Archive for the ‘Clients In The News’ Category

Coordinated Care Leader EHS Medical Group Announces Management Changes

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Coordinated Care Leader EHS Medical Group Announces Management Changes

 Cindy Ehnes brings regulatory expertise to Interim CEO role; New independent board of directors to be elected and commit to smooth claims runout

Pasadena, CA – EHS Medical Group today announced the appointment of nationally-respected health care executive Cindy Ehnes as Interim Chief Executive Officer, and the planned election of a new independent board of directors to focus on the company’s commitment to credibility, compliance and change.

For more than 20 years, physician-owned and operated EHS Medical Group has been a trusted provider of quality medical services to more than 600,000 members in communities in Northern California, the Central Valley, Inland Empire, Los Angeles and San Diego counties. EHS is one of the largest medical groups in the state with 6,509 physicians in its network.

“The hallmark of my career has been ensuring patient access to quality health care and protecting the patient-doctor relationship,” said Ehnes. “My core principle of ‘putting patients first’ is embodied by the EHS physicians who provide quality care in their medical practices and go the extra mile treating homeless patients at their non-profit in downtown Los Angeles. That dedication comes from the core and that mission must not be lost.”

In addition to its physician group practice, EHS Medical Group founded and operates the Downtown Coordinated Care Center (DC3) in Los Angeles. The groundbreaking non-profit organization is dedicated to connecting patients, many of whom are homeless with mental illness, to no-cost, quality medical care. The Complex Care Center within DC3 treats the whole person providing mental health services, substance use disorder treatment and wellness education while treating complex medical conditions. The innovative care delivered through DC3 is designed to keep patients out of emergency rooms and avoid delays in care that can result in poor outcomes and skyrocketing costs.

“Ms. Ehnes is well-qualified to lead EHS at this critical time,” said Carl Moy, M.D., EHS Board Chair. “We understand that to regain credibility with the industry and regulators, we must also elect independent board leadership. We are committed to that, a robust compliance regimen and claims runout. We owe our Medi-Cal patients our best efforts to remain of service to them.”

Ehnes joins EHS Medical Group after decades of dedication to the delivery of quality, patient-centered health care. From 2004 to 2011, Ehnes served as Director of the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), where she oversaw health insurance services for 21 million Californians served by the state’s managed health care industry, and levied millions of dollars in fines on California’s largest health plans for violations of law. Prior to her move to California in 2002, Ehnes was known in the Colorado Department of Insurance as a strict, but fair, enforcer of consumer protections. More recently, she successfully helped to turn around a troubled Texas health plan, protecting its members’ access to quality care while restoring financial stability.

Background on recent DMHC action

In December 2017, due to alleged wrongdoing by EHS’ administrative services vendor, SynerMed, the DMHC ordered health plans contracting with EHS to terminate their contracts with EHS.

On November 3, upon learning of SynerMed’s alleged activities impacting access to care for their members, EHS Medical Group terminated its contract with SynerMed and initiated both an investigation of its activities and implemented patient-centered reforms including centering medical review decision-making in physicians reporting exclusively to EHS’ physician Board of Directors.

Ehnes will work with the DMHC, the California Department of Health Care Services and all health plans contracting with EHS Medical Group to ensure compliance with state regulations governing transition of Medi-Cal patients, as well as ensure that EHS physicians are properly reimbursed for patient care during the transition period. One of her first actions as interim CEO is the recruitment of new board members and to facilitate the planned election of a fully independent board of directors overseeing EHS’ operations.

“Everyone falls sometimes,” Ehnes continues. “The measure of a company is in how it stands back up with integrity. EHS’ leadership in providing comprehensive coordinated care will be revitalized by new management committed to implementing best standards of transparent, accountable, and compliant managed care practices.”

ALCF, the American Lung Association and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Collaborate to Find a Cure for the World’s Deadliest Cancer

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on ALCF, the American Lung Association and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Collaborate to Find a Cure for the World’s Deadliest Cancer

The newly expanded Lung Cancer Patient Registry provides additional tools for lung cancer patients and researchers

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (January 10, 2018) — The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and the American Lung Association’s LUNG FORCE welcome the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) as a new member of the Lung Cancer Patient Registry, a place to gather and store detailed patient information, providing a real world view of patient outcomes and treatment effectiveness. Lung cancer patients enter information anonymously into the Registry. Registered patients, their families, health care providers and researchers can access that information.

“Nearly a quarter million Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year, and the Registry is the first of its kind, patient-driven resource where patients share their information about living with lung cancer to allow scientists and researchers the opportunity to learn from patients firsthand,” said Bonnie J. Addario, 14-year lung cancer survivor and founder of the ALCF.

