Through the Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program, the American Cancer Society has awarded a $75,000 grant to Baltimore Medical System (BMS) to implement cancer prevention and early detection activities in Baltimore City. These actions aim to improve cancer outcomes by providing residents with education, outreach, navigation, and access to vaccinations and screenings.
This grant will aid Baltimore Medical System’s efforts to address breast and colorectal cancer, providing financial support as they help individuals access resources and educate their community on the importance of early screenings and overall wellness. The initiative is made possible by the Society’s partnership with the National Football League (NFL), whose Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer program provides funding to support increased access to cancer education, prevention, and screening resources in underserved communities.
Baltimore City is one of 32 cities across America to have a grant recipient focused on reducing the unequal burden of cancer. These organizations provide colorectal screenings or cervical cancer screenings, work to increase HPV vaccination rates, and address breast cancer disparities and outcomes. Such disparities predominantly arise from inequities in work, wealth, income, education, housing and overall standard of living, as well as social barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services.
The Society collaborates with community health systems such as BMS to reach individuals in communities with higher burdens of cancer and limited access to cancer screenings. “Preventative screenings for breast and colorectal cancer are critical for our patients living in communities with elevated cancer mortality rates,” says Shirley Sutton, CEO of BMS. “Our Cancer Screening Performance Improvement team implements best practices at our Centers to improve screening rates.”
Since 2012, CHANGE grants funded by the NFL have been awarded to community health systems to improve education, outreach, navigation and access to breast cancer screening resources within these communities. Collectively, grant funded health systems have provided more than 452,500 outreach and education interventions and have contributed to more than 148,300 breast cancer screenings provided at low or no cost. Thanks to the demonstrated impact of grantees like Baltimore Medical System and the NFL’s continued commitment to this life-changing work, the NFL has expanded its efforts on cancer prevention and early detection across multiple cancers in 2017. This expanded funding opportunity will continue to address breast cancer disparities while also addressing either colorectal cancer, cervical cancer, or HPV vaccination.
The Society’s vision is a world free from the pain and suffering of all cancers, including breast cancer. Prevention and early detection programs such as the CHANGE grant program help to eliminate cancer-related health disparities and realize this vision.
About the American Cancer Society:
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2 million volunteers saving lives in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 25 percent decline in the cancer death rate in the U.S. since 1991, driven by less smoking, better treatments and earlier detection. We're finding cures as the nation's largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings and more. For more information, to get help or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at (800) 227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
About Baltimore Medical System:
Baltimore Medical System (BMS) is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in Maryland serving over 48,000 patients across Baltimore City and Baltimore County annually. BMS operates six health care centers, including four on-site pharmacies and eight school-based centers. BMS’s mission is to improve health, wellness and quality of life in the communities we serve by providing safe, high quality, accessible and affordable healthcare.