Community Health Centers Get Funding to Advance Equity in Cancer Screening and Follow-Up Care

June 30, 2022 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, ONS Government Affairs Director

With the relaunch of the Biden-Harris administration’s Cancer Moonshot (https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news-updates/2022/03/17/fact-sheet-white-house-announces-initial-steps-for-reignited-cancer-moonshot/) initiative, the fight against cancer is back in the government spotlight. To support the Moonshot’s goals, in May 2022 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allocated (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/05/11/hhs-announces-5-million-funding-advance-equity-cancer-screening-health-centers.html) $5 million to the Health Resources and Services Administration-funded community health centers.

Several cancers, including breast, cervical, and colorectal, can be detected and even prevented when patients follow screening recommendations, HHS said (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/05/11/hhs-announces-5-million-funding-advance-equity-cancer-screening-health-centers.html). However, various barriers can prevent an individual from adhering to their cancer screenings and follow-up care. The new funding (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/05/11/hhs-announces-5-million-funding-advance-equity-cancer-screening-health-centers.html) for community health centers will help improve access to high-quality cancer care for underserved patients.

“Cancer screening saves lives and it should be accessible to all Americans,” Xavier Becerra, HHS secretary, said (https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/05/11/hhs-announces-5-million-funding-advance-equity-cancer-screening-health-centers.html). “In partnership with National Cancer Institute–designated cancer centers, we are giving community health centers in underserved communities funding to provide life-saving cancer detection and referrals to treatment.”

As primary patient educators, oncology nurses inform patients about their recommended cancer screenings, including additional surveillance for cancer survivors. And as patient advocators, oncology nurses help break down barriers (https://www.ons.org/make-difference/ons-center-advocacy-and-health-policy/position-statements/access-quality-cancer) for patients as they access that essential care.


Copyright © 2022 by the Oncology Nursing Society. User has permission to print one copy for personal or unit-based educational use. Contact pubpermissions@ons.org for quantity reprints.