Merck Foundation Launches $20 Million Initiative to Advance Equity in U.S. Cancer Care
National effort builds on Foundation’s longstanding commitment to helping patients in underserved communities receive high-quality, equitable care
“The severity of the need to take action on advancing equity in cancer care cannot be overstated and will not be overlooked,” said
As part of the initiative, the Foundation is providing grants to select non-profit health care organizations to help develop and implement evidence-informed, innovative programs that advance equity in cancer care. Grantees will work collectively to improve the coordination of patient care from diagnosis through survivorship; strengthen patient engagement in treatment decisions and overall patient-provider communication; build community partnerships that address barriers to care related to social determinants of health; and provide essential psychosocial support services.
Alliance program grantees include:
Boston Medical Center( Boston, Massachusetts)
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University( Cleveland, Ohio)
Conquer Cancer®, the
ASCO Foundation( Montana)
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center( Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center( New York, New York)
RWJBarnabas Health( New Jersey)
University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center( Kentucky)
Nearly 40% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Members of racial and ethnic minority groups, those living in rural areas, low-income individuals and the uninsured are disproportionately affected by cancer, yet often have limited access to cancer screenings, care and treatment. As a result, they may experience later stage diagnoses, delays in treatment and decreased adherence to cancer therapies – with serious negative consequences to their health.
The Foundation is also supporting a National Program Office at
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to making sure that cancer care is equitable,” says
The Alliance builds on the Foundation’s legacy of investing in community-focused programs that advance health equity as it follows other national, multi-year program investments to reduce health disparities and improve access to high-quality care, such as the Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care,Bridging the Gap in Diabetes Care and HIV Care Connect.