(February 1, 2015)—The Geaton and JoAnn DeCesaris Cancer Institute at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) was awarded a three-year $1.25 million grant for lung cancer prevention and screening from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.
This grant will enable AAMC to expand lung cancer prevention services within high-risk populations living in underserved communities in Anne Arundel, Calvert and Prince George’s Counties. AAMC’s outreach plan includes providing smoking prevention education, smoking cessation programs and lung cancer screening education both to health care providers and community members.
“While the DeCesaris Cancer Institute’s lung screening and thoracic oncology programs have continued to expand over the past five years, our successes have been more limited among vulnerable, lower-income and minority populations,” says Stephen Cattaneo, MD, director of Thoracic Surgery at Anne Arundel Medical Center. “The grant from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation will allow us the opportunity to better reach and inform these at-risk patients in our area and surrounding Maryland counties about the need for lung cancer screening while providing desperately needed education and resources for smoking cessation.”
AAMC has already begun extending lung cancer prevention and screening to at risk groups. Tobacco treatment specialists visit schools to provide smoking prevention education to students and meet clients weekly at community clinics to provide free smoking cessation counseling. More recently, AAMC provided transportation for residents from a nearby public housing community in order to receive their lung cancer screenings.
While Medicare and many other insurance companies cover lung cancer screening, the Bristol Myers Squibb grant will provide an opportunity for AAMC to reach many other communities in the future by increasing access to lung cancer prevention education, screening and follow-up care in underserved communities.
“Obstacles to screening, especially for minority and underserved populations, often result in patients receiving a late-stage diagnosis, which dramatically reduces their chances for survival,” says John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. “We are pleased to engage our partners to develop innovative programs that will improve the health outcomes of underserved patient populations facing lung cancer and to advocate for system-wide change to remove barriers to specialty care.”
For more information about AAMC’s lung screening program, call 443-481-5838.