Published on August 24, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Lisa Berry Edwards
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – To advance the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s bold goal to reduce cancer deaths by 40% by 2035, the Foundation’s community grants program announces support of 10 projects dedicated to increasing cancer prevention and early detection in medically underserved communities across the U.S., from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Bangor, Maine. The projects were selected through a highly competitive grants process, and each program will receive a one-year $25,000 grant.
Each project focuses on increasing education and screening for breast, cervical, colorectal, liver or lung cancer in the wake of mass screening postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19. These projects will have a direct impact on medically underserved populations, many of whom lack access to cancer prevention and early detection services.
“The Prevent Cancer Foundation grant is so instrumental in helping [the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative] increase our state’s overall screening rate and, in return, hopefully decreasing deadly late-stage diagnoses,” said Heather Ross, Operations and Grant Coordinator for the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative.
Since 2007, the Foundation has awarded more than $2 million in community grants in 37 states and American Samoa and to the Washoe Tribe. The 2021 community grant recipients include:
Eastern Maine Medical Center (EMMC)
In partnership with the Bangor Region YMCA Caring Connections program, which supports free mammograms for qualifying patients, EMMC will implement process improvements to increase access to screening for patients who have missed or cancelled mammograms due to COVID-19. The project will focus on vulnerable rural and LGBTQ+ communities.
The Returning to Normal—a Catch-up Cancer Screening Program will expand Equal Hope’s current breast and cervical cancer program, urging 60,000 people to schedule cancer screenings that may have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19, and navigating 1,000 medically underserved women directly to screening.
Erie Family Health Center, Inc.
The Breast Cancer Continuum of Care Program at Erie Family Health Centers aims to address the language, cultural, financial and logistical barriers Latina women may face when accessing screening on Chicago’s West Side. The project will deliver robust outreach and education and refer 2,050 women for mammograms.
Long Island Jewish Medical Center
New Hyde Park, N.Y.
The Cancer Community Connection Program will increase access to breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening for 2,000 medically underserved people in New York. The program will also provide 200 people with comprehensive patient navigation that will identify and eliminate logistical, financial, linguistic, psychosocial and other barriers that can challenge access to enhanced screening services.
Empowering Black Pastors to Amplify Colorectal Cancer Prevention Messages to Underserved Communities is a culturally sensitive, faith-based health education intervention. This project will reach 5,000 high-risk African Americans with colorectal cancer education on risk factors and the importance of prevention and early detection.
The Hmong Institute, Inc. c/o Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health
The Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health (MCHH) will provide outreach and education to increase screening rates in medically underserved Southeast Asian refugee communities in Milwaukee. The Saving Lives Through Cancer Education During the Pandemic project will reach 400 men and women through strong community partnerships.
Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation (VACF)
Fountain Valley, Calif.
In the Vietnamese American community, cancer is a leading cause of death. VACF’s Cancer Education and Patient Navigation Program will educate 600 Vietnamese Americans with cancer prevention education and will navigate 250 community members to health care, including cancer screenings.
West Virginia University (WVU)
The WVU Cancer Institute’s Mobile Lung Cancer Screening Unit (LUCAS) will partner with approximately 150 community clinics around West Virginia to provide lung cancer screening to 600 patients. Through the use of the mobile unit, the LUCAS Program will remove financial and structural barriers to screening that exist in rural West Virginia.
Western Carolina Medical Society Foundation
The Western North Carolina Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative is the only program in its region providing colorectal cancer screening to uninsured individuals. This project will provide stool-based fecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening kits to test for colorectal cancer in 500 uninsured patients.
Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative Foundation
This project will allow Wyoming women to receive a mammogram without undue financial burden while still using health care providers in their local community. Through strategically developed partnerships, the Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative will provide 40 mammograms to medically underserved women in rural areas.
About the Prevent Cancer Foundation®
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is celebrating 35 years as the only U.S. nonprofit organization focused solely on saving lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection. Through research, education, outreach and advocacy, we have helped countless people avoid a cancer diagnosis or detect their cancer early enough to be successfully treated.
The Foundation is rising to meet the challenge of reducing cancer deaths by 40% by 2035. To achieve this, we are committed to investing $20 million for innovative technologies to detect cancer early and advance multi-cancer screening, $10 million to expand cancer screening and vaccination access to medically underserved communities, and $10 million to educate the public about screening and vaccination options.
For more information, please visit www.preventcancer.org.