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 Palliative, Alzheimer’s Fields React To State Of The Union Address


Long term and post-acute care community members took to Twitter last night to share some thoughts on President Obama’s final State of the Union address.

One particular sound bite from the president’s swan song drew their attention: a major initiative to cure cancer.

“We can do so much more, and last year Vice President Biden said that with a new moonshot America can cure cancer. Last month, he worked with this Congress to give scientists at the National Institutes of Health [NIH] the strongest resources that they’ve had in over a decade,” said Obama, whose mother battled ovarian cancer, and tapped Biden, whose son Beau recently died from brain cancer, to lead the effort. “I’m putting Joe in charge of mission control. … Let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”

The War on Cancer initiative has been ongoing for 45 years. President Nixon signed the National Cancer Act of 1971, which gave more funding to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). President Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package included $10 billion for NIH, the majority of which went to NCI. This year’s budget allocation of $32.1 billion boosted NIH’s coffers, returning what has been a 13-year flat funding of the agency back to its 2003 levels.

Many on this social media platform applauded the administration’s efforts in increasing research funding:


However, the Twitterati would have also liked a shout out to curing Alzheimer’s disease:


They also noted that further attention should be given to the needs of caregivers:



Hospice and palliative medicine followers formed their own hashtag #hpmsotu to follow and comment on the speech:



The top tweet of the night to come from the Twitterverse called upon the adage that “actions speak louder than words”:


Jackie Oberst is Provider’s managing editor. Email her at or follow the magazine on Twitter @ProviderMag​.



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