A $65,000 grant will benefit patients at Atrium Health Levine Cancer and Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital in greater Charlotte. A $30,000 grant will benefit Levine Cancer patients at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in Winston-Salem.
The funding allows the Levine Cancer teams in greater Charlotte and the Wake Forest Baptist’s Office of Cancer Health Equity in Winston-Salem to distribute assistance, such as gas cards, bus passes and ride share services, to patients experiencing transportation challenges throughout the region.
“Lack of transportation is a major barrier to many of our patients, so we are grateful to the American Cancer Society for this funding which is crucial to ensuring our patients have access to our facilities for their cancer treatments,” said Dr. Ruben A. Mesa, president of Atrium Health Levine Cancer and vice dean for cancer programs at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. “The defeat of cancer is a team sport and, by all of us working together, we know we can decrease the burden of cancer across all of the communities we serve.”
In a study presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology Quality Care Symposium, American Cancer Society researchers found that cancer survivors who delayed care due to lack of transportation were more likely to use emergency departments and had the highest risk of all-cause and cancer-specific mortality.
“Not having access to high-quality cancer treatment due to where you live contributes to the disparities we see in cancer outcomes,” said Dr. Arif Kamal, chief patient officer at the American Cancer Society. “The local health systems we partner with across the country use this funding to deliver assistance directly to the patients who need it most.”