This year alone, over 100,000 Texans will receive a cancer diagnosis. Fortunately, with groundbreaking research institutions and hardworking organizations, Texas remains dedicated to improving lives in the cancer community.

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This week, local health centers all across the country are celebrating National Health Center Week. As always, Texas is celebrating in a big way. For over 30 years, the Lone Star State has honored local health centers that offer high-quality, affordable care to Texans year-round. And for the 2.2 million Texans living with diabetes, access to local care throughout the state is invaluable.

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The United States' commitment to innovative scientific research has helped improve the lives of countless individuals across the country. In the Lone Star State, this same spirit of embracing innovation ensures that both the state and our nation stay at the forefront of medical innovation. Today's Links focus on the government programs in the Lone Star State that pave the way for Texas' innovation ecosystem:

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CMM Texas Contributors

Dan Howle

Dan Howle

Dan is a lifelong political advocate and businessman, hailing from the East Coast and currently residing in Austin, Texas. Dan served as a staff member and consultant in the state legislature from 1974-1981 and 1991-2003, acting as Chief of Staff for the Foundation for Independent Voter Education's Steve Peace for several of those years. He also founded what is now C & L Stairs and Millwork, a millwork company located in Sacramento, California. He currently serves as Director of State Government Relations for the pharmaceutical company, Lilly USA. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Independent Voter Project.

Marcelo Kort

Marcelo Kort

Marcelo has worked for Eli Lilly and Company for 13 years. His entire career with Lilly has been the Advocacy area. His work has focused on helping hundreds of grassroots organizations promote their messages and objectives. Specifically, his work with advocacy organizations has promoted access to medicines and all areas of healthcare. Additionally, Marcelo has worked to further Lilly's commitment to disease state education in the areas of Mental Health and Diabetes.

Marcelo also has extensive experience in analyzing situations from policy, business and political angles and has a keen awareness of the impact that these factors can have on communities and Lilly customers.

Prior to coming to Lilly, Marcelo worked for Governor Roy Romer in Colorado as Deputy Director of the Office and State Planning and Budget for 10 years with experience in Medicaid and Health Programs and was COO of a Dental Management Company in Denver for 3 years.

Marcelo graduated with a B.S. degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1981 and received his MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA in 1989. He is married with 2 children and currently lives in Denver, Colorado.

Amy O'Connor

Amy O'Connor

Amy O'Connor is the Manager of the Campaign for Modern Medicines. She believes that empowering individuals to engage with policymakers in substantive and bipartisan dialogue is the best way to have a real impact on the policy decisions that affect our health. Amy also leads the Digital Government Affairs team at Eli Lilly and Company, where her goal is develop Lilly's engagement on public policy issues to better promote innovative public policy solutions. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame - Go Irish! - and the Georgetown Public Policy Institute - Hoya Saxa! Through the course of her career, Amy has spent some time in London working for the British Parliament, a few years assessing international operations for Lilly and the last six in Government Affairs focusing on strategy and business alignment. In her spare time, Amy can be found exploring Washington, D.C. out with her dog, playing competitive sports or cheering on her favorite team, and traveling to a new country.