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News Release

Friday, May 6, 2005

Contact: NCI Press Office
(301) 496-6641

HHS Announces $95 Million to Improve the Health of Minorities

HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced $95 million in grants to develop a new program that will reduce the number of cancer deaths in minority and poor populations.

“Our commitment to closing the health care gap among racial and ethnic minorities is unwavering,” Secretary Leavitt said. “We will continue to support community-based approaches to help racial and ethnic minority populations experience the benefits of modern medicine.”

This new initiative, called the Community Networks Program (CNP), was developed by HHS’ National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. Its aim is to reduce cancer disparities through community participation in education, research and training. Up to 25 grantees will develop programs to increase the use of cancer interventions in underserved communities. Interventions will include proven approaches including smoking cessation, increasing healthy eating and physical activity, and early detection and treatment of breast, cervical and colorectal cancers.

Programs will be designed to reach communities and populations experiencing a disproportionate share of the cancer burden, and will address African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Hawaiian Natives and other Pacific Islanders, Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, and rural underserved populations.

Each CNP will put together an advisory group that will serve as the “voice of the community.” These advisory groups will work with local community members to gather information and then deliver back results. A steering committee of community-based leaders, researchers, clinicians and public health professionals will provide additional support.

To sustain successful efforts in their communities, CNP grantees also will work closely with policymakers and non-governmental funding sources. Together, CNP grantees and NCI will train investigators, identify potential research opportunities, and work to ensure that best practice models are widely disseminated.

“Community-based approaches continue to be a successful way to providing access and hope to those most in need,” Secretary Leavitt said. “The CNP is a good model that will allow the communities to provide results to the community it serves.”

Reducing and eliminating cancer disparities continue to be a major commitment for HHS, the research community, health care providers and policymakers. In recent years, the cancer research community has looked to learn more about why members of some population groups experience higher cancer incidence and mortality rates than others.

“Given the progress we have made through cancer research and the promise of emerging technology, I believe we are on course to eliminating suffering and death due to cancer,” said NCI Director Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. “But we must be certain that we do this for all who are in need. The Community Networks Program will play an important role in defining the most effective way of accomplishing both goals.”

The CNP builds on advances from a previous initiative called the Special Population Networks program. It will be administered through individual cooperative agreements between NCI and the CNP grantees and will be directed by NCI's Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.

For additional information about the Community Networks Program and grantees, go to: http://crchd.nci.nih.gov.

For more information about cancer, visit the NCI Web site at http://www.cancer.gov or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4 CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

The list for awards issued to date is below:

Community Networks Program

Principal Investigator


Project Title

Albrecht, Terrance

Wayne State University

CNP for Older, Underserved, African-American Adults

Baquet, Claudia

University of Maryland, School of Medicine

The Maryland Regional Community Networks Program To Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities (MRCN)

Beebe, Laura

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

University of Oklahoma Community Networks Project (OUCNP)

Buchwald, Dedra

University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Regional Native American Community Networks Program

Chen, Moon S. Jr.

University of California, Davis Cancer Center

Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research & Training

Dignan, Mark

University of Kentucky Research Foundation

Appalachia Community Cancer Network (ACCN)

Farria, Dione

Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities

Flores, Estevan

University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center

The Colorado Front Range Latino Community Network (CFRLCN)

Godley, Paul A.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Carolina Community Network

Hebert, James

University of South Carolina Research Foundation

South Carolina Cancer Disparities Community Network (SCCDCN)

Henry-Tillman, Ronda

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Arkansas Cancer Community Network (ARCCN)

Huerta, Elmer

MedStar Research Institute

Latin American Cancer Research Coalition

Koh, Howard

Harvard University, School of Public Health

(MASS CONECT) Mass. Community Networks to Eliminate Cancer Disparities through Education, Research and Training

Ma, Grace

Temple University

ATECAR - Asian Community Cancer Network

Maupin, Jr., John

Meharry Medical College

Meharry Medical College-Community Health Centers Network

Partridge, Edward

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Deep South Network for Cancer Control

Ramirez, Amelie

Baylor College of Medicine

Redes in Accion: National Latino Cancer Research Network

Satcher, David

Morehouse School of Medicine

National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer III: Community Networks Program (NBLIC III: CNP)

Tanjasiri, Sora Park

California State University, Fullerton

WINCART: Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training

Thompson, Beti

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Hispanic Community Network to Reduce Cancer Disparities


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Last revised: May 6, 2005