Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Receives Grant to Support Teen and Young Adult Cancer Patients

July 19, 2022

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist has received a two-year $380,000 grant from Teen Cancer America and First Citizens Bank to support programs for teens and young adults with cancer.

The grant enables Wake Forest Baptist to develop an oncology program specifically for adolescents and young adults (AYA) undergoing cancer treatment at their NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and at Brenner Children’s Hospital. Funding helps support a medical program manager, patient navigator and medical director for the program.

“We are very grateful for this grant which helps us continue to expand our specialized oncology services and create activities that align with our patient-centered model of care and meet the unique needs of teens and young adults with cancer,” said Dianna Howard, M.D., professor of hematology and oncology at Wake Forest Baptist and medical director of the new program.

The goals of the award include improving patient navigation, survivorship care planning and education on fertility preservation and clinical trials, in addition to expanding programs that support the psychosocial, financial and educational needs of patients and their caregivers.

Founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of the rock band The Who, Teen Cancer America helps hospitals and health care professionals bridge the gap between pediatric and adult oncology care. 

“For the last seven years, it’s been a meaningful journey for us at First Citizens, helping TCA raise awareness and funding for major cancer centers in our markets. And now, it’s a great privilege to further enhance AYA cancer care in our home state by supporting a significant program like this one,” said Jeff Ward, chief strategy officer at First Citizens Bank. “Together with TCA and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, we’re working to improve the experience and outcomes of teens and young adults with cancer. And that’s a great win for young people and their families in North Carolina.”

Founded in 1898 and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens Bank is the largest family-controlled bank in the U.S., with offices in 22 states. First Citizens’ sponsorship of Teen Cancer America is its largest corporate philanthropic initiative, which has been implemented throughout its banking franchise across the country. First Citizens is working with Teen Cancer America to raise funds, build awareness and collaborate with medical centers to establish new teen cancer units and programs.

“The principal goal of Teen Cancer America is to partner with medical centers throughout the U.S. to develop adolescent and young adult cancer programs. This ensures that young patients can receive specialized, age-appropriate treatments and the support that they and their families need for this unique time in their lives,” said Simon Davies, executive director of Teen Cancer America. “With the launch of this program today, North Carolina is at the forefront of cancer care with AYA programs in flight across the state. The efforts of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist to enrich its program and provide AYA patients with age-specific care will make a tremendous difference. And our unique partnership with First Citizens Bank is the bedrock of all that we have been able to achieve in North Carolina and beyond.”

Media contact: Joe McCloskey,