Local lawmakers’ bill to fight cervical cancer could soon be law

Posted by: Zach Weismiller & Jessica Baker  | Tuesday, March 21, 2017 2:30 pm

STATEHOUSE (March 21, 2017) — The Indiana Senate voted unanimously today in support of State Reps. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) and Sally Siegrist’s (R-West Lafayette) bill to reduce the number of Hoosier deaths resulting from cervical cancer.

According to the Indiana Cancer Consortium, approximately 250 new cervical cancer cases and 86 cervical cancer-related deaths occur annually among women in Indiana. House Bill 1278 would require the Indiana State Health Department to develop a statewide strategic plan to decrease Indiana’s cervical cancer mortality rate. The state would work to identify barriers to cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment, develop public and private partnerships to increase cervical cancer awareness and recommend actions to reduce the number of Hoosier deaths associated with the disease.

“Cervical cancer is largely preventable and highly treatable if caught early,” Negele said. “This bill would create a comprehensive and targeted plan to reduce the number of women who die from cervical cancer every year. It’s critical we help educate the public and raise awareness about the ways to prevent and treat this terrible disease.”

The legislation would require ISDH to submit a report outlining their plan to the governor and General Assembly by Dec. 31, 2018.

“Working with ISDH and medical professionals to establish a plan to help reduce the amount of women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer is a prime example of how public-private partnerships can benefit our state,” Siegrist said. “It is imperative that we are focusing our collective efforts on increasing awareness about this preventable and treatable disease so that Hoosier women can be better protected.”

After being approved by the House of Representatives and Senate, the bill can now be signed into law by the governor.

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State Rep. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) represents all of Benton County, and portions
of Fountain, Jasper, Montgomery, Newton, Tippecanoe, Warren and White counties.

A high-resolution photo of Negele can be downloaded by clicking here.

State Rep. Sally Siegrist (R-West Lafayette) represents portions of Tippecanoe County.

A high-resolution photo of Siegrist can be downloaded by clicking here.