Senator Joan Hartley speaking at the opening of the new water sculpture at UConn Waterbury in June.


  State Senator Joan V. Hartley (D-Waterbury), vice-chair of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, is set to receive an award this weekend for her steadfast advocacy of heightened breast cancer awareness and mandatory insurance coverage for comprehensive breast cancer screenings.

   Senator Hartley’s efforts to advance public policy on this issue will be recognized Saturday by Are You Dense, Inc. at its 3rd Annual Are You Dense MusicFest at Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury.

   “In 2004 you promised to address the issue of dense breast tissue and its inherent fatal flaw in the early detection of breast cancer and you did through legislation,” said Nancy M. Cappello, Ph.D., president and founder of Are You Dense, Inc. “Without your support the landmark laws passed in Connecticut would not have happened.”

   Dr. Cappello said Connecticut’s policy initiatives on this issue are being emulated by the federal government, in at least eight other states, and in a couple foreign countries as well.

   “I am a long-standing advocate for increased breast cancer awareness and enhanced screening options for women; as vice-chair of the Insurance Committee I’m proud of new laws we’ve enacted to that end,” Senator Hartley said. “As a result, Connecticut has become a leader in breast cancer prevention policy, yet despite our success we keep learning more about how to provide early diagnosis and treatment of the disease.”

   “For instance, conventional mammograms are ineffective for women with heterogeneous or dense breast tissue – additional screenings are necessary for these women,” Senator Hartley continued. “This year we enacted law to provide insurance coverage for those additional screenings. Likewise, the bill provides MRI coverage if a woman is determined to be at increased risk for breast cancer due to family history or prior personal history.”

   “I’m honored to receive recognition from an organization created and completely dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness and improving healthy options for women,” Senator Hartley added.

   Connecticut-based Are You Dense, Inc. is a breast cancer information clearinghouse and advocacy organization. Its August 27th MusicFest at Quassy runs from 4:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.