American Cancer Society gives $100K grant to OKC clinic

BY STAFF REPORTS
10/24/2019 04:30 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY – The American Cancer Society has awarded a two-year, $100,000 grant to Oklahoma City Indian Clinic to expand access to high-quality breast cancer screening and timely follow-up care for American Indian and Alaska Native women.

According to the ACS, the grant is one of five across the country made possible through the Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity or CHANGE program.

“CHANGE grants build community and system capacity to promote health equity, access and navigation to screening resources within underserved communities, increasing access to timely cancer screenings and appropriate follow-up care” Kasey Volpe, ACS State & Primary Care Systems health systems manager, said. “Certain racial and ethnic minorities and uninsured individuals are more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, when treatment is usually more extensive and survival rates are lower. The American Cancer Society is committed to addressing the unequal burden of cancer.”

The OKCIC is committed to providing life-sustaining breast cancer screenings and prevention services for Native Americans, the ACS states.

"For over 25 years, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic has relied on community partnerships to provide these services,” Ashton Gatewood, OKCIC director of grants management, said. “However, the need is so great that many patients were still left without access to essential care. This partnership with the American Cancer Society ACS CHANGE program brings our vision into reality. The clinic will now be able to launch an in-house Mammogram Clinic, which will increase access and quality, decrease cost of care, and fulfill our mission to provide excellent breast care services in the American Indian community for central Oklahoma.”

One in eight women in the American Indian and Alaskan Native community will be diagnosed with breast cancer, Gatewood said.

“More American Indians die from their breast cancer diagnosis than any other ethnicity,” Gatewood added. “These women are grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters and daughters. Oklahoma City Indian Clinic is privileged to partner with the ACS CHANGE program to honor and respect Native traditions by taking care of the community.”

According to the ACS, since 2011 the CHANGE program has provided grant opportunities to community health system partners to increase cancer education and awareness and to promote life-saving screening tests in medically underserved communities. To date, CHANGE grants have supported the implementation of 3.2 million evidence-based interventions in more than 270 health systems and have contributed to 915,000 cancer screenings across the nation.

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