The Registry includes the ability for registered researchers to query de-identified data in any combination of data elements using the research portal online search tool. Researchers interested in submitting proposals for placing clinical trials within the Registry may now submit a proposal.

“Anytime patients and doctors can collaborate more effectively, we improve the experience for both,” said Fred R. Hirsch, CEO of the IASLC. “As a global, multidisciplinary organization with a mission to conquer lung cancer, we look forward to the collaboration and the impact of the Lung Cancer Registry and are thrilled to join the partnership.”

This month, the Lung Cancer Registry will launch a study on the side effects of immunotherapy on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients using data provided by patient participants. There is increasing awareness of the importance of collecting patient reported outcomes in oncology, especially long-term survivors whose toxicity is generally not reported in clinical trials. The findings will help educate other NSCLC patients and their families about side effects that are likely to occur and how they will affect the patients’ quality of life.

“Lung Cancer is a complex disease which requires a multi-pronged attack,” said Harold Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “Continuing our collaboration with the Bonnie J. Addario Foundation, and joining forces with the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in support of the Lung Cancer Registry, will allow us to collectively have an even greater influence on lung cancer research and awareness.”

Patients with any form or stage of lung cancer can join the Registry at Patients can opt-in to contribute their information, set their contact preferences and compare their lung cancer experience with others in The Registry. Patients can choose to receive information about research opportunities or other relevant news as part of their participation.

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised over $30 million for lung cancer research and related programs. Follow us on Twitter @thealcf.

About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

About International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association’s membership includes more than 6,500 lung cancer specialists in over 100 countries. IASLC members work to enhance the understanding of lung cancer among scientists, members of the medical community and the public. IASLC publishes the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, a valuable resource for medical specialists and scientists who focus on the detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer. Visit for more information and follow us on Twitter @IASLC.


Finding Help With Expensive Medications

Posted: Dec 21, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Finding Help With Expensive Medications

by Jeffrey Lewis

If you or someone you love is one of the millions of Americans with a chronic disease or a life-threatening condition, pharmaceutical manufacturers and their partners offer you a gift of hope this holiday season.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are criticized as Scrooge or the Grinch in our country’s health care system. Elected officials and advocacy organizations want to blame somebody for rising Rx costs, and the most obvious target is the Big Pharma.

But in this blame game, very little attention is given to the help the pharmaceutical industry and its partners quietly provide to patients in need through a variety of programs.

Such programs are often based on the patient’s household income, but not always. Patients with no health insurance coverage are often the first group considered eligible. Likewise, those with one or more chronic or life-threatening conditions are a high priority.

If you fall into one of these categories, check out the Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) found on individual pharmaceutical company websites or through Partnership for Prescription Assistance (, the website created by PhRMA, the trade association representing pharmaceutical manufacturers, linking patients to more than 475 different assistance programs.

On most of these websites, you can be connected with a customer support team member who can help determine if you are eligible and get you enrolled. You will be asked to verify that you are insured or uninsured and, in some cases, provide proof of income. You may need your physician to validate your condition. But once approved, access to medication is almost immediate.

(Note: Patients enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid may not be eligible.)

Pharmaceutical manufacturers also offer co-pay assistance, in which the patient is offered help with the cost of medication co-payments. Some co-pay assistance programs do not limit who is eligible. And, it is important to know that some co-pay assistance programs will not help people on Medicare. Each program sets its own rules.

People searching for an online provider should check out This site was developed by AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, with the sole purpose of helping people access needed medications. It is one of the best sites available.

The California Chronic Care Coalition (CCCC) launched the website in California and is taking it nationwide to help people who have been denied treatment or medicines, experienced delays or are dissatisfied with the decisions made by their health plan. Today, this program is operating in 17 states. It helps patients get the care or treatment they need if denied, or if their plans don’t cover their meds and force them to pay full price. The program is available in 17 states—check the website to see if your state has a program.

This holiday season, if you need help with your medications, you are not alone. Go to the websites cited throughout this article. They can help connect you with low-cost and free alternatives. It is worth your time to explore these options. Feel free to e-mail me with your questions.

Jeffrey Lewis, CEO of Legacy Health Endowment in Turlock, can be reached at The views expressed are his own.


Holiday Program Brings Hope Home to Lung Cancer Patients

Posted: Dec 7, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Holiday Program Brings Hope Home to Lung Cancer Patients

Holiday Program Brings Hope Home to Lung Cancer Patients

Volunteers wrap presents, decorate trees, sing carols, hang outdoor holiday lights, write cards and bring much needed help to lung cancer patients throughout the country

SAN CARLOS, CA and RIDGEFIELD, CT (December 7, 2017)–The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., have joined forces to make the season brighter for lung cancer patients through the “Bring Hope Home for the Holidays” partnership. This program is helping lung cancer patients make holiday memories across the nation through December 20, 2017.

