Forrest General Cancer Center Receives American Cancer Society Grant to Help Patients Overcome Access to Care Barriers in Community
Amy Ellis, Cancer Control Strategic Partnerships Manager Amy Ellis, left, poses with, from left, Shannon Vega, director of Radiology; Ramona Martin, Cancer Center patient navigator; and Kecia Jones, Cancer Center manager
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (April 22, 2022) Cancer patients undergoing treatment frequently require assistance getting to and from facilities, often creating a financial and logistical burden. That’s why the American Cancer Society (ACS) has awarded a Patient Transportation Grant to the Forrest General Cancer Center. These funds will be used to address access-to-care needs of cancer patients in the Pine Belt and ultimately help save lives.
An estimated 18,250 Mississippi residents will learn they have cancer this year and getting to their scheduled treatment may be one of their greatest roadblocks. To help patients get the critical care they need, American Cancer Society’s Patient Transportation Grants are awarded at a local level to health systems, treatment centers, and community organizations. These grants are available in select communities through an application process and focus on addressing unmet needs of cancer patients, particularly vulnerable populations experiencing an unequal burden of cancer.
“Disparities predominantly arise from inequities in work, wealth, income, education, housing, and overall standard of living, as well as social barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment services,” said Amy Ellis, Cancer Control Strategic Partnerships manager. “ACS collaborates with community health partners to reach individuals in areas with higher burdens of cancer with little to no access to transportation because even the best treatment can’t work if a patient can’t get there.”
“Our cancer patients are faced with a cancer diagnosis, then told they have to travel to receive many cancer treatments, said Ramona Martin, Cancer Center navigator. “With the rising cost of gas, we feel that the best use of these grant funds is through gas card assistance. Patients have to apply for the funds and qualify. We are so thankful to have assistance from the American Cancer Society to help our Pine Belt cancer patients receive lifesaving treatments!”
According to Cancer Center Manager, Kecia Jones, some patients don’t have access to transportation at all or are too fatigued or sick to drive themselves. “Access to care is a big problem in our country with low income, and those living in rural communities suffering the most from disparities. Transportation programs are vital for these patients to get the treatments they need and deserve.”
For additional information about the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org. For more information about the Forrest General Cancer Center, visit forrestgeneral.com/cancer.
About Forrest General’s Cancer Center
Forrest General Hospital Cancer Center ranks among the largest and most sophisticated cancer treatment centers in South Mississippi. It offers a place where patients can receive advanced care in a beautiful, compassionate environment. Forrest General operates the only comprehensive community Cancer Center in the 19-county service area, and is accredited by the College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The center features the services of a multidisciplinary team led by medical oncologists/hematologists and radiation oncologists, who provide high quality medical care in a continuum of settings. In addition to medical and radiation oncologists, a complete range of physician specialists provide expertise in diagnoses, surgical removal, disease management, and reconstructive procedures.
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