Health Equity
= Better Outcomes

Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to stay ahead of cancer through prevention and early detection.

But access to cancer screening and prevention is not created equally, leading to health disparities and affecting access to knowledge and resources.

A world where cancer is preventable, detectable, and beatable for all is achievable only if everyone has access to cancer prevention and early detection services. That’s why the Foundation supports local efforts to reach medically underserved communities and funds innovative research that could lead to the next breakthrough in cancer prevention and early detection. We remain relentless in our pursuit of health equity to create Better Outcomes for everyone.


Dr. Robert Winn

Robert Winn

Advancing health equity at the community level

By Robert Winn, M.D.

I think one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about health equity is because I’ve been there. I’ve walked in the shoes that too many others are still walking in today. My mother was 15 years old when she had me, and I was largely raised by my grandparents in a working-class neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. While I grew up rich with support and guidance, I was a “have not” in many more ways. But why was it that way? And why is it still that way today?

Health care, including cancer treatment, is a basic human right. Everyone needs access to the means to live healthy lives. The side of the railroad tracks that you live on should not determine whether you screen for cancer early and beat it or die from an advanced stage disease because you did not have the money or the transportation to get the necessary tests.

That’s why I’ve devoted my career to advocating for community-engaged approaches to eliminating health disparities. We absolutely cannot wait for people to come to us first because they will not. It’s about being proactive, not reactive. We need to take resources to where they live, work, play, and pray. Meet people where they are. This approach is different than current standards of care because it allows the people we serve to guide the conversation, to guide the research, and ultimately, to have a voice they may have never had before in health care. It infuses their ideas and their needs into everything we do.

One strategy that will help us achieve this is representation, and I am not just referring to having someone who looks like you when you are going through a cancer diagnosis and treatment (although that can also be important). We must hire from communities, for communities. We need a more diverse workforce that reflects the day-to-day experiences of the individuals we serve.

At the core of all our individual efforts is the idea that we need to build trust when engaging with traditionally underserved communities. People see through education programs that go into their neighborhoods for what amounts to only a few minutes in the grand scheme of things and expect to win everyone over with all their ‘do this’ and ‘do that’s.’ Building trust takes time, investment, and many face-to-face conversations. What are we doing to make ourselves trustworthy? When we answer that question—when we let people know their communities are worthy of our time—that is how we break down barriers and start to see real change.

Watch Dr. Winn’s presentation at the 2023 Prevent Cancer Dialogue

Prevent Cancer Dialogue

The Prevent Cancer Dialogue is an annual event that brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the latest advances in research, policy, practice, and programs in cancer prevention and early detection. Participants take Dialogue learnings back to their communities and workplaces to enhance or expand their work to promote cancer prevention practices and appropriate screening.

The 2023 Prevent Cancer Dialogue was held virtually as a series of two summits (in May and June) and focused on health equity and innovation. Through presentations and breakout sessions, attendees were presented with various community-centered approaches, such as patient navigation, to overcome disparities in cancer care and screening.

Participants also learned about new colorectal cancer screening options, improvements for breast cancer screening in dense breasts, and HPV self-sampling technology currently under development.

Access the 2023 Dialogue session recordings, slide presentations and resource materials

Photo of awesome volunteer!

Community Impact

Addressing health equity through local outreach

The Prevent Cancer Foundation remains steadfast in our commitment to address health equity in cancer prevention and early detection.

In 2023, the Foundation addressed barriers to cancer screenings in LGBTQ+ and Latina communities by supporting various efforts to provide patient navigation, education, and outreach programs. Our community grantees:

  • Participated in over 60 community events
  • Distributed more than 15,000 educational materials
  • Trained nearly 300 health care providers to increase screening rates in the LGBTQ+ community
As a result, more than 11,000 individuals were served, more than 5,000 screenings were provided, and more than 4,000 individuals received patient navigation support.

The ¡Celebremos la Vida! (Let’s Celebrate Life!) program serves Latinas ages 40 and over. To date, this program has provided:

  • More than 20,000 mammograms and diagnostic tests
  • More than 13,000 cervical screenings and Pap follow-up tests
  • Culturally appropriate breast and cervical cancer education to 20,500 women, friends, and family members


Photo: Long Island Jewish Medical Center’s LGBTQ+ Cancer Prevention Coalition Program

There is no doubt that providing opportunities for [preventive] health care for members of the LGBTQIA+ community is lifesaving and absolutely necessary. However, providing health care that allows these community members to be their authentic selves and to experience autonomy over their health decisions is lifechanging. With this grant, we hope to bring these possibilities to fruition here in the Texas Panhandle.

