Prostate Cancer Task Force Formed Thanks To Senator Bob Mensch’s Legislation

Harrisburg –  Senator Bob Mensch’s (R-24) legislation, Act 66 of 2015, directs the Department of Health (DOH) to establish a task force for the purpose of investigating, raising awareness and making recommendations concerning prostate cancer and related prostate cancer conditions.

“The task force will provide the public with information and education to create greater public awareness of the prevalence of and measures available to detect, diagnose and treat prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions,” said Mensch.

Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Pennsylvania men.

In compliance with the legislation, the task force will consist of the following individuals:

  • Secretaries of Health, State, Aging, and Human Services or designees:

Secretary of Health Karen Murphy, Secretary of State Pedro Cortez, Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne, Secretary of Human Services Ted Dallas

  • Insurance Commissioner or designee:

Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller

  • Four physicians with knowledge concerning treatment of prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions of which two are board certified in urology and two are practicing radiation oncologists treating prostate cancer:

Angelo Baccala (MD) from Lehigh Valley Health Network, Benjamin Davies (MD) from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Eric Horitz (MD) from Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Christopher Peters (MD) from Regional Hospital of Scranton Geisinger Community Med. Ctr. Northeast Regional Cancer Institute

  • Two registered nurses knowledgeable concerning prostate cancer, one of whom must be a certified registered nurse practitioner:

Theda Shaw (RN,MSN) from Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute and Linda Jacobs (PhD, CRNP) from Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania

  • An epidemiologist who has expertise in prostate cancer:

Charnita Ziegler-Johnson (PhD, MPH) at Thomas Jefferson University

  • Two representatives from patient groups:

James Williams (COL, Ret.) from the PA Prostate Coalition and Jerry Bortman who is a Prostate Cancer survovior and serves on the Allegheny County Health Department’s Mens Health Outreach Committee

  • One prostate cancer patient or family member:

Alan Schein (MD) from Schein Ernst Eye Associates who is a family member of a prostate cancer patient

The task force will be required to issue a report with recommendations to the Secretary of Health within one year of their first meeting.  The recommendations will be transmitted to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and the House Health Committee.

CONTACT: Sarah Rasmussen srasmussen@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388