Welcome First Time Conference Attendees!

March 24, 2009

As of today, we have over 200 new attendees! This is an unprecedented number, and we are excited and ready for a terrific new group of advocates. There are a number of workshops and events geared towards you spread over the entire conference.

Where to begin:

Start out on Saturday at our First Time Attendee Orientation, where veteran board members and advocates will help you navigate your best path through the conference. Special attention will be given to key plenary sessions, must-attend workshops and special events.
Saturday, May 2, 12:45-1:45 pm

Follow up the opening plenary session as a bowler or a cheerleader at our 4th Annual Women with Balls: STRIKE! Breast Cancer Advocacy Challenge. Bowlers and cheerleaders raise money for NBCCF programs.

On Sunday there are 2 great workshops for first time attendees to choose from:

In Nuts & Bolts of Congress, you will learn the basics of how a bill moves through Congress, how the appropriations and budget processes work and how Congressional committees, subcommittees and staff offices are structured.

Starting Breast Cancer Advocacy in Your Community is a great place to hear breast cancer advocates who have started local groups sharing what it takes to unite local breast cancer activists into an organized group to achieve common goals. This workshop will focus on how to get started.

Then, on Monday, there are 3 more workshops that build off of what you’ve learned so far.

If you attended Nuts and Bolts of Congress, you may find Strategies for Effective Lobbying to be an excellent choice for getting advice from congressional staff, professional lobbyists and experienced activists on how to “get your foot in the door,” handle difficult situations and effectively achieve the goal. Hear highlights of some of NBCC’s past legislative victories, as well as its current legislative priorities. Learn how the legislative process really works.

Or head over to Expanding your Breast Cancer Advocacy Network where you will join a discussion with people who have built effective local advocacy groups. Share your current challenges, hear others’ successful strategies, and develop your own network expansion plan.

Another option is Advocacy in State Government, where you will learn to identify the key supporters and discover the differences between lobbying members of Congress and working with state legislators.

This is, of course, just a sampling of what the conference has to offer. We will be updating weekly, with information about our speakers, plenary sessions and other workshops.

Check back over the weeks leading up to the conference for information everything  from speaker information to Plenary sessions and workshop paths.

Also coming soon:
More information about  Lobby Day, and the meetings that you can attend during Conference to help you prepare for an exciting day on Capitol Hill!

Scholarship Deadline Approaching!

March 12, 2009

Scholarship Deadline: 5:00pm EST on March 12, 2009

Scholarships to cover the cost of conference registration and/or lodging at the Omni Shoreham Hotel are available for NBCCF members in financial need. Application forms are available online.

Pre-Conference Brochure now Online

February 26, 2009

Check out our Pre-Conference Brochure for plenary session and workshop details!

Early Bird Deadline Extended!

December 15, 2008

The Early Bird deadline has been extended until January 16th.

Register Now!

Save the Date for the 2009 Conference!

June 27, 2008

The 2009 NBCCF Advocacy Training Conference is only about 10 months away. So, make sure to mark your calendars now for May 2-5, 2009 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

Hotel rates are $249/night. To book rooms, call the Omni directly at 1-800-THE-OMNI.

Register for the Conference Online

Make sure to visit this blog for regular updates in the coming months.

For more information, call NBCCF at 1-800-622-2838.

Exhausted and Energized!

June 12, 2008

Judi BartekIt’s been just over a month since I returned from the NBCCF Advocacy Conference and my mind is still spinning from everything I learned during those three days. While I returned exhausted from the brain-expanding plenary sessions and workshops, I felt energized to take this new knowledge and incorporate it into nursing practice at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess BreastCare Center. To no surprise this year’s conference offered an opportunity to hear thought provoking perspectives on topics that I know would never be touched upon at other nursing and medical conferences. I continue to be amazed by NBCCF’s ability to inspire, empower and teach at the same time as they challenge the status quo!

Judi Hirshfield-Bartek RN MS OCN
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
NBCCF Board Member
Dr Susan Love Research Foundation

One Word: Plastics

May 28, 2008

The issue of the safety of bisphenol A (BPAs), an environmental chemical that seems to act like hormones, has been in the news a lot lately, and in fact was discussed at NBCCF’s recent Advocacy Training Conference. NBCCF is closely following the ongoing story. BPAs get into food and beverages stored in plastic containers made of polycarbonate, including many baby bottles and some water bottles (labeled with the recycling symbol #7), as well as from cans lined with a polycarbonate resin.

Recently, the U.S. National Toxicology Program, a government organization, issued a draft report on the safety of BPA. The report said that this chemical has been found in the urine of 93% of people aged 6 and older. It didn’t identify any studies of health effects in humans, but there are some laboratory studies in rodents that showed reproductive effects and precancerous breast lesions as a result of exposure to BPA, at low levels of the chemical similar to what humans are exposed to. The report expressed concern that bisphenol A could “possibly” affect human development or reproduction. A review from 2005 analyzed many other studies in laboratory animals, wildlife, and cells have demonstrated that BPA is associated with a variety of hormone-like behaviors and health outcomes in animals, possibly at very low levels of exposure. On May 15, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that, although their review of the chemical continues, “there is a large body of evidence that indicates that FDA-regulated products containing BPA currently on the market are safe and that exposure levels to BPA from food contact materials, including for infants and children, are below those that may cause health effects.”

NBCCF does not believe that FDA’s confidence in BPA’s safety is justified by the growing body of evidence in animals that BPA is an endocrine disruptor; furthermore, safety has not been demonstrated in human studies.  We would like to see more research to understand BPA’s effects at low exposure levels, and also to see more human studies done of the health effects of this common chemical. The National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences are funding a multi-center study (with investigators in New York City, Cincinnati, and Northern California) to measure BPA and other known and suspected endocrine-disrupting chemicals in 1200 9-year-old girls, and following them forward in time, to see whether exposure to the chemicals is associated with changes in pubertal development, particularly aspects of development that are relevant to breast cancer.

Other plastics used for food packaging may also be of health concern. These are numbered according to the recycling number typically found on the bottom: #3 (polyvinyl chloride, a probable human carcinogen), #6 (polystyrene, a possible human carcinogen); more information can be found at the National Geographic’s Green Guide website. Better choices, according to the Green Guide, are #1 (PET), #2 (high density polyethylene), #4 (low density polyethylene), and #5 (polypropylene). Glass and metal bottles are options as well.