With the support of ALCF, Boehringer Ingelheim volunteers are visiting lung cancer patients’ homes, delivering holiday help for people fighting lung cancer — the leading cause of cancer deaths nationally and in every state. To help raise their spirits during the holidays, these volunteers will help lung cancer patients with holiday activities, such as trimming the tree, wrapping gifts, writing cards, or lighting the outside of the house.

“The holidays are hectic and wonderful moments for most. As a mother of three, I always wanted to make them magical for my family,” said Bonnie J. Addario, lung cancer survivor and founder and chair of the ALCF. “When I was diagnosed with lung cancer during the holidays, I found it almost impossible to make ‘magic’ for them. It broke my heart. This year it is our goal to ease the burden of patients by going to their homes and helping them prepare for the season. We are excited to partner with Boehringer Ingelheim and their amazing employees to help make a little magic for these patients and their families.”

“‘Bring Hope Home for the Holidays’ is a unique effort to give back to the lung cancer community and deliver cheer and joy to their homes during this special time of year,” said Jean-Michel Boers, president, Human Pharma, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “With the support of caring volunteers from Boehringer Ingelheim, we hope to make a positive difference in their lives and demonstrate the personal connection we feel with these remarkable people.”

Despite being the most deadly form of cancer, the stigma of lung cancer leads to underfunding. In fact, according to The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program of the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer is the number one cancer killer of men and women in every ethnic group in the U.S., taking more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. However, lung cancer research receives less funding than any other cancer, so it’s important to understand that eight in 10 lung cancer patients never smoked or quit smoking decades ago.

“‘Bring Hope Home for the Holidays’ is a seasonal reminder that we need to provide loving support to people fighting this leading cancer killer,” Addario said. “Our goal is to transform lung cancer into a chronically managed disease and eventually find a cure.”

To learn more about “Bring Hope Home for the Holidays,” visit


About “Bring Hope Home for the Holidays”
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) and Boehringer Ingelheim are committed to making this holiday season brighter, with their “Bring Hope Home for the Holidays” national effort. The program recognizes the hardships faced by lung cancer patients and, through the support of volunteers, will deliver holiday help and cheer to patients in their homes in 21 U.S. cities. For more information, visit

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation
The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest international philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating lung cancer through research, early detection, education and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors and their families to identify solutions, make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006, as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $30 million for lung cancer research and related programs. For more information about the ALCF please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Boehringer Ingelheim
Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Since its founding in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel treatments for human and veterinary medicine.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s oncology research is driven by a passion to advance clinical practice and a determination to improve the lives of patients who are battling cancer. Through our own scientific innovation and partnerships, we are focused on discovering and providing novel best-in-class, breakthrough cancer medications that fit the needs of patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Boehringer Ingelheim is committed to improving lives and providing valuable services and support to patients and their families. Our employees create and engage in programs that strengthen our communities. To learn more about how we make more health for more people, visit our Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

For more information please visit, or follow us on Twitter @BoehringerUS.

Outsmarting Lung Cancer

Posted: Nov 21, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Outsmarting Lung Cancer

Date: 11/17
Outlet: Women Total Health & Wellness
Author: Heather StringerWAC_fall17160

Bekah Cunningham was concerned when she was diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia for the third time in 2015. She was 28 and had never suffered from illnesses before, and the antibiotics and allergy medications prescribed by doctors were not alleviating her cough and fatigue. After trying to cope for nine months, Bekah’s fatigue worsened and she started coughing up blood. She also discovered a golf ballsized lump in her right breast.

In early 2016, Bekah was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer when she received another piece of devastating news from her pulmonologist: The fluid in her lungs contained cancer cells. She had stage IV lung cancer that had spread to her breast, liver, bones and lymph nodes.

“I was absolutely stunned,” says Bekah, who lives in Fairhope, Georgia. “I was not a smoker, nobody in my family had lung cancer, and I’d always been relatively active.” She is one of more than 220,000 Americans who will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017—a form of cancer that has historically had a low survival rate.1 Lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths each year than the number of deaths caused by breast, prostate and colorectal cancer combined.2 Survival rates are low largely because symptoms (such as persistent coughing or shortness of breath) do not manifest until the later stages of the disease. When the cancer has spread to other parts of the body (stage IV cancer), curative treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy are much less feasible. These patients typically have only a 2 percent chance of being alive five years after diagnosis.

Desperate for guidance, Bekah called the Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation in San Carlos, Calif., and learned that she had reason to hope for better odds. Molecular testing of her cancer cells revealed that the cancer was ALK-positive, which meant she was eligible for targeted therapy. Certain forms of non-small cell lung cancer have genetic abnormalities in the cancer cells that the disease is dependent on, and in the last few years several new drugs have been approved that specifically target these mutations.

