The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has committed $25M in new funding to Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative to address health care disparities in cancer care and support. At today’s White House event, the Foundation announced new partnerships with the WVU Cancer Institute and three additional partners to develop, implement, and evaluate an innovative model of comprehensive, coordinated care to better meet the needs of lung cancer survivors and their caregivers. The WVU Cancer Institute has been awarded a total of $730,000 to begin this two-year program.

“This is an exciting opportunity for the Cancer Institute and WVU Medicine to thoroughly address the issues that encompass all aspects of lung cancer survivors’ lives – physical, psychological, economic, and social,” Stephenie Kennedy, Ed.D., associate director for Cancer Prevention and Control and principal investigator for the program, said. “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in West Virginia and one of the most commonly diagnosed, accounting for over 18 percent of the newly diagnosed cancer cases each year, indicating a need for such services in our state. When you combine this program with the recent funding received to promote lung cancer screening, we now have initiatives on both ends of the cancer continuum – prevention and survivorship – to complement an already robust line of treatment services.”

The WVU Cancer Institute’s Program, “Bridge to Good Living: Thriving beyond Lung Cancer,” is designed to provide interdisciplinary, patient-centered survivor care services to all lung cancer patients who complete active treatment. This includes monitoring and managing physical and psychosocial symptoms; health promotion counseling, including smoking cessation, stress reduction, diet, and exercise; surveillance for cancer recurrence; development of treatment summary and care plans; navigation to community-based resources; and, educating providers to improve the care delivered to lung cancer patients across the continuum of care.

Kennedy is partnering with co-investigators, Patrick Ma, M.D., associate professor and Eminent Scholar in Lung Cancer Research, and Anne Swisher, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Physical Therapy, to institute the program.

The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases and conditions, by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease.  For more information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, please visit www.bms.com/foundation.

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Photo (left to right): Patrick Ma, M.D., associate professor and Eminent Scholar in Lung Cancer Research and co-leader of the Sara Crile Allen and James Frederick Allen Lung Cancer Program; Sara Jane Gainor, M.B.A., director of the Bonnie Wells Wilson Mobile Mammography Program; Jim Keresztury, M.B.A., director of Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition; Stephenie Kennedy, Ed.D., associate director for Cancer Prevention and Control; and Anne Swisher, Ph.D, professor in the WVU Division of Physical Therapy.

 

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