LOS ANGELES – March 17, 2022 – Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) recently awarded six community organizations with grants to fund efforts to increase colorectal cancer screening and education. The community engagement grants are part of SU2C’s comprehensive and collaborative approach to address disparities in colorectal cancer in three SU2C Zones: Los Angeles, Greater Boston, and the Great Plains Tribal Communities in South Dakota. These zones include diverse and distinct communities that are medically underserved and have particularly low screening rates for colorectal cancer, which is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in American men and women combined.
This is the first time SU2C has awarded community engagement grants and a total of six grants will be awarded in all; three in Los Angeles, two in Greater Boston and one in South Dakota. The recently announced SU2C Colorectal Cancer Health Equity Dream Team is conducting research in these communities and working in collaboration with the community engagement grant recipients to increase awareness, education, and screening for colorectal cancer. Community engagement projects will be aligned with the Dream Team’s goal to increase screening rates to 80% in the SU2C Zones.
“In order to improve cancer health equity, it’s critical for Stand Up To Cancer to work collaboratively with local organizations to ensure we are connecting with residents,” said Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. “These community engagement grants will play an important role in bringing life-saving screening, education, and awareness to medically underserved communities. Connecting top clinicians with local advocacy organizations that serve each zone will help us prevent more people from dying from a disease that is preventable as well as treatable and survivable if it’s caught early.”
Each community engagement grant recipient received a two-year, $25,000 grant for their project. The organizations that have been awarded grants are:
• Black Women for Wellness – Black Women for Wellness is committed to the health and well-being of Black women and girls through health education, empowerment, and advocacy. The group will focus their colorectal cancer screening outreach and education efforts with the Black community in areas of South Los Angeles where 60% of Black Los Angeles residents reside. By leveraging partnerships with local faith-based institutions, community clinics and organizations, Black Women for Wellness aims to increase access to colorectal cancer screenings and improve the quality of care for those who receive abnormal colorectal cancer test results.
• Corazon y Caracter – Corazon y Caracter is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of underrepresented communities and provides complete and continuous training and support to their network of community health workers. Utilizing Promotoras (community health workers), Corazon y Caracter will organize a series of Spanish language educational presentations on topics related to colorectal cancer. Presentations will take place at local community centers, schools, and churches in medically underserved communities with high populations of Spanish-speaking residents.
• TRAPMedicine – TRAPMedicine’s model is designed to shift the narrative and culture of men’s health by advancing a barbershop-based health services model for men of color. The barbershop is integrated into existing public health systems as “brick-and-mortar” settings for health promotion, resource coordination, and preventative health services for Black and Latino men in Los Angeles County. Using their network of barbershops, faith- and community-based partners, TRAPMedicine intends to increase awareness of the risk factors of colorectal cancer among Black and Latino men, expand access and availability of health resources to promote colorectal cancer screening and document personal narratives to humanize education and awareness efforts.
• Greater Boston Nazarene Compassionate Center – The Greater Boston Nazarene Compassionate Center (GBNCC) provides relief and opportunity to the most vulnerable, undeserved and under-represented people of the greater Boston area, with a particular emphasis on the Haitian community, immigrants and youth. GBNCC will focus on increasing education and awareness of colorectal cancer screenings through community workshops, events and outreach with educational materials. The center will leverage its current relationships in the Boston community through the organization’s existing education and health programs.
• Whittier Street Health Center – Whittier Street Health Center (Whittier) is an urban community health center providing primary and specialty health services, and social and outreach services to individuals from diverse communities. With the help of the community engagement grant, Whittier will provide training and education to providers and staff on colorectal screening guidelines and assign a case manager to work with patients on reported barriers such as transportation, language needs and access to screening. In addition, community health workers will conduct community-based outreach, promotion and education workshops on the importance of screening and preventative measures to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
Great Plains Tribal Communities in South Dakota:
• Oyate Health Center – Oyate Health Center improves the wellness of its community by providing quality healthcare, public health services, advocacy, and support in partnership with the tribal nations of the Great Plains region. The organization will focus on increasing colorectal cancer screening through education and outreach among the American Indian/Alaska Native population in South Dakota.
SU2C is committed to supporting strategies to increase colorectal cancer screening rates across the country, with a focus on medically underserved communities in an effort to reduce disparities associated with this type of cancer. Colorectal cancer incidence and deaths are highest in Black Americans, followed closely by American Indians/Alaska Natives and lowest in Asians/Pacific Islanders. People with the lowest socioeconomic status are 40% more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer than those with the highest socioeconomic status and screening rates for Americans 50-75 years old are the lowest in American Indians/Alaska Natives (56%), followed by Asian people (58%), Hispanic people (59%), Black people (66%) and white people (69%).
The community engagement grants are part of SU2C’s Health Equity Initiative, which was formally announced in 2020 and focuses on three areas: increasing diversity in SU2C-funded clinical trials, initiating advocacy group collaborations and awareness campaigns, and funding research aimed at improving cancer outcomes and screening rates in medically underserved communities.
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Stand Up To Cancer
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who utilize these communities’ resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of January 2022, more than 2,000 scientists representing more than 210 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.
Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., SU2C conducts rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.
Current members of the SU2C Founders and Advisors Committee (FAC) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C’s CEO, and Russell Chew as SU2C’s President.
For more information, visit StandUpToCancer.org, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.