Published on August 15, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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 its support of 12 projects dedicated to increasing cancer prevention and early detection in rural and urban communities across the U.S., from Eugene, Oregon to Roanoke, Virginia to New York City. The projects were selected through a competitive grants process and each program will receive a one-year, $25,000 grant.
The awarded projects focus on increasing education, risk reduction, vaccination and screening for breast, colorectal, liver, lung, and skin cancers, as well as cancers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which includes cervical cancer. Projects have an emphasis on using best practices and all can potentially be adapted for other communities.
“By empowering community residents to serve as patient ambassadors and partnering with mobile mammography units—a known best practice—and primary care practices, we believe our project will develop a successful program for increasing breast cancer education and awareness, increasing screenings, and providing follow-up support after screening that can be easily shared and replicated in similar communities beyond Buffalo, New York,” said Laurene Tumiel Berhalter, Ph.D., Director of Community Translational Research at the Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences of the University at Buffalo, one of the institutions that receiving a community grant award from the Prevent Cancer Foundation.
Since 2007, the Foundation has awarded nearly $3 million in community grants in 37 states and American Samoa and to the Washoe Tribe.
“Every day, our community grantees are working across the country to help carry out our mission of empowering people to stay ahead of cancer through prevention and early detection,” said Jody Hoyos, CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “One by one, their projects are making prevention knowledge and early detection services more accessible for more people, specifically those in medically underserved communities. We are grateful for their partnership and their herculean efforts to save lives by preventing cancer or detecting it early to achieve better outcomes.”
The 2023 community grant recipients include:
Equal Hope/DBA Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force
Equal Hope will address breast and cervical cancer disparities by facilitating access to timely, high-quality screenings, diagnostics and treatment. Program initiatives include community outreach, education and client navigation aimed at addressing barriers to cancer screening for people living in areas with high death rates from breast and cervical cancers and focusing on improving racial disparities in Metro Chicago’s health system.
Hitting Cancer Below the Belt
This project will eliminate major barriers to colorectal cancer screening by providing stool–based fecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening kits and educational resources to low-income, uninsured individuals across Virginia. The project team will help to reduce or eliminate follow-up colonoscopy costs and provide training and technical assistance to clinic staff to reduce the number of late-stage cancer diagnoses.
HIV Alliance’s case management program will support people in Lane County, Oregon, who are impacted by hepatitis C and are at high risk for liver cancer by reducing barriers to hepatitis C treatment. (Hepatitis C is a leading cause of liver cancer. By treating hepatitis C, you may be able to stop liver cancer before it starts.) The program aims to connect underserved individuals with medical care to clear the virus and improve their health and quality of life.
Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc.
The Asian American Healthy Liver Initiative will address hepatitis B and work to prevent liver cancer deaths within Asian communities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This project aims to conduct 27 free screening events to identify new patients with chronic hepatitis B, expand culturally competent patient navigation services and utilize various communication channels to raise awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer across the tristate area. (Hepatitis B is a leading cause of liver cancer. It’s best to prevent hepatitis B with vaccination, but if someone does contract hepatitis B, it can be treated. Treating hepatitis B may stop liver cancer before it starts.)
Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health
This project will provide culturally appropriate educational workshops in the Southeast Asian community it serves about how diet and physical activity impact cancer risks. They will conduct educational workshops in the languages spoken by each group for Hmong, Burmese, Karen, Karenni and Laotian community members and will encourage participants to schedule appropriate cancer screenings.
Project Renewal, Inc.
New York, N.Y.
Project Renewal’s ScanVan is a mobile mammography van and program addressing the need for accessible and affordable breast health care in the New York Metropolitan Area. During this project, the ScanVan will provide free mammograms, clinical breast exams and patient navigation to 800 women in low-income neighborhoods. Additionally, ScanVan’s Patient Navigators will facilitate prompt and compassionate follow-up care for any patients with an abnormal result and will aim to ensure that 100% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer are connected to appropriate treatment.
Comadre a Comadre Program, The Regents of the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
This project will provide education, information and navigation to 300 Hispanic/Latinx people from counties surrounding Albuquerque, New Mexico, through the Comadre a Comadre program. This culturally and linguistically designed project, the Platicas, will train trusted, peer breast and cervical cancer survivors to conduct classes and establish an advisory council, address barriers to screening and navigate patients to screening appointments. They also aim to reach over 850 individuals through health fairs and one-on-one classes.
The Research Foundation for The SUNY of Univ. at Buffalo
The Patient Voices Breast Cancer Program will increase breast cancer screening rates by linking patients to mobile mammography and primary care through Patient Ambassadors and education to engage community members not actively involved in the health care system. This program will also mobilize Patient Ambassadors from the Patient Voices Network for outreach to community residents identified as high risk for breast cancer.
University of Arizona Foundation
The project aims to recruit and train at least 15 volunteers (interested community members and schoolteachers) to reach at least 3,000 youth as part of their sun safety and skin cancer awareness efforts. Community volunteers will deliver skin cancer prevention lessons in classrooms and clubs in Southern Arizona. The Outreach Team of the Skin Cancer Institute at the University of Arizona will be responsible for developing the sun safety curriculum and implementing the program.
VAX 2 STOP CANCER
This project will focus on an HPV vaccine provider education program, offsetting program costs and increasing HPV vaccination rates by 10% among participating practices. The project team will train pediatric and family practice health care providers in private practice, health departments, Federally Qualified Health Centers and rural health centers throughout Alabama to give an effective vaccine recommendation, counsel hesitant parents and decrease missed opportunities to give the vaccine. (HPV can cause at least six types of cancer; by preventing HPV, you can ultimately prevent cancer.)
Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition
This program will consist of activities aimed at preventing, detecting and treating cancer-causing viruses that are common among people who use drugs. The Coalition will provide rapid hepatitis C testing, connect patients to hepatitis B and hepatitis C laboratory testing and treatment, and provide to hepatitis B and HPV immunization, testing, education and care to an underserved, marginalized population in Appalachian Southwest Virginia.
West Virginia University
The West Virginia University Cancer Institute’s Mobile Lung Cancer Screening Unit will partner with two existing clinic systems to identify those at high risk for lung cancer and use an evidence-based messaging campaign to increase lung cancer screening in rural West Virginia. To achieve this, the project will use patient navigation, patient reminders, and provider recall, and will work to reduce financial barriers and improve access to screening in the most rural parts of southern and northern West Virginia.
About the Prevent Cancer Foundation®
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is the only U.S.-based nonprofit organization solely dedicated to 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. We are driven by a vision of a world where cancer is preventable, detectable and beatable for all.
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.