American Cancer Society and National Football League Award Grant to NorthLakes Community Clinic to Safely Increase Cancer Screening During COVID-19
Iron River, Wis. – The American Cancer Society and the National Football League (NFL) has awarded a grant to NorthLakes Community Clinic (NLCC) to safely increase cancer screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant funding was made possible through the Society’s partnership with the NFL and the League’s Crucial Catch campaign.
This grant is the latest in the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program, which provides funding opportunities as part of the organization’s commitment to reducing cancer disparities. The NorthLakes Community Clinic will receive more than $45,000 in grant funding over a 15-month period.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to significant declines in breast, colorectal, and cervical cancer screenings. Delayed screenings are creating a backlog that needs to be addressed as health care facilities gradually re-open for non-COVID-19 care. Nationwide, more than 20 grants were recently awarded to support health centers as they create and adopt new processes and protocols to tackle this backlog and safely resume cancer screenings.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic started, elective medical procedures, including cancer screenings, were largely put on hold. It’s estimated there was nearly a 90% drop in mammography screening from just the end of February through early April,” said Laurie Bertrand, the American Cancer Society’s executive director in Wisconsin. “Partnerships like this are key to getting cancer screenings safely back on track because finding cancer early can help increase treatment options and save lives.”
NLCC will utilize the funding to ensure patients have access to breast and cervical cancer screenings in rural Wisconsin. This includes patient outreach and education about why patients should not delay screenings and how to access these services safely during COVID-19.
“This funding will help us address cancer screening disparities,” Reba Rice, CEO of NorthLakes Community Clinic says. “Since COVID-19, we’ve seen a significant drop in patients accessing preventative screenings. We hope a public education campaign with our patients around the significance of maintaining primary care will help eliminate any insecurities or concerns they have about coming to our clinic.”
Since 2009, the NFL’s Crucial Catch has raised more than $22 million in support of the American Cancer Society. Funding raised since 2012 has supported the Society’s CHANGE program. This program promotes health equity and addresses early detection disparities through community-based cancer prevention programs that increase access to necessary cancer screenings. Since 2012, the NFL has funded more than 200 projects in safety-net, primary care systems within 100 miles of an NFL market to increase cancer awareness and access to potentially life-saving screenings. To date, more than 1 million individuals have been reached with education, navigation, and screening reminders.
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About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is attacking cancer from every angle. For more information, go to cancer.org.
About Crucial Catch
The NFL, its clubs, the NFL Players Association, and the American Cancer Society are committed to the fight against cancer. Crucial Catch expands the impact of the NFL’s work around breast cancer to address multiple types of cancer through prevention, early detection, and timely access to follow-up care as needed. Since 2009, the first year of the NFL’s Crucial Catch campaign, the league’s work has raised more than $22 million for the American Cancer Society. Money raised through Crucial Catch supports the American Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program, which promotes health equity and addresses cancer-related disparities. Visit nfl.com/crucialcatch to learn more and get involved.