ASH presents advocacy awards to Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Claude Lenfant, M.D.

December 05, 2003

(San Diego, Calif., December 5, 2003) - The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will honor two leaders and champions of health research with this year's Advocacy Awards.

ASH will present the 2003 Public Service Award to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and the first-ever Outstanding Lifetime Service Award to Claude Lenfant, M.D., former Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The Society applauds Sen. Feinstein for her leadership in the Senate on medical research and patient care related issues and is pleased to honor her achievements with the 2003 ASH Award for Public Service. Established in 1997, this Award is presented annually by the Society to an elected U.S. public official who has demonstrated effective leadership on issues of importance to hematology research and practice.

Sen. Feinstein has represented California in the Senate since 1992, and serves as the co-chair of the Senate Cancer Coalition as well as vice-chair of the National Dialogue on Cancer. In her 10 years of service in the Senate, she has dedicated herself to fighting cancer by improving research, creating incentives for effective treatments, and improving the quality of care that patients receive. Earlier this year, Sen. Feinstein reintroduced her legislation, the National Cancer Act of 2003, which provides a comprehensive federal effort related to the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer.

Dr. Lenfant is the recipient of ASH's first Outstanding Lifetime Service Award. This new award recognizes an individual who has displayed effective leadership in areas relevant to the mission of the Society throughout a lifetime.

Dr. Lenfant, the recipient of the 1999 ASH Award for Outstanding Service, has served as Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for more than 21 years. During his tenure, the Thalassemia Clinical Network, the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Research Network, and the Transfusion Medicine/Hemostasis Clinical Trials Network were all initiated. In addition, Dr. Lenfant led the development of the new NIH-wide loan forgiveness program, which assists clinical and pediatric researchers.

Dr. Lenfant is a major supporter of training the next generation of clinical researchers in hematology, exemplified by the introductory lecture he gave at ASH's first Clinical Research Training Institute in August 2003. Although he is retiring from the Institute, Dr. Lenfant plans to remain active in medicine and research by focusing his efforts on addressing the growing problem of chronic diseases in the developing world.

Dr. Lenfant will be presented with his award on December 7, 2003, during the Plenary Policy Forum at ASH's 45th Annual Meeting in San Diego. Sen. Feinstein will be formally presented with her award in January in Washington, D.C.

The American Society of Hematology's 45th Annual Meeting, to be held December 6-9, 2003, at the San Diego Convention Center, provides hematologists from around the world a forum for discussing critical issues in hematology. Nearly 20,000 clinicians, scientists, and others attend the four-day meeting, which consists of a superb educational program and cutting-edge scientific sessions. For more information, please visit
For more information about ASH or to obtain photographs of the award recipients, please contact Aislinn Raedy at (202) 776-0544 or by e-mail at

The American Society of Hematology is the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Its mission is to further the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders affecting blood, bone marrow, and the immunologic, hemostatic, and vascular systems, by promoting research, clinical care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology.

American Society of Hematology

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