James A. Block, M.D., to receive inaugural Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award
James A. Block, M.D., president of J.A. Block Health Associates, will receive the inaugural 2009 American Cancer Society Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated innovation and ingenuity in their contributions to the advancement of the field of palliative care. The American Cancer Society is committed to advancing the field of palliative care, and the award will be presented on October 13, 2009 at the Kathleen Foley Palliative Care Research Retreat that is part of the Society's partnership with the National Palliative Care Research Center.
Dr. Block has been a strong advocate for the development of palliative care in the United States for more than a decade. He has made significant contributions to promoting palliative care within private sector philanthropy in an effort to promote and secure innovative funding strategies. Dr. Block has been described as an extraordinary mentor and advisor to organizations responsible for the growth of palliative care, such as The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and as a powerful advocate for access to quality health care. He has orchestrated strategic collaborations to promote the field, working extensively with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, to advocate for a prominent role for palliative care policy in the context of health care reform.
"Dr. Block has been an extraordinary advocate for palliative care in this country," said Elizabeth T.H. Fontham, M.P.H., Dr.P.H., national volunteer president of the American Cancer Society. "His work to ensure that everyone has access to high quality palliative care helps patients to have a better quality of life as they face treatment for chronic and sometimes terminal illness."