October 20, 2022 (Arlington, VA) – The Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation (BHOF) is pleased to announce the 2022 recipients of our national award to recognize Members of Congress who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, advocacy, and commitment to protect and improve the bone health of Americans. The awards are presented annually by BHOF to highlight the importance of bone health and the osteoporosis crisis in the U.S., and the work by national leaders to advance improvements in bone health policy.
The 2022 Congressional Bone Health Champion Award winners are:
- Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV): Senator Capito is one of the lead sponsors of the bipartisan legislation, S. 1943, the Increasing Access to Osteoporosis Testing for Medicare Beneficiaries Act of 2021. She is a leader in supporting many women’s health issues in Congress and has introduced legislation to support them.
- Senator Patty Murray (D-WA): Senator Murray is the Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations panel. This year’s Senate appropriations report for the first time calls for a national education campaign to promote greater education and awareness about bone health and osteoporosis.
- Representative Michael Burgess (R-TX): Representative Burgess was one of the original sponsors of H.R. 3517, Increasing Access to Osteoporosis Testing for Medicare Beneficiaries Act of 2021. Dr. Burgess has a longstanding history of support for improving bone health having previously been a member of the House Osteoporosis Caucus.
- Representative Linda Sánchez (D-CA): Representative Sánchez is one of the lead sponsors of bipartisan legislation, H.R.3517, the Increasing Access to Osteoporosis Testing for Medicare Beneficiaries Act of 2021.
“Bone health is crucial to your overall health. Congress needs to prioritize bone health on our nation’s healthcare agenda, and pass legislation to improve bone health awareness, screening and care. We know it will have a dramatic impact on improving quality of life and reducing costly osteoporotic fractures,” said Claire Gill, CEO of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation
Osteoporosis is a growing yet often ignored health care problem that disproportionately impacts women. Ten millionAmericans have osteoporosis and 44 million are at high risk of the disease due to low bone density. According to a 2021 report, two million Medicare beneficiaries (about 70 percent women) suffered up to 2.1 million osteoporotic bone fractures in 2016. For women, the risk of any osteoporotic fracture is greater than their risk of a heart attack, stroke or breast cancer combined. The total annual cost for osteoporotic fractures among Medicare beneficiaries was $57 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to over $95 billion in 2040 without reforms, as the population ages.
About the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation
The Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation, formerly the National Osteoporosis Foundation, is the leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis and broken bones, promoting strong bones for life and reducing human suffering through programs of public and clinician awareness, education, advocacy and research. Established in 1984, BHOF is the nation’s largest health organization dedicated to osteoporosis and bone health.