Cancer Equity Initiative
Breaking down financial barriers for Black and Hispanic patients and caregivers.
Introducing the Cancer Equity Initiative
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.
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
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
National Strategic Council
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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