Brendon, Age 2
Rhabdomyosarcoma

Cancer Equity Initiative

Breaking down financial barriers for Black and Hispanic patients and caregivers.

Introducing the Cancer Equity Initiative

From the moment of diagnosis, social determinants of health that are beyond a patient’s control — including race, ethnicity, income level, zip code, and language — can create financial and clinical barriers to cancer care. Disparities caused by these barriers should not define a patient’s chance of survival, but they do. Patients facing financial hardship are more likely to die from their disease.

CEI Mission

To ensure that any family facing cancer - regardless of their race, ethnicity, or income level - has equitable access to the financial resources that remove barriers to care.

CEI Vision

Give all patients and families the same chance of surviving cancer and its financial side effects.

Racial and ethnic disparities in the financial burden of cancer

Black and Hispanic cancer patients in low-income brackets are more likely to face extreme financial hardship.

Cancer patients are more likely to experience financial hardship if they are low-income, people of color, or less educated1

Hispanic and Black patients are less likely to be insured, leading to later-stage diagnoses and worse treatment outcomes3

Barriers to screenings and treatment like housing and food insecurities are reported most frequently by low-income families2

Hispanic and Black patients are more likely to skip treatment to save money4

“Sometimes not having insurance and the lack of respect and empathy for people’s backgrounds makes things harder for people to receive treatment. Even with a Spanish translator, there are long medical terms or things that are too hard to explain. Things get lost. It takes a toll.”
— Marisela, sister of pediatric cancer patient Estrellita

Achieving cancer equity through financial intervention

The Cancer Equity Initiative will evolve with the needs of the most under-resourced and financially vulnerable populations in the cancer community. Our work begins with a focus on engaging, reaching, and serving members of Black and Hispanic cancer communities because of the unique financial barriers they face.

Expected community outcomes

Expand access to effective financial interventions

Reduce financial distress

Improve access and adherence to treatment, including clinical trials

Our Roadmap

Develop organizational capacity and cultural competency

  • Solicit feedback on accessibility and inclusivity from community voices within our Family Council, National Strategic Council and patient/caregiver focus groups
  • Revise and repackage patient-facing materials to prioritize health literacy, cultural competency, and translation
  • Adapt our program delivery model, including our application, financial needs assessment, and outreach strategies

Improve reach and engagement among Black and Hispanic families

  • Deliver health literacy and cultural competency trainings to Family Reach staff
  • Develop partnerships with Black and Hispanic community organizations
  • Lead collaborative financial outreach workshops to increase Financial Treatment Program referrals
  • Launch targeted Financial Treatment Program pilots at historically underserved cancer treatment sites

Improve the impact of the Financial Treatment Program

  • Benchmark our existing reach, engagement, and impact
  • Conduct patient and caregiver surveys throughout Cancer Equity Initiative efforts
  • Leverage evaluations to inform continued program enhancements and expansions

Collaborating with thought leaders and community voices

Community Council

The Cancer Equity Initiative Community Council bring the voices of patients and families we serve into our program development and outreach. Our patients and their experience comes first, and we engage them for feedback and thought partnership to make our Financial Treatment Program delivery better.

National Strategic Council

The Cancer Equity Initiative National Strategic Council is a voice of experts who provide practical input and guidance for the initiative. Brought together to partner with Family Reach in creating a more inclusive and equitable Financial Treatment Program, they represent healthcare, policy, clinical trials, research and community leadership.

Community Partners

Cancer Equity Initiative Community Partners are nonprofit and community organizations deeply entrenched in Black and Hispanic communities. They provide feedback and insight on our programs and partner with us to bring our Financial Treatment Program into the community.
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Join the Cancer Equity Initiative

If you’re interested in getting involved with the Cancer Equity Initiative as a partner or collaborator, please fill out this inquiry form and we will be in touch.

References

  1. Han X, Zhao J, Zheng Z, de Moor JS, Virgo KS, Yabroff KR. Medical Financial Hardship Intensity and Financial Sacrifice Associated with Cancer in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2020;29(2):308-317. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-19-0460
  2. Bona K, Blonquist TM, Neuberg DS, Silverman LB, Wolfe J. Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Timing of Relapse and Overall Survival for Children Treated on Dana-Farber Cancer Institute ALL Consortium Protocols (2000–2010). Pediatric Blood & Cancer. 2016;63(6):1012-1018. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/pbc.25928
  3. Barnett, JC, & Berchick, ER. Current Population Reports, P60-260. Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2016.U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 2017
  4. Lee M, Khan MM. Gender differences in cost-related medication non-adherence among cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 2016;10(2):384-393. doi:10.1007/s11764-015-0484-5

What We Do

Ensure that any family facing cancer - regardless of their race, ethnicity, income level, or geography - has equal access to effective financial resources

How We Do It

Through collaboration and innovation, the Cancer Equity Initiative develops, improves, and delivers programs that level the financial playing field for all families facing cancer

What We Do

Ensure that any family facing cancer - regardless of their race, ethnicity, income level, or geography - has equal access to effective financial resources

How We Do It

Through collaboration and innovation, the Cancer Equity Initiative develops, improves, and delivers programs that level the financial playing field for all families facing cancer