“The mutations produce a signal to the cancer cells to stay alive, grow and spread, and these drugs can silence that signal,” says David Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, director of the lung cancer program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. “It’s not a cure, but it can suppress the disease.”

While the majority of people with lung cancer have at least some history of smoking, these targetable mutations are probably not related to smoking, says Dr. Camidge. Now there are licensed targeted therapies available for four different mutant forms of lung cancer (EGFR, ALK, ROS1, and BRAF), and roughly one quarter of all people with lung cancer in the Western world test positive for one of these mutations, says Dr. Camidge. That percentage increases dramatically, though, in young people with the disease. According to preliminary results from the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer Study, 77 percent of patients under the age of 40 had either the EGFR, ALK or ROS1 mutation.3 The study was launched in 2014 by the Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, a non-profit organization aiming to eradicate lung cancer through research, early detection, education and treatment.

“Precision medicine is a paradigm changer for all cancer, especially for skin and lung cancers because these two have the highest percentage of patients with targetable genomic mutations,” says Bonnie J Addario, a lung cancer survivor and founder of the Bonnie J Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. “Identifying those mutations when you are first diagnosed is critical because there are targeted drugs that will be more effective than standard chemotherapy.”

Bekah witnessed the dramatic differences between these two forms of treatment because she started chemotherapy while her doctors were awaiting results of her molecular testing for mutations. While on chemotherapy for three months, scans showed only small regression of the disease, and Bekah struggled with nausea and fatigue the week after each infusion. When she switched to Xalkori and later Alecensa—drugs that target the ALK abnormality—the effect was noticeable.

“I had an exceptional response to the treatment, and the cancer has shrunk to the point that you cannot see any cancer on my scans,” says Bekah, who has been on targeted therapy for a year, “I have my energy back, and I’ve been able to go back to work and resume my life again.”

Although her initial response to the medication has been positive, Bekah also understands that cancer cells typically evolve to avoid suppression by the targeted therapy. As a result, she will most likely need to switch to a different targeted drug at some point.

Bekah’s tumor also tested positive for a marker known as PDL-1, which may increase her likelihood of responding to drugs that help the immune system fight the disease. But this marker may not be as useful in predicting response to immunotherapy when patients also have driver mutations such as ALK or EGRF, explains Dr. Camidge. “Immunotherapy should still be considered experimental in this setting,” he says.

Living Longer Than Expected

Like Bekah, Samantha Mixon of Jonesboro, Alabama, never considered lung cancer when she started feeling pain in her right shoulder blade. Her doctor prescribed muscle relaxants, and she lived with the discomfort for four years until she started experiencing a different form of pain: intense migraines and vomiting.

Her mother rushed her to an emergency room, and an MRI showed that Samantha had a tumor in her brain. She was relieved when a neurosurgeon successfully removed the tumor, but the biopsy results suggested that the tumor had originated elsewhere. After undergoing a PET scan, Samantha learned that she had stage IV lung cancer. The pain in her right shoulder blade had been caused by cancer growing in her lung, and the cancer had spread to her brain.

“I was a single mom with a 7-year-old daughter, and I was given 12 to 18 months to live,” says Samantha, 37. “It was very difficult news for me and my family.”

Her doctor explained that there was a chance that she could live longer if she tested positive for one of the genetic mutations, and two weeks later, she received good news: The cancer had the EGFR mutation. Cautiously optimistic, Samantha started taking a targeted therapy called Tarceva in January 2013, and within three months the cancer in her lungs had shrunk 60 percent.

“That was the first time I started to feel hope again,” she says. After nine months of disease regression, though, her doctor noticed cancer growing in one of her lungs, and he recommended radiation treatment. The radiation was successful, and since then, the cancer has remained stable while Samantha continues taking Tarceva. Samantha remarried last year, and although she worries that the disease will eventually progress, she knows there are second-line drugs that target some of the molecular forms of resistance that develop on Tarceva.

Seeking Earlier Detection

Although Bonnie Addario has celebrated the advancements in lung cancer treatment in the last several years, her long-term goal is better screening for the disease. Now the only people who qualify for lung cancer screening are those aged 55 to 74 who have a history of smoking a pack a day for 30 years or more, who currently smoke, or who have quit smoking within the last 15 years.

“This eliminates all young people and non-smokers who could have lung cancer,” Addario says. She hopes in the future that improvements in our understanding of the differing biologies of lung cancer subtypes could lead to the development of a “liquid biopsy” that would be used to screen for lung cancer in a much broader population.

