Aiming to increase access to cancer care for all populations, the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center is proud to announce the establishment of the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program. Made possible through a new partnership with the Lazarex Cancer Foundation, the three-year, $3 million commitment will establish an ambitious, replicable and comprehensive program to bring the best cancer care to patients locally and regionally, with a focus on the underserved.
Founded in 2006 by Dana Dornsife, the Lazarex Cancer Foundation provides program services and financial assistance to patients with advanced forms of cancer who are interested in pursuing treatment through clinical trials. Over the past seven years, Lazarex has provided resources to educate the public about cancer, publicize clinical trials and screening in underserved communities, and help patients deal with the challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis.
Goals of Cancer Care Equity Program
The Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program aims to increase clinical trial enrollment in medically disadvantaged communities and enhance the delivery of cancer care to their residents.
The Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program aims to increase clinical trial enrollment in medically disadvantaged communities and enhance the delivery of cancer care to their residents. Additionally, the program looks to break down barriers for patients interested in participating in trials through community outreach, clinician and community education, and patient follow-up services provided by community-based specialists. Most importantly, for patients entering clinical trials, the Cancer Care Equity Program will provide access to financial and psychosocial support in partnership with the Lazarex Cancer Foundation. Financial support may include funds for travel, accommodations and incidental expenses that might otherwise prevent a patient from participating in a clinical trial.
The Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program will establish a number of unique care equity projects at MGH, including an expansion of current efforts to reduce appointment “no shows.” The hospital will implement a large scale, computer-based study to identify and contact patients who are at high-risk to miss appointments for cancer screening or follow-up care. The program will also create a navigation program for vulnerable patients who are candidates for lung cancer screening.
Within the Cancer Center, the equity program will be led by Bruce Chabner, MD, Beverly Moy, MD, Sanja Percac-Lima, MD and Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD. Bringing this program to the Mass General Cancer Center represents tremendous effort on the part of the MGH faculty and development team, as well as Robert Johnston, MD, a former MGH fellow and scientific advisor to the foundation, and the foundation president, Dana Dornsife.
Mass General is grateful to the Lazarex Cancer Foundation for its generosity and partnership, and looks forward to working together to benefit the patients, families and communities.