LIBBY, Mont., May 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — During the current legislative session, the Montana House of Representatives passed House Resolution 2. This resolution, introduced by Representative Steve Gunderson of District 1, recognizes the critical importance of the lessons learned during the asbestos-related Public Health Emergency declared in Lincoln County, Montana by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2009, as well as the ongoing contributions made by the Center for Asbestos Related Disease to the both Libby community and the field of asbestos related disease.
During the committee hearing, Representative Gunderson said, “House resolution 2 seeks to elevate the impact of Libby Asbestos and it acknowledges the critical role that the Center for Asbestos Related Diseases – known as the CARD Clinic – plays in addressing those impacts and ensuring that the people of Libby have access to the best possible treatment and care.” He also stressed that the importance is not just local, saying, “Whatever we learn in Libby – and from that exposure – we will be able to use across the country.”
This resolution allows the Montana House of Representatives to designate the Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) as a Center of Excellence. A center of excellence is a hospital or healthcare facility with a specific expertise where patients can receive care and treatment for certain related conditions, and which serves as an example of best practices within a distinct specialty. This is a validation of CARD’s twenty-two years of service to the Lincoln County, Montana community through asbestos related disease screening, treatment, and research specific to Libby Amphibole asbestos.
This designation will allow CARD to access additional funding both to meet its current obligations to the Lincoln County, Montana community and to expand not only clinical but also educational services to people nationwide potentially exposed to Libby Amphibole asbestos. This designation also facilitates access to new academic collaborators around the world, furthering research that not only improves understanding of all kinds of asbestos and asbestiform fibers – including asbestos related diseases – but eventually leads to new treatments that expand both quantity and quality of life.
The Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) has emerged as a national center of excellence in addressing healthcare issues associated with Libby Amphibole (previously called tremolite) asbestos. The CARD Clinic evolved in response to raised awareness of widespread asbestos exposure in the Libby area that surfaced in 1999. After the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry) screenings during 2000 and 2001 identified the high number of lung abnormalities, it became apparent to the community that long-term pulmonary care needed to be established in Libby.
Contact: Tracy McNew, Executive Director
SOURCE Center for Asbestos Related Disease