ROCK SPRINGS — Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center is among 10 oncology practices nationwide to receive a three-year grant from the American Society of Clinical Oncology that targets improvement in the delivery of cancer care in underserved populations.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology grant funding will allow the cancer center at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County to participate in the ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative and Quality Training Program.
The three-year grants – “Improving the Delivery of Cancer Care in Medically Underserved Communities” – will be administered through Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation, and will fund each practice’s training and participation.
“We are so grateful to have been selected as recipients of this grant,” said Cancer Center Director Tasha Harris. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with ASCO and participate in quality improvement training and initiatives, which will enable us to have access to tools and resources that we wouldn’t have had access to otherwise.
“We provide excellent patient care in our cancer center, but we know that there is always room to grow and there are processes that can be improved to enhance the patient experience,” Harris said. “We look forward to learning, growing and providing an even higher quality of care to our patients.”
The team that considered the grant applications said among the reasons the cancer center was selected is because the team was impressed with everything the center already is doing, Harris said. Of the 10 grant recipients, Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center was one of only three rural cancer centers nationwide to receive the grant.
“Health care equity, defined as the right of all citizens to have equal access to care regardless of age, gender, race, and geographic location, is a hot topic in medicine today,” said Hematologist/Oncologist Dr. Banu Symington. “It is exciting that SRCC will be working with a national organization to eliminate one such health care inequity.”
ASCO President Dr. Howard A. “Skip” Burris III said the ASCO is “grateful to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation for allowing us to support more practices in their quality improvement processes. With the resources to evaluate the care they provide and to develop process improvement strategies and techniques, these practices can optimize the quality of care they offer to patients with cancer in their communities.”
The other nine recipients of the Improving the Delivery of Cancer Care in Medically Underserved Communities grant include Adena Cancer Center in Chillicothe, Ohio; Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, Hartford, Connecticut; Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; New York Presbyterian Hospital, Flushing, New York; Parkland Health and Hospital System, Dallas; Sidney Health Center Cancer Care, Sidney, Montana; Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas; West Cancer Center and Research Institute, Memphis, Tennessee; and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco.