Representative Edward J. Markey and his wife Susan Blumenthal, M.D., were honored as guests at the Hallmark Health System's fourth annual GALA held at the TD Garden, the home of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. The event benefitted the Hallmark Health Hematology and Oncology Center and its comprehensive treatment and screening programs.
Rep. Markey's remarks from the event can be found below:
Remarks: Hallmark Health Gala
Benefit Event for the Hematology and Oncology Center
September 10, 2011
As prepared for delivery
Good evening, everyone. Thank you, Jordan, for your introduction. And thank you Michael Sack for your incredible leadership as President of Hallmark Health during this transformative time for health care in America.
Thanks also to: Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bill Doherty; the Medical Director at the Hematology and Oncology Center, Dr. Rebecca Eisenberg; and Systems Director for Oncology Elisa Sher and her entire hardworking, dedicated staff. It is because of your efforts that our residents have access to state-of-the-art cancer care right here in their community.
When you do a Google search for the words "excellence, dedication and cutting edge care," you will find the picture of Hallmark Health Systems and these extraordinary health professionals.
And congratulations to our three outstanding recipients of the Hallmark Health Hero Award.
* Alan Macdonald, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable.
* Dr. Bernard Logan, for providing over 38 years of care for thousands of women in the Greater Boston Area and beyond.
* Diane Farraher-Smith, System Vice President of Home Care and Community Services.
Your work has made a lifesaving difference.
I also want to recognize the patients and their families who are here tonight -- thank you for lending your powerful voices to this important cause.
I also want to take a moment to acknowledge tomorrow's commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. When those two planes took off from Logan Airport only a few miles from here, they carried many of our friends, neighbors and loved ones. We honor their memories. They will always be in our hearts.
Tonight, this room tonight is packed with All Stars. We've got our sports All Stars - from the Bruins, the Red Sox, and the Pats. And we've got our All Stars of medicine - the exceptional health providers who make sure that our families get the best of cutting edge care when they need it most.
In this room tonight, while we've got football players, and hockey players, and baseball players here EVERYONE tonight shares the same opponent - cancer and blood disorders.
We also share the same goal to eradicate these diseases from the lives of families in our city, country and world and to prevent them from ever occurring in the first place.
Make no mistake, these enemies are tough. Tougher than anything you could face down on a field or in a rink.
Learning that your child has leukemia is devastating. Receiving a breast or prostate cancer diagnosis is terrifying.
But while our opponents are tough, together we are tougher.
Because of your work, the stigma of a cancer diagnosis has been shattered, knowledge has been expanded and we now have an entire generation of Americans who call themselves cancer and blood disorder survivors.
Massachusetts has a deep bench of extraordinary talent, with the world's best healthcare providers and medical researchers.
We're not only the Bay State, we're the Brain State. Massachusetts is the biomedical capital of the world, and dozens of premier research institutions are proud to call our state home.
But these days we have another opponent that is perhaps less obvious but equally as troubling as the diseases themselves.
In Washington and across the country, attempts to slash budgets and cut programs are coming from every angle.
While there certainly are programs in the government where we can cut spending, funding for medical research CANNOT be one of them. Funding for teaching hospitals CANNOT be one of them.
Medical research allows us to harvest cures from science's field of dreams, reaping enormous benefits for our society. But such cuts would debilitate our healthcare system when what we really need is to breathe new life into it with CPR:
- "C" for ensuring that everyone has coverage for quality care like what you receive at Hallmark Health System.
- "P" for focusing on prevention, so we can stop diseases like cancer and blood disorders before they strike.
- And "R" for the research that we should be investing in every day, because medical research allows us to harvest cures from science's field of dreams, reaping enormous benefits for our society.
So it's up to the real experts like the doctors and nurses at Hallmark and my wife Dr. Susan Blumenthal who served as Assistant Surgeon General of the United States to provide the medical care and perform the surgeries.
So while my wife and everyone at Hallmark and the rest of the medical community focus on providing good care, I promise that I'll be fighting the battle down in Washington to ensure that our research projects get funded and our doctors get trained and that all of you have the tools to do your jobs with excellence.
Here at the Hematology and Oncology Center, the starting lineup -- a terrific team of primary care physicians, surgeons, oncologists, hematologists, nurses, and social workers -- is worthy of the Stanley Cup.
So, Hallmark my gratitude to all of you for your winning, lifesaving work.
Thank you for inviting Susan and me here tonight, and I look forward to working with you all in the years to come until one day, people will have to open their history books to learn that there ever were diseases called leukemia, hemophilia and cancer.