support."

In establishing the Panel, the Collaboratory will consult with the following to identify experts in higher education, health care, and health insurance both within and outside of North Carolina:
► The NC Department of Health and Human Services
► The NC Department of Environmental Quality
► The UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
► The UNC School of Medicine
► The UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
► The Nicholas School of Environment at Duke University
► The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

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