Board member - Panhandle Breast Health
Amarillo, Texas

From January to June 2023, 144 uninsured low-income Hispanic women in McHenry County, [Illinois] received breast and cervical cancer screening services. The program has educated women by providing resources to help reduce the incidence of breast cancer in the county. All women receive culturally appropriate bilingual education, early screening and detection information, along with patient navigation services. The Family Health Partnership Clinic would not have been able to provide the lifesaving services to so many women without the continued support of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

Suzanne Hoban, MPH, Executive Director - Family Health Partnership Clinic
Crystal Lake, Ill.

Community and Global Grants

Community Grants

To advance our bold goal of a 40% reduction in cancer deaths by the year 2035, the Foundation has funded 12 former grantees (2007-2021) to complete projects utilizing best practices for increasing awareness, cancer screening, and cancer risk reduction behaviors. This year’s grantees represent rural and urban communities across the U.S., from Eugene, Oregon to New York, New York.

Equal Hope/DBA Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force

Chicago, Ill.

Equal Hope will address breast and cervical cancer disparities in metro-Chicago, 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.

Funding for this project is provided by the Stohlman Family Grant in memory of Richard Stohlman and Margaret Weigand.

Hitting Cancer Below the Belt

Midlothian, Va.

This project aims to eliminate major barriers to colorectal cancer screening by reducing costs of care and by providing stool-based fecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening kits, educational resources, and training to low-income, uninsured individuals across Virginia.

HIV Alliance

Eugene, Ore.

By reducing barriers to hepatitis C treatment, HIV Alliance’s case management program will support Lane County, Oregon residents who are impacted by hepatitis C and are at high risk for liver cancer.

Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc.

Bayside, N.Y.

The Asian American Healthy Liver Initiative aims to conduct up to 30 free screening events to identify patients with chronic hepatitis B, expand culturally competent patient navigation services in the community, and raise awareness about hepatitis B and liver cancer across the tri-state region.

Milwaukee Consortium for Hmong Health

Milwaukee, Wis.

This project will provide culturally appropriate educational workshops in the Southeast Asian community about how diet and physical activity impact cancer risk and will encourage participants to schedule appropriate cancer screenings.

Project Renewal, Inc.

New York, N.Y.

The ScanVan is a mobile mammography site, part of Project Renewal’s program designed to meet the need for accessible and affordable breast health care in the New York Metropolitan Area. ScanVan will provide free mammograms, clinical breast exams, and patient navigation to 800 women in low-income neighborhoods.

Funding for this project is provided by the Stohlman Family Grant in memory of Richard Stohlman and Margaret Weigand.

Comadre a Comadre Program, The Regents of the University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, N.M.

This culturally and linguistically designed project will provide education, information, and navigation to 300 Hispanic people from counties surrounding Albuquerque. Trained peer survivors of breast and cervical cancer and an advisory council will work together to help patients navigate screening appointments.

The Research Foundation for the SUNY of Univ. at Buffalo

Buffalo, N.Y.

By linking patients to mobile mammography and primary care through patient ambassadors and education, the Patient Voices Breast Cancer Program intends to increase breast cancer screening rates and engage community members currently not actively involved in the health care system.

University of Arizona Foundation

Tucson, Ariz.

By training and dispatching at least 15 volunteers, the University of Arizona Foundation seeks to educate at least 3,000 Southern Arizona youths about sun safety and skin cancer prevention.

Vax 2 Stop Cancer

Birmingham, Ala.

To increase HPV vaccination rates by 10%, this educational project will train participating pediatric and family practice health care providers in Alabama on best practices for giving effective vaccine recommendations, counseling hesitant parents, and decreasing missed opportunities to give the vaccine.

Virginia Harm Reduction Coalition

Roanoke, Va.

This program will consist of activities aimed at preventing, detecting, and treating cancer-causing viruses, including hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HPV, which are common among people who use drugs. They will serve an underserved population in Appalachian Southwest Virginia.

West Virginia University

Morgantown, W.Va.

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 and patient navigation to increase lung cancer screening in the most rural parts of southern and northern West Virginia.


Global Grants

The Foundation has provided over $1.6 million in global grant funding, supporting cancer-related projects ranging from Mexico to Poland to Tanzania. Currently, the Foundation is supporting projects in Kenya and Haiti, where cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, to tackle disparities related to cervical and breast cancer. These two-year, $150,000 projects align with the World Health Organization’s goal of eliminating cervical cancer by 2030.



KILELE Health Association


The KILELE Health Association’s project has reached over 5,000 Kenyans by engaging with communities in rural regions in Kenya. They have provided nearly 400 HPV screenings and worked with cancer survivors to raise awareness about prevention and to dispel myths to communities. These cervical cancer initiatives are intended to be replicated in other countries with hard-to-reach regions.

Hope for Haiti


Since January 2023, the Foundation has supported the delivery of 6,679 free cervical and breast cancer screenings and the training of 17 nurses and 46 community health workers to reduce mortality and morbidity rates across rural regions in Southern Haiti.