Bill Clinton’s Challenge to RSNA Attendees

2011-01-04
 

Clinton Speech at RSNA

Bill Clinton threw down a challenge at RSNA to encourage attendees to think globally when addressing the #1 killer worldwide.

The Arie Crown Theater was packed for the former President, who started his speech – predictably – with a few jabs at Republicans before moving on to his main topic: cancer in the global arena.

Clinton’s focus was in keeping with the mission of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, a global health organization he founded which is committed to strengthening health systems in the developing world and expanding access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

During the course of his speech Clinton noted two telling statistics:

1) Cancer is now the #1 killer worldwide, claiming over eight million victims each year, and

2) 70 percent of these cancer deaths occur in places that have five percent of all cancer-fighting resources.

Clinton went on to emphasize the importance of education and prevention as weapons in the fight to change such statistics. He also noted how improved technology and ongoing innovation can simultaneously improve care and lower costs.

He encouraged RSNA attendees to think about ways to initiate and execute a similar global fight against cancer, especially in parts of the world that lack resources but see tremendous numbers of cancer deaths.

Clinton ultimately threw down a challenge to the RSNA audience when he stated: “Sometime later, you will feel empty about your life’s work if it only benefits those in wealthy countries, when the highest percent of many diseases exists in poor countries.”

Clinton received sustained applause at both ends of his speech and after a post-speech Q&A session with RSNA President Dr. Hedvig Hricak.

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