National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators

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October 23, 2006

Contact: Felix W. Ortiz,
President NHCSL (518) 455-3821 or Tatiana Guerra 202-434-8070

Senator Luz Arce Ferrer Leads Women’s Health Panel At Nchsl Summit
-- Cancer Survivor Marion Luna Brem Shares Story of Survival, Strength and Success --

San Juan, Puerto Rico – Today, National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators (NHCSL) President, Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (NY) and Senator Luz Arce Ferrer (PR), Chair of NHCSL Health Task Force, announced the agenda for the Women’s Health Breakfast and Panel Discussion at NHCSL’s Fourth National Summit on November 16th -19th, 2006 in San Juan, Puerto. The keynote speaker for the Women’s Health Breakfast will be leading businesswoman Marion Luna Brem, who survived life-threatening bouts with breast and cervical cancer. Brem will share her personal challenges of coping with her illness while unemployed and uninsured, before an audience of more than 100 Hispanic state legislators, corporate executives, health and education experts.

“Hispanic women face great challenges when confronted with debilitating illnesses such as cancer. As head of households and family caregivers, they often don’t choose to take care of their own health needs before that of their families. We must provide resources to make it easier for women to find quality health care that meets their individual needs and this Summit will help us to find common solutions that will work within our communities,” stated Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz.

“The issue of women’s health is of great importance to the constituency we serve. Marion Luna Brem’s story of courage will be inspiring to women of all ages, and men, whose lives can change as a result of going through a difficult period either personally or with a family member,” said Senator Arce Ferrer.

Brem, married with 2 young sons, had her near-perfect home life shattered when she was diagnosed with cancer and told she had only 2 to 5 years to live. Battling life-threatening breast cancer with no health insurance and no job, newly-divorced Marion Luna Brem took her first job in sales. She sold her first automobile at age 32 and at age 36 she became President and CEO of her own auto dealership. Love Chrysler, Inc., was founded in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1989, and is currently ranked nationally in Hispanic Business and Working Woman magazine’s “Top 500.” Her numerous professional accomplishments – inside the male-dominated automotive industry – most recently led to her induction into “The International Automotive Hall of Fame.” Her inspirational story has been profiled in The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, and most recently the USA Today as well as numerous women’s magazines. She has appeared on many national radio and television shows, including “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power” and “Good Morning America.”

The Panel Discussion will include Puerto Rico-based experts Dr. Maria L. Rios, President of the Association of Cardiologists of Puerto Rico; Dr. Luis Molinary Fernandez, President of the Puerto Rican Society of Cardiology; Dr. Juan Jose Hernandez, President of the American Heart Association; and Lizzie Perez, Director, Corporate and Government Affairs, Pfizer Caribbean, Go Red for Women.

The Women’s Health Breakfast and Discussion will be held at the NHCSL Summit on Saturday, November 18th starting at 8:00 am. Registration is required at or call 202-434-8070 for more information.
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The NHCSL is the premier national association of Hispanic state legislators working to design and implement policies and procedures that will improve the quality of life for Hispanics throughout the country. NHCSL was founded in 1989 as a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)3 with the mission to be the most effective voice for the more than 300 Hispanic legislators. For more information visit



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