Although researchers have yet to develop such a lung cancer blood test, one recent advancement in the field suggests this idea is possible. In patients with stage IV disease, there are already several companies that have developed blood tests to detect mutations found in cancers. These new techniques are referred to as a “liquid biopsy”. Addario’s foundation announced plans to collaborate with Biocept, Inc., in a clinical trial evaluating the liquid biopsy technique. If blood sampling proves to be accurate, then this technique will be less invasive than the current method of taking tissue samples from the lung.

Addario, who has helped to raise more than $30 million for lung cancer research, is beginning to see how research and better outcomes for patients are changing stereotypes about lung cancer, and it’s only the beginning, she says. Dr. Camidge, for example, is planning a new kind of celebration at his hospital for stage IV lung cancer patients: One for those who have survived a decade after diagnosis. “This was unheard of a couple of years ago because patients didn’t live that long, but now we have more than enough to get together for a big party,” he says.

“People are starting to see lung cancer as a chronic disease,” Dr. Camidge says. “Doctors have to be creative with treatment as the cancer evolves, but people can have a normal quality of life and go on to live much longer than in the past.”

What Is a Liquid Biopsy?

A liquid biopsy is performed by testing a sample of blood for the presence of circulating cancer cells, known as circulating tumor cells. Perhaps more importantly, samples of blood obtained from a liquid biopsy can also be tested for cell-free tumor DNA (cfDNA), which are fragments of DNA shed by cancer cells into a patient’s bloodstream.

Because cancer cells are constantly “shedding” parts of their DNA, specific genetic mutations (alterations) within these pieces of DNA can provide invaluable information to healthcare providers and ultimately help guide optimal treatment options for each patient.

Importantly, the bits of cfDNA obtained from a liquid biopsy can provide information to healthcare providers in the following areas:

  • If or to what extent the cancer is responding to treatment
  • Optimal treatment options specific to the DNA mutations of the cancer cells
  • Earlier detection of cancer compared with standard screening measures
  • Molecular and genetic realtime changes occurring in a patient’s cancer cells in response to treatment and growth

Through empowering and educating patients, funding cutting-edge research, building strategic collaborations and raising public awareness, our goal is to transform lung cancer into a chronically managed disease within 10 years and ultimately to find a cure.

For more information and support about lung cancer and its treatment; a lung cancer resource and social community of lung cancer patients sharing information and support.

The Lung Cancer Living Room: learn about early detection, treatment options, molecular testing and clinical trials from specialists:

Meet Bonnie J. Addario

“We are committed to involving our patients in every aspect of our work to cure lung cancer. With the patient in the center of the cancer paradigm, we can create ‘transformational research’ care that begins with the patient, leads to research, and rapidly returns new treatments to the patient.”

—Bonnie J. Addario

“The key to unlock the code to cures… resides in the patient. Currently their participation in clinical trials and specimen donations for research is very, very low. Patients must be valued and given a ‘seat’ at the table and a ‘voice’ in the conversation where all decisions are being made about their survival. If they are added to the ‘solution’ process we will be able to move much faster in finding cures for all diseases.”

—Bonnie J. Addario

Long before its official start date, a single diagnosis led to the founding of the ALCF when in 2004 Bonnie was diagnosed with lung cancer. At the age of 56 she was a wife, mother and grandmother, the president of Olympian Oil Company and the Commercial Fueling Network, and one of 1.4 million people worldwide and 225,000 Americans newly diagnosed with lung cancer every year. Faced with a 5-year lung cancer patient survival rate of 15.9 percent, a statistic that has not significantly improved in 40 years, and a 5 percent survival rate for a Stage 3b lung cancer patient, which was Bonnie’s diagnosis, the situation as told by these numbers was daunting and discouraging. Following a 14-hour surgery to remove one lobe, radiation and chemotherapy treatments that invaded her formerly predictable world, Bonnie became a lung cancer survivor with a new purpose in life.

After her diagnosis, Bonnie became active in local lung cancer programs and quickly became frustrated with the lack of a leading patient voice, progress in lung cancer treatments, and overall survivorship. In 2006, Bonnie combined her business acumen with her desire to impact lung cancer care today, the result – the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF).

ALCF’s goal is urgent – to significantly improve the inexcusably low survival rate of lung cancer patients. With Bonnie’s vision and support of her family and the lung cancer community, ALCF has become one of the largest sources of non-profit patient-focused funding dedicated to changing lung cancer from a terminal diagnosis to a chronically managed disease by 2023, ALCF’s vision and 10-year goal that was announced in 2013.

Having become a unifying voice among patients and thought leaders, establishing unique patient-oriented programs, a novel research consortium, and national outreach activities, Bonnie is turning to the international lung cancer community to work collaboratively towards personalized medicine/therapies.

