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:
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
Last revised: May 6, 2005