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Letter in Support of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli to Lead National Institutes of Health

October 16, 2023

The Honorable Bernie Sanders
Chair, HELP Committee
United States Senate

The Honorable Bill Cassidy
Ranking Member, HELP Committee
United States Senate

Dear Chairman Sanders and Ranking Member Cassidy:
Susan G. Komen applauds the Committee’s planned action to hold a confirmation hearing for the Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Komen is the world’s leading nonprofit breast cancer organization representing the millions of people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Komen has an unmatched, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease across all fronts—we advocate for patients, drive research breakthroughs, improve access to high quality care, offer direct patient support and empower people with trustworthy information.

For over a century, the NIH has been the driving force behind our nation’s biomedical research improving the health of people in every corner of America—including those impacted by breast cancer. A robust research infrastructure is critical in advancing medical care and opening a world of unprecedented opportunities for science, medicine and health. The NIH serves a key role in public health which is why filing the vacancy of Director is so vital.

We applaud the committee for holding a hearing on the nomination of Dr. Monica Bertagnolli who has served in her role as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) admirably. Dr. Bertagnolli is a candidate whose extensive experience—as a scientist, physician and breast cancer patient—makes her uniquely qualified to lead the important work of the NIH. Komen believes Dr. Bertagnolli would bring to NIH a personal understanding of the patient experience and the impact medical research can make on an individual impacted by disease, including breast cancer. Komen is encouraged to see a prominent leader in cancer care considered to lead the NIH.

We thank the Committee for their consideration and urge you to swiftly confirm Dr. Monica Bertagnolli as the next director of the National Institutes of Health.

If you have any questions, or if we may be of furth assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to Valerie Nauman, Komen’s Manager of Federal Policy & Advocacy, at

Molly Guthrie
Vice President, Policy & Advocacy
Susan G. Komen