About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused, and patientdriven) devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006 as a 501c(3) nonprofit organization and has raised more than $30 million for lung cancer research and related programs.


  1. American Cancer Society. Available at:
  2. National Cancer Institute, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. Available at:
  3. Preliminary results of the Genomics of Young Lung Cancer Study,

Read more from Women Total Health & Wellness here.

National Collegiate Equestrian Association 2017 National Champions Honored at White House

Posted: Nov 21, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on National Collegiate Equestrian Association 2017 National Champions Honored at White House

Texas A&M Women’s Equestrian Team Recognized by the President 

White House Photo/Andrea Hanks

White House Photo/Andrea Hanks

For the first time in history, a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Women’s Equestrian team traveled to the White House for a ceremony honoring its accomplishments. On Friday, November 17, President Donald J. Trump recognized the Texas A&M Equestrian Team for besting a field of twelve other NCAA Equestrian teams to capture the 2017 National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championship. During the ceremony, the Texas A&M Aggies presented President Trump with a custom pair of Anderson Bean cowboy boots personalized with the Texas A&M logo.

Members of the National Champion Texas A&M team attended the ceremony along with head coach Tana McKay and Senior Associate Athletic Director, Kevin Hurley. The team also had a chance to tour the Capitol guided by U.S. Representative Bill Flores of Texas.

“This was a tremendous experience for our student-athletes and my team, staff and I are humbled and honored to have had this opportunity,” McKay said. “This is an exciting time to be part of NCAA Equestrian and to be recognized at this level means so much to me and is a credit to the work the NCEA has been doing to grow the sport.”

The White House has a long standing tradition of honoring national championship teams, dating back to 1865.

“We are thrilled that the White House has recognized the sport of Equestrian by honoring the Texas A&M Aggies on their 2017 national championship title,” NCEA Executive Director Dr. Leah Fiorentino said. “These young women are excellent models of the finest student-athletes in the nation and are strong ambassadors for the sport of Equestrian at the collegiate level.”

The NCEA titles the National Championship award based on a bracket style tournament where the winning team advances to the next round. Riders from two teams compete on the same horse and earn scores from a panel of judges during the head-to head competition. The judges score each ride and the higher score earns a point for the team. The Texas A&M Equestrian team is comprised of elite caliber riders who compete in two disciplines, Hunter Seat and Western. The Hunter Seat riders compete in over-fence work and flat-work, whereas the Western riders compete in reining and horsemanship classes.

“The National Champion Texas A&M Aggies take tremendous pride in carrying the NCEA championship banner, representing all the riders across the country in collegiate equestrian,” said Kevin Hurley, a longtime advocate for collegiate equestrian and critical to the expansion of the sport across the nation. “As we continue to grow our sport, we are grateful for opportunities of this stature to nationally showcase our young women as role models in our sport.”

About the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA)

The National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), a non-profit corporation, was created as a governing body to advance the sport of Equestrian for women at the collegiate level. In 1998, Equestrian was identified and adopted by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Committee of Women’s Athletics (CWA) as an emerging sport for women at the Division I and II levels. The NCEA, in concert with the mission and vision of the NCAA, is committed to providing collegiate opportunities for female equestrian student-athletes to compete at the highest level, while embracing equity, diversity and promoting academic and competitive excellence. 

Perry Communications Group Recognized for Elevating Seniors’ Issues in California

Posted: Nov 17, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Perry Communications Group Recognized for Elevating Seniors’ Issues in California

Firm honored by California Association of Area Agencies on Aging for bringing awareness to seniors’ issues in the state

(Los Angeles, CA)—Perry Communications Group (PCG), a Sacramento-based strategic communications firm has received the President’s Award from the California Association of Area C4A-PhotoAgencies on Aging (C4A). This annual honor is at the Board President’s discretion, and recognizes the person or group who exceptionally promotes the work of the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in California. The award was accepted this week in Los Angeles during C4A’s 2017 Annual Meeting and Allied Conference.

“C4A represents California’s 33 area agencies on aging and is one of the leading voices on aging issues in California,” said Kassy Perry, President and CEO of PCG. “California leads the nation in the number of senior residents, yet their voices are seldom heard. We are delighted to partner with C4A to bring awareness to the issues aging Californians face such as housing and health care, and how AAA are adjusting to provide much needed services.”

Following the success of a June 2016 campaign during Elder Abuse Awareness Month, this year PCG expanded the campaign to include a digital component which increased the range of the campaign to key stakeholders.  Over the course of one month, the campaign reached more than 3 million people, generated nearly 700 emails and tweets to legislators and was shared across multiple platforms.

