Arkansas Cancer Coalition

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Fiscal Year 2018 Awarded Grants

Arkansas Cancer Institute

Program: Oncology Patient Access Navigator
Funding Amount: $51,694.00
Counties Served: Arkansas, Ashley, Bradley, Calhoun, Chicot, Cleveland, Dallas, Desha, Drew, Grant, Lincoln, Lonoke, Monroe, Phillips, Prairie, Pulaski, and Saline.
Focus Area: Palliative Care


Summary of Grant: The Arkansas Cancer Institute shares the vision of the Arkansas Cancer Coalition to turn the red and yellow counties of Southeast Arkansas to green. Unfortunately, this will not happen without reducing three of the major barriers to access; appointment cancellations “no-shows”, patient dissatisfaction, and financial burdens of screening and treatment. With funds from the Arkansas Cancer Coalition, the Arkansas Cancer Institute will have the unique opportunity to alleviate these three barriers through the creation of a Patient Navigator program. Upon confirmation of this award, Arkansas Cancer Institute will hire a patient navigator. The program, using the strategies outlined in this grant application, will reduce appointment cancellations and no shows to less than 10%, increase patient satisfaction scores to at least 90%, and identify $50,000 in financial assistance for patients; all by June 30, 2018. It is the intention of Arkansas Cancer Institute to retain the Patient Navigator after the first year as the benefits of this Patient Navigator program are realized. The Arkansas Cancer Coalition Grant will fund the inaugural year of a program that will provide benefits to Southeast Arkansas cancer patients and families for many years to come.

Arkansas Cancer Institute recognizes 3 barriers to treatment affecting Southeast Arkansans; appointment cancellations “no-shows”, patient dissatisfaction, and cost of care. With funds provided by Arkansas Cancer Coalition, the Arkansas Cancer Institute will be able to create a Patient Navigator program that will alleviate these 3 barriers to treatment of all forms of cancer. When these barriers are removed, the quality of life for people of Southeast Arkansas living with cancer will drastically improve.


Michael Legate
7200 South Hazel Street
Pine Bluff, AR 71603


Program: Access to Treatment – Overcoming Barriers
Funding Amount: $45,000.00
Counties Served: Statewide
Focus Area: Survivorship


Summary of Grant: CARTI is committed to serving cancer patients from all over the state of Arkansas. Access to high-quality cancer treatment for all who need it is one of our most basic principles. However, we know getting to a CARTI center can be difficult for those in rural areas and those of limited financial means. Many patients must travel significant distances for cancer treatments, which can be costly and fatiguing. Low-income cancer patients living in rural areas of the state have a need for transportation assistance in order to offset some of the cost of driving to a treatment facility. Patients in these counties will be evaluated for eligibility for fuel vouchers and fuel cards.The Arkansas Cancer Plan cites the need for transportation assistance and access to care in the Survivorship chapter, with the goals of reducing the number of cancer deaths in Arkansas and increasing the number of cancer survivors who are living five years longer after diagnosis.The CARTI Transportation Assistance program will focus on patients in 30 counties identified by the Arkansas Cancer Coalition as having a lower life expectancy and will increase their ability to access high-quality cancer treatment. This proposal is for funding for fuel cards and fuel vouchers, and to reimburse for mileage incurred when transporting staff and treatment medications to medical oncology clinics in Arkansas and Union counties. Both clinics treat patients from surrounding counties as well. The target population for CARTI’s transportation assistance includes those who are low-income, non-insured or underinsured and those who live in rural areas of the state.


Kathi Jones
PO Box 55011
Little Rock, AR 72215

Hope Cancer Resources

Program: Patient Transportation – Access to Cancer Care
Funding Amount: $49,454.00
Counties Served: Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington.
Focus Area: Survivorship


Summary of Grant: The mission of Hope Cancer Resources is to provide compassionate, professional cancer support and education in the Northwest Arkansas region today and tomorrow. Our patient support programs align with the additional cancer focus area of Survivorship in the Arkansas Cancer Plan. We focus on two of the Objective 5 strategies. First, promoting user-friendly transportation to ensure that cancer patients in our region have access to comprehensive cancer care (5:2) and second, addressing the unique needs of survivors in rural counties, including the challenges involved in access to care, transportation and follow-up treatment (5:4).Access is consistently listed as a major barrier to cancer care for many patients undergoing treatment. To help ensure access for patients living or being treated in Northwest Arkansas, Hope Cancer provides financial assistance in the form of gas cards and free transportation utilizing our agency-owned vehicles for cancer patients needing assistance. For patients who do not have the resources or are physically unable to drive themselves to treatment, our patient assistance programs become a lifeline to their cancer care.


Gay Prescott
5835 West Sunset Avenue
Springdale, AR 72762

St. Bernard’s Development Foundation

Program: Bringing Breast Health Services to Your Community
Funding Amount: $55,000.00
Counties Served: Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Jackson, Lawrence, Lee, Mississippi, Monroe, Phillips, Poinsett, Randolph, Sharp, St. Francis, and Woodruff.
Focus Area: Breast Cancer


Summary of Grant: St. Bernards Healthcare is dedicated to the underserved women of Northeast Arkansas. The mission is to provide Christ-like healing to communities through, education, treatment, and health services aligning with the main goal of Chapter 3 of the Arkansas Cancer Plan, to reduce deaths from female breast cancer in Arkansas. Throughout the project period, St. Bernards Mobile Mammography Unit (MMU) will persistently work to reach out to women in the 18 county service area to deliver breast health services and navigate them through education, screening, and continuum of care. Many women face barriers preventing them from seeking breast health services. Whether it be financial, lack of education, inadequate or no insurance or lack of transportation, these women are deserving of efficient, effective quality healthcare.

The MMU will remove structural barriers such as hours of operation and lack of transportation that make it harder for women to receive screenings. St. Bernards MMU is available 7 days a week and offers extended hours. It employs 2 full-time registered mammographers and a full-time Mobile Mammography Coordinator, a registered mammographer, all with flexible hours. St. Bernards is currently collaborating with BreastCare to provide screening mammograms in an “After-Hour and Weekend Program”. The Regional BreastCare Coordinator will be on site at Local Health Units, along with the St. Bernards MMU, to sign uninsured/underinsured women up for BreastