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Katie Couric lends support for two cancer causes, each hitting close to home

Days after dedicating a cancer center in Virgina named for her sister, CBS News anchor Katie Couric is teaming up with the city of New York for the “Make that Call” campaign to raise awareness for colon cancer, which claimed the life of her husband in 1998.

The campaign, kicking off today, will urge New Yorkers ages 50 and older to call their doctors and make an appointment to be screened for colon cancer. March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

“With appropriate screening, colon cancer is often preventable and, when detected early, highly curable. We want New Yorkers to ‘Make That Call’, if not for themselves, then for the people who love them,” Couric says.

On Saturday, Couric was in Charlottesville, VA taking part in the dedication for the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center — a $74 million, 150,000-square-foot outpatient care facility at the University of Virginia.

At the time of the groundbreaking for the center in April, 2008, Couric told TVNewser, “This has been a dream, kept alive mostly by Emily’s husband, George, and her two sons, Ray and Jeff, ever since she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.” Emily Couric, a Virginia state senator, died in 2001.

“Emily cared deeply about her constituents and when she went through her ordeal she automatically thought about the broader community. That’s just the kind of person she was.”

Make That Call for Colon Cancer Screening: It Could Save Your Life

Katie Couric, NYC Department of Health and WCBS-TV Launch Citywide Campaign at NY-Presbyterian Hospital’s Jay Monahan Center

NEW YORK (March 1, 2011) — In honor of National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, Katie Couric, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, WCBS-TV and The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital announced the launch of the “Make That Call” for colon cancer screening campaign. Also collaborating on this citywide initiative to increase colon cancer screening in New York City are the Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition (C5), New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC), American Cancer Society, Colon Cancer Alliance, Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation and Prevent Cancer Foundation.

From March 1 to March 14, the campaign will urge New Yorkers ages 50 and older to call their doctors and make an appointment to be screened for colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and in New York City. “Make That Call” will include public service announcements on WCBS-TV with CBS News anchor and managing editor Katie Couric, “The Doctors” host Dr. Travis Stork and WCBS-TV medical reporter Dr. Max Gomez.

To support this message, interactive educational posters will be displayed and will feature the city’s 311 number as well as barcodes that allow smartphone users to connect to the www.MakeThatCall.org website for more information. Participating businesses and organizations include the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Library, which together include more than 200 library branches spanning every borough; Duane Reade; Juva Skin & Laser Center/MediSpa; New York Health & Racquet Club; and Talbots.

“With appropriate screening, colon cancer is often preventable and, when detected early, highly curable. We want New Yorkers to ‘Make That Call’ to their doctors to schedule their screening appointment, if not for themselves, then for the people who love them,” says Katie Couric.

“We want to recognize our friend and founder of the Monahan Center Katie Couric for her extraordinary efforts to educate the public on the importance of colon cancer screening,” says Dr. Herbert Pardes, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. “We are delighted to work with her, WCBS-TV, the City of New York, and the other sponsors to make this campaign an overwhelming success.”

“Everyone at CBS 2 New York is committed to supporting this important and no doubt life-saving campaign,” says Peter Dunn, president of CBS Television Stations and president and general manager of WCBS-TV. “We look forward to using the reach of New York’s most-watched television station, plus CBSNewYork.com, and working with Katie Couric, the City of New York and NewYork-Presbyterian to stress the importance of colon cancer screening.”

“We cannot thank our campaign supporters and participating businesses enough for helping us get this important message out to New Yorkers: ‘Make That Call’ to your doctor. Make it today,” says Dr. Mark B. Pochapin, director of The Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, associate professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, and co-chair of the Education and Outreach Committee of the Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition (C5).

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