“PCG continues to help increase awareness about the concerns of providing services to seniors through the Area Agencies on Aging in California. As California shifts its demographics from youth to maturity, it is imperative we invest in safety, services and supports for older Californians. PCG has been paramount to helping the AAA’s communicate this message to legislators and Californians,” stated Diane Kaljian, Board President of C4A. “I’m thrilled to grant PCG with the President’s Award.”

Up next, PCG and C4A will partner to create a series of infographics that showcase Vision 2025. AAA’s created the plan to address the changing demographics in California and how the AAA will remain relevant, fiscally viable and responsive. The infographic series will be released early next year.

For 21 years PCG has helped its clients positively navigate the most important policy issues facing our nation. PCG tackles pressing health care issues including those dealing with senior health, health care reform and chronic diseases.

TWEET THISCongrats to @PerryCommGroup for receiving the President’s Award from @C4A_Sacramento. The award recognizes the person or group who has exceptionally promoted the work of the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) in California. #AgingisAllAboutLiving

About Perry Communications Group

Perry Communications Group is an independent, full-service strategic communications firm specializing in public relations and public affairs. We work at the center of issues that matter and give new perspective to the issues and events making headlines today, as well as those that will in the future. We shape ideas, opinions, decisions and social change. The bottom line for us is always the same – we’re invested in the cause and our clients’ work. For more information, visit PCG at or call (916) 658-0144.

Oversight urged for 340B drug discount program

Posted: Nov 1, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on Oversight urged for 340B drug discount program

Date: 11/1/17
Outlet: Capitol Weekly
Author: William Remak

Mark Twain once proclaimed, “The government of my country snubs honest simplicity, but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had remained in the public service a year or two.”

These humorous words may elicit a smile, but clearly ring true more than a century later, and most certainly apply to the 340B drug discount program, a program which was created with the best intentions but, sadly, over time has lost its way.

Because of vague language as to what truly defined a legitimate “340B patient” and covered entities, the program grew incredibly quickly

The bad news is, due to a lack of enforcement or accountability, the program has fallen victim to variations of pickpocketing, leaving our most vulnerable out. The good news is that our leaders in Washington, DC have a unique opportunity to fix this problem head-on with bipartisan “honest simplicity.”

To back up and put things into perspective, the 340B drug discount program was created by Congress twenty-five years ago to help uninsured or vulnerable patients gain better access to prescription medicine. It requires manufacturers of prescription drugs to reduce prices of outpatient drugs for federally funded clinics and certain hospitals that are considered to serve a high number of economically disadvantaged patients and communities.

In 2010, the agency responsible for oversight of the 340B program allowed program participants that lacked an on-site pharmacy to contract with unlimited off-site pharmacies, and the Affordable Care Act extended the program to reach multiple hospitals, referral centers and cancer centers.

Because of vague language as to what truly defined a legitimate “340B patient” and covered entities, the program grew incredibly quickly, prompting former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to declare that the program “has expanded beyond its bounds.”

To make matters worse, many bad actors emerged amid this maelstrom of confusion and scant federal accountability. The 340B program was designed in such a way that allows its facilities to keep the savings generated between the cost of a drug acquired through the discount program and the price they charge a patient or insurer, thus incentivizing hospitals to prescribe more 340B drugs to more patients.

Because of a loophole in the program that some argue doesn’t explicitly require hospitals to only provide discounted drugs to uninsured or vulnerable patients, hospitals and contract pharmacies are taking advantage of the opportunity and selling 340B drugs to anyone receiving medical care at their hospital or affiliated clinics.

The result? Fully insured patients, not the economically vulnerable and needy, are receiving these discounted drugs at full price, and hospitals and contract pharmacies are able to pocket – or, dare I say, pickpocket – the difference between a discounted drug purchasing price and the amount a patient or insurer pays for the full cost of the drug.

All the while, health care costs increase and struggling Californians and Americans who should benefit from this program are sent to the back of the line while these entities make money.

But there is hope. With so much mudslinging and daggers flying on the health care front inside the Beltway, here’s an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to join forces to fix the 340B program in the same manner as when they created it a quarter of a century ago.

There is no basis or need for political grandstanding when simple but important remedies are desperately needed.

  • Congress should make it a top priority to modernize the program, and they can start by calling for a better, clearer definition of a 340B patient so that these discounted drugs truly benefit those with the greatest financial strain.
  • Congress should increase transparency so that we all see and know exactly how these funds are used. No hospital or provider should be using funds for needy patients without accountability – human lives are at stake here.
  • Congress should reexamine contract pharmacy arrangements – as then-Secretary Sebelius and others have rightly stated, the program has expanded too fast, too soon. Expanding the program beyond the original focus has created more opportunities for drug diversion and higher costs, which the nonpartisan federal General Accounting Office has cited.

Government leaders, processes and issues have clearly evolved since the days of Mark Twain, but public skepticism and angst about “truth in advertising,” let alone outright honesty in serving the intended public, has not.

But here’s a golden opportunity for our Washington leaders to restore a well-intentioned program to its original effectiveness without any bombastic floor debates, name calling, or filibustering, and ensure that our most vulnerable get the help they desperately need.

It’s time for us to call upon Congress to do the right thing and fix the 340B program.

Ed’s Note: William Remak is founder and CEO of the California Hepatitis C Task Force and chair of the National Association of Hepatitis Task Forces

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is the Only Lung Cancer Foundation to Receive Highest Level of Recognition by GuideStar

Posted: Oct 24, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is the Only Lung Cancer Foundation to Receive Highest Level of Recognition by GuideStar

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is the Only Lung Cancer Foundation to Receive Highest Level of Recognition by GuideStar

ALCF receives top honors for its fiscally responsible approach to ending the world’s deadliest cancer

ALCF logoSAN CARLOS, Calif. (October 24, 2017)–The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) has earned the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. By sharing metrics that highlight progress ALCF is making toward its mission, GuideStar helps donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation and collects, organizes, and presents information about each nonprofit’s mission, legitimacy, impact, reputation, finances, programs, transparency and governance.

“We believe our donors should know that the funding they give to ALCF directly benefits patients and families impacted by lung cancer,” said ALCF Executive Director David LeDuc. “We are proud that 88 cents out of every dollar donated goes to patient services and research to help us achieve our goal to turn the world’s deadliest cancer into a chronically managed disease by the year 2023.”

To achieve the platinum level, ALCF added extensive information on the GuideStar Nonprofit Profile including financial information, quantitative evidence about goals and strategies and progress toward its mission. By taking the time to provide this information, ALCF demonstrates its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate success.

Of the more than 340,000 nonprofits in GuideStar’s database that provide industry data to compete for this achievement, less than one percent receives GuideStar’s platinum ranking. In addition to the GuideStar recognition, ALCF has also earned the highest 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for its commitment to accountability and transparency.

Donors, partners and supporters can visit the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation’s GuideStar Profile to learn more. The profile includes ALCF’s mission, goals, programs, costs, top accomplishments, reviews and the number of people that the organization helps.


About the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation

The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (ALCF) is one of the largest international philanthropies (patient-founded, patient-focused and patient-driven) devoted exclusively to eradicating lung cancer through research, early detection, education and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors and their families to identify solutions, make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. The ALCF was established on March 1, 2006, as a 501c(3) non-profit organization and has raised more than $30 million for lung cancer research and related programs. For more information about the ALCF please visit or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About GuideStar NonProfit Profiles

The GuideStar database contains a profile for every tax-exempt nonprofit registered with the IRS. GuideStar encourages every nonprofit to claim and update its profile at no cost to the organization. Updating allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up to date information with the more than seven million people who visit GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations each year.

International horse jumping competition comes to Murieta Equestrian Center

Posted: Oct 3, 2017 | Posted by Kassy Perry | Comments Off on International horse jumping competition comes to Murieta Equestrian Center

Date: 10/3/17
Outlet: Sacramento Business Journal
Author: Mark Anderson

About 5,000 fans and participants are in Sacramento County this week for the Sacramento International Horse Show.

Some 300 riders, along with their crews, trainers, groomers and spectators, are expected to fill some 5,000 hotel rooms through the final events on Sunday, said Mike Sophia, director of the Sacramento Sports Commission. Their hotel stays, restaurant meals and shopping are expected to have a $2 million impact on the local economy.

The Murieta Equestrian Center event this weekend is the only Northern California qualifier for the 2018 Longines International Equestrian Nations Cup jumping finals in Paris next April.

More than $200,000 in prize money will be awarded at the local event.

Sacramento has long been a destination for horse events. The Western States Horse Expo has been held at Cal Expo for 19 years, attracting thousands of attendees. It will return to Cal Expo in June for its 20th year.

The Murieta Equestrian Center in eastern Sacramento County holds an equestrian event at least once a month. It has nearly 380 stalls, temporary accommodations for more than 500 horses, and 3,000 bleacher seats.

Murieta features 19 arenas. This is its 10th year hosting the Longines horse jumping event.

The event started last week with riders arriving to practice at the Murieta Equestrian Center. Qualifying begins Thursday.

Admission for spectators is free until the events Friday and Saturday, when admission will be $20 and $25 respectively. Sunday’s events are free.

A new equestrian project is also proposed for rural El Dorado County. A new Springs Equestrian Center project is currently proposed near the Rescue area. That center would be on 146 acres and include capacity to board up to 300 horses and bleachers for special events for up to 250 spectators.

Read more from the Sacramento Business Journal here.