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The Behind-the-Scenes Advocate
By Meghan Buzby

We would like to congratulate and THANK E. Michael D. (“Mike”) Scott, an IMF board member, for being March’s Advocate of the Month and a driving force in building a strong advocacy presence for the IMF.

Mike has also been active member of the IMF Action Network since its formation in summer 2009 and has sent a total of 20 messages to his federal representatives on important issues facing the myeloma community.

Mike has played an active role in the IMF advocacy program since its inception, helping to forge relationships with relevant advocacy coalitions in Washington, DC. Through these coalitions, the IMF now plays an integral role in addressing public policy issues in cancer and rare disorders. A “rare disorder” is defined in the USA as any disorder affecting less than 200,000 living people at any one point in time. Multiple myeloma is still one of the 7,000 rare disorders recognized in the USA.

Thanks to Mike’s involvement, the foundation is now a member of several prestigious coalitions in Washington including the Cancer Leadership Council, One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), the Deadly Cancer Coalition, the Hematologic Cancers Group, and the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD).

With the IMF’s increased visibility as a cancer advocacy organization, the IMF’s Board of Directors recently formed an Advocacy Advisory Committee (AAC) to ensure that all IMF advocacy activities are appropriately reported and that policies and procedures are in place to guarantee full transparency of our program. Mike is the initial Chairman of this committee. 

 “It is important that the IMF conducts its advocacy activities in full compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, and we believe we have been doing this,” Mike told me over the phone. “However, the IMF Board needs to ensure appropriate oversight of all IMF initiatives. Furthermore, given the differences in opinion that exist across the US today about federal and state investment in health care, it is critical for the Board of the IMF to be comfortable that our advocacy activities are fundamentally focused on initiatives that are in the very best interests of myeloma patients and the myeloma community as a whole. The IMF does not favor any specific set of political solutions to the broader healthcare challenges we face in the USA.”

Mike was elected to the Board of Directors of the IMF in 1994. He is a principal of Vox Medica, Inc. (a Philadelphia-based health-care communications group), a member of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), and an associate member of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Earlier this year he was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD).

Please join Mike and the other 1300 members of the IMF Action Network. Become an advocate TODAY and start making a difference for myeloma patients and other cancer patients all across the country.

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