CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Feb 28, 2013) - LIVESTRONG Foundation Executive Vice President of Operations, Andy Miller, today charted an assertive vision for the Foundation's path forward on behalf of those living with a cancer diagnosis, delivering the "State of the Foundation" address at the annual LIVESTRONG Foundation Assembly. Miller delivered the remarks in place of Foundation President and CEO Doug Ulman, whose arrival in Chicago was delayed due to weather.
In the speech -- "What Now?: A Challenge for the LIVESTRONG Foundation, on Behalf of Survivors, for the Cancer Community" -- Miller outlined strong 2012 results for the Foundation, announced robust, ambitious goals for programmatic expansion in 2013 and beyond, and reaffirmed the organization's commitment to helping those affected by cancer today to deal strongly with the practical, emotional and financial challenges they face.
"'Will the LIVESTRONG Foundation survive? Yes. Absolutely, yes!'" Miller exclaimed to more than 500 of the Foundation's leaders, partners, grantees and advocates gathered in Chicago from across the U.S. and around the world. "Our work is too meaningful, our role too unique, the need too great to stand for any other answer."
The LIVESTRONG Foundation also unveiled its new logo at the Assembly, a visual change designed to underscore that the LIVESTRONG ethos -- the belief in fighting for people affected by cancer today -- is not abstract and, in fact, drives all of the Foundation's work. The new logo is a natural next step in the Foundation's evolution and is intended to provide the Foundation's corporate and marketing partners -- and the public -- with an unmistakable way of communicating that buying LIVESTRONG-branded gear or supporting the Foundation equates to helping those affected by cancer right now.
LIVESTRONG Day will take place this year on May 17, 2013, the 9th anniversary of the launch of the iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, announced Miller. It will represent another key milestone in the Foundation's history, following the 2012 celebration of its 15-year anniversary and the departure from the organization last fall of its founder, Lance Armstrong. "We will tell people what the LIVESTRONG Foundation's mission is, how we're changing the way the world fights cancer and why we're needed," he said. "This is the path to more supporters, expanded programs and greater success for those with cancer."
Ulman arrived later in the day and addressed advocates at the culminating dinner. "To me, LIVESTRONG means community," he said. "When I think about that powerful word, I think about those of you who make our work possible and help the LIVESTRONG Foundation have the greatest possible impact on improving the lives of people affected by cancer now. Thank you for being a part of our unified movement. Together, we are changing the way the world fights cancer."
In Miller's remarks, he detailed the Foundation's plans over the next several years:
- In 2013, test a variety of models for expanding the Foundation's direct cancer support services;
- Serve more than 15,500 people affected by cancer each year;
- Deliver self-navigation tools to more than 1.5 million people each year;
- Advocate for patient-centered care, global access and advances in health information technology; and
- Deeply engage in the debate over Affordable Care Act implementation.
"We are an organization that has preferred to follow the road less traveled; pioneers who march to our own strong, fast beat and seek to go where others have not," said Miller. "We will be no different now. We see this as a moment of enormous opportunity, for us to be sharper than ever -- embrace the LIVESTRONG spirit more than ever -- advance understanding of what we do -- and expand our impact."
Miller issued a call to action to the entire cancer community, challenging all segments, including the medical community, insurers, support providers and others, to come together to address some of the most critical challenges facing the 14 million Americans, and 28 million people across the globe, who are living with a cancer diagnosis. Miller said there is an urgent need to move toward a more integrated and patient-centered health care model that focuses on holistic care, one in which prevention, treatment, remission, navigation, research and palliative care are addressed in concert, not in succession. He also called on the public to embrace the life-changing and life-saving value of survivorship, to bring pressure on the health care system to reimburse comprehensive cancer care.
"We have a lot of work to do. And we cannot do it alone," he said. "Fighting cancer requires collective action from all of us."
Miller noted the Foundation's numerous achievements in 2012 and assertively stated the Foundation's commitment to remain a dynamic, innovative leader in fighting to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. Some 2012 Foundation accomplishments include:
- Raised $48 million to support programs that serve people affected by a cancer diagnosis -- a healthy revenue number that is in line with the Foundation's peers in the philanthropic community.
- Supported a record number of people affected by cancer in person, on the phone or online through its free cancer support services -- an 11 percent increase in new client intake over 2011.
- Recognized as one of the most highly-rated non-profit organizations in the U.S. by the Better Business Bureau, Charity Navigator and other industry leaders.
Miller celebrated several partners for their commitment to the Foundation's mission and urged bold action by all of its key stakeholders to move swiftly to help the Foundation advance its critical work.
"We know for certain that our services and our spirit of resiliency are needed now more than ever," Miller said. "The LIVESTRONG Foundation is not going anywhere. We are here and we can help."
A full transcript to the "State of the Foundation" address and video is available at blog.livestrong.org.
About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides free cancer support services to help people cope with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease. Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation is known for its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- and for its advocacy on behalf of survivors and their families. With its iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America's top cancer non-profit organizations, the Foundation enjoys a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and has been recognized by the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.