What We Do

The Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program offers a variety of informational events, resources and materials.  The Program invites its members to work within their respective constituencies to educate the public about the message of healthy living, cancer prevention and early detection. Congressional Families’ two cornerstones of the program are the annual Action for Cancer Awareness Luncheon and Educational Events along with numerous other opportunities to get involved, educate and impact each members’ communities.

Action for Cancer Awareness Luncheon
Each fall, the Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program hosts its annual Action for Cancer Awareness Awards luncheon. This event recognizes the activities of Congressional spouses, Members of Congress, the press and community advocates for their outstanding work to educate the public about cancer prevention and early detection.

Educational Events
The Program regularly hosts seminars and events, bringing together members, health professionals and medical experts; creating dialogue and equipping members with tools to bring the message of cancer prevention and detection back to their communities.

Submit Op-eds to Your Local Paper
Congressional Families offers members monthly templates for op-eds to publish in your local paper.

Share Your Ideas
Some of our best ideas come from you! If you have an idea or an event you would like to share please contact Lisa McGovern.


Each fall, Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program hosts its annual Action for Cancer Awareness Awards luncheon. Since 1993, the awards luncheon recognizes the activities of Congressional spouses, Members of Congress, the press and community advocates for their outstanding work to educate the public about cancer prevention and early detection and their work to improve access to cancer related prevention and treatment services.

This signature event brings together Members of Congress, Congressional, Supreme Court and Diplomatic spouses, members of the scientific and medical community, business and industry representatives in the cancer advocacy community to celebrate advancement in cancer prevention and early detection, highlighting the work of those making a difference.

Awards are presented in the following categories:

Congressional Families Leadership Award
This award honors a spouse or Congressional family member who makes a noted contribution in the field of cancer awareness. The nominee’s work should illustrate the use of his/her/their platform to engage attention to the education of the public about a cancer and the importance of early detection and prevention, mortality and incidence.

Distinguished Service in Journalism
The media is a powerful tool in the education of the public about cancer. This award honors a renowned journalist (print, television, radio, internet) who has made a significant and responsible contribution though his/her work to educate the need for cancer prevention, advances in cancer research and through recognition of current affairs in the realm of the cancer community and the public at large (i.e. mapping of the genome, mammography standards, promising discoveries at the bench).

Excellence in Cancer Awareness
We are fortunate in our country to have many great corporate leaders, athletes and other high profile citizens who are dedicated public servants.  This nominee should reflect a commitment to cancer prevention and early detection through a special campaign or event, influencing public policy, improving access to screening and treatment and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.

Previous Award Recipients


Franki Roberts, spouse of Rep. Pat Roberts (Kan.)
Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President and Chief Executive Officer, WETA
Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Columbia University
Sandra Lee, Chef, author and television personality


Linda Bachus, spouse of Rep. Spencer Bachus (Ala.)
Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Chief Medical Editor
CVS Health, accepted by Dr. Andrew Sussman President, MinuteClinic and SVP/Associate Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health


Landra Reid, spouse of Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.)118445-002-014f
Andrea Mitchel, NBC News and Host, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports
Shannon Miller, Olympian
Healthy Base Initiative, Department of Defense (Special Recognition)



Marcelle Leahy, spouse of Sen. Patrick Leahy (Vt.)
Barbara Morris-Lent, spouse of the late Rep. Norman Lent (N.Y.)
Jennifer Griffin, national security correspondent, (FOX News Channel)
Dara Torres, Olympian
Ellen Noghès, spouse, H.E. the former Ambassador of Monaco (Special Recognition)


Freda Manzullo, spouse of Rep. Don Manzullo (Ill.)
Erin Andrews,ESPN Game Day
Steve Andrews, seven-time Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist
Former Congressman Mike Castle (Del., Special Recognition)
Congresswoman Lois Capps (Calif.)



71375_Cancer_00163_eLiz’s Legacy, University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Eppley Cancer Center
Sam Champion, weather anchor, “Good Morning America” (ABC)
Chef José Andrés, winner of the James Beard Outstanding Chef Award in 2011



Betty Ann Tanner, spouse of former Congressman John Tanner (Tenn.)
Kelly Corrigan, author and journalist
Scott Hamilton, Olympian


Suzie Dicks, spouse of former Congressman Norm Dicks (Wash.)
Diana Enzi, spouse of Senator Mike Enzi (Wyo.)
Robin Roberts, co-anchor, “Good Morning America” (ABC)
Former Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (Ohio)


89858-006-015fBarbara Grassley, spouse of Senator Charles Grassley (Iowa)
Barbara Johnson, spouse of Senator Tim Johnson (S.D.)
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent (CNN)
Phil Gordon and Rafe Furst, Founders, Bad Beat on Cancer



Elizabeth Edwards, spouse of former Senator John Edwards (N.C.)
Joel Siegel, film critic, “Good Morning America” (ABC)
Wendy Chioji, news anchor, WESH, Orlando (Fla.)
Dr. Arvin S. Glicksman, Rhode Island Cancer Council


Cecile Tauzin, spouse of former Congressman Billy Tauzin (La.)
Deirdre Imus, author and environmentalist
Karyn Green, news anchor, WXIA 11, Atlanta (Ga.)
Lance Armstrong and Bristol-Myers Squibb Tour of Hope (Special Recognition)


Linda Dooley, spouse of former Congressman Cal Dooley (Calif.)
The Weather Channel
Mayor Thomas Menino, Boston (Mass.)
Former Congresswoman Sue Myrick (N.C.)


Priscilla Dewey Houghton, spouse of former Congressman Amo Houghton (N.Y.)
Cokie Roberts, news anchor (ABC)
The SHADE Foundation – Curt and Shonda Schilling Melanoma Foundation of America and The SunWise School Program of the United States Environmental Protection Agency


Barbara Bush, former First Lady
Ann Curry, co-anchor, “Today Show” (NBC)
Susan Love, MD, author and advocate


71375_Cancer_00088_eBarbara Everett, spouse of former Congressman Terry Everett (Ala.)
Melissa Thomas, director, Breast, Education, Screening and Treatment (BEST) program (Ohio)
Leslie Mouton, news anchor, KSAT-TV, San Antonio (Texas)



Tamra Bentsen, spouse of former Congressman Ken Bentsen (Texas)
Jill Biden, spouse of Vice President Joseph Biden
Ruth Ann LaMott and Barbara Raehl, Navigator Program, Munson Medical Center (Mich.)
Shirley Ruedy, health columnist, Cedar Rapids Gazette (Iowa)
Former Senator Connie Mack (Fla.) (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Former Congressman John Porter (Ill.) (Lifetime Achievement Award)


Debbie Dingell, spouse of Congressman John Dingell (Mich.)
Katie Couric, co-anchor, “Today Show” (NBC)
Dick Hirsh, MD, founder, Radiology Mammography International



Sam Donaldson, news anchor (ABC)
Mary Jane Fate, advocate, state of Alaska
Nancy Murkowski, spouse of Senator Frank Murkowski (Ala.)
Sue Ann Thompson, Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation/spouse of Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson


71375_Cancer_00096_eFormer Senator Connie Mack and Mrs. Pricilla Mack (Fla.)
Andrea Roane, news anchor and reporter, WUSA 9 News; and the Women of Channel 9



General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
John Mack Carter, journalist
Dolores Beilenson, spouse of former Congressman Anthony Beilenson (Calif.)


Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald Ford and First Lady Betty Ford
Dr. Elmer Huerta, director, Cancer Preventorium, Washington Cancer Institute
Jane Seymour, actress and advocate
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Supreme Court Justice


Paula Zahn, co-anchor, “CBS This Morning”
Harry Smith, co-anchor, “CBS This Morning”



Phyllis Newman, actress and advocate
Former Senator Bob Dole (Kan.)
Congresswoman Doris Matsui, founder of Congressional Families Action for Cancer Awareness program/ spouse of Congressman Bob Matsui (Calif.)