ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) presented its 2018 David Jagelman, MD, Award for Advocacy in Colorectal Cancer to Candace Henley, founder and CEO of the Blue Hat Foundation. The award was presented by ASCRS Public Relations Committee Chair Dr. Sharon Stein during the Society’s Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ms. Henley is a colorectal cancer survivor. She was diagnosed at age 36 and has since dedicated her life to advocating for colorectal cancer awareness and screening. Ms. Henley strives to care for the neediest members of her community and provide them with unconditional support. She advocates for Congress to enact policies to save lives by expanding patient access to existing imaging technology which is a vital part of the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.
Ms. Henley founded the Blue Hat Foundation, based in the city of Chicago. The Foundation utilizes community partnerships with health care providers, physicians and hospital systems to educate, raise awareness, and provide resources to free screenings for minority and medically underserved communities.
“I am truly humbled and honored to be the 2018 recipient of the David Jagelman Award. A very special thank you to the Nominating Committee and ASCRS Executive Council for selecting me. It is truly amazing to be acknowledged for turning my “mess” into a message that will benefit people I may never meet, and it’s all worth it. I want to thank my family and friends, my church Trinity United Church of Christ, my community partners, survivor friends and last, but certainly not least, the members of the Blue Hat Foundation,” said Candace.
One of the Blue Hat Foundation’s signature events is the “Blue Hat Bow Tie Sunday” which encourages church congregations to wear blue in honor of those recently diagnosed or who have passed away from colon cancer. “Blue Hat Bow Tie Sunday” was started at one church and now the program has been initiated at 15 churches across the United States.
“Ms. Henley’s advocacy reaches a population that government statistics indicate has a higher rate of colorectal cancer diagnosis. We need organizations like the Blue Hat Foundation to spread the word about the importance of colorectal cancer screening,” said Dr. Stein.
The award honors the memory of Dr. David Jagelman, whose advocacy for his patients at the Cleveland Clinic is legendary. He founded and directed the Cleveland Clinic’s Familial Polyposis Registry and had become chair of the Department of Colorectal Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Florida shortly before he died from kidney cancer in 1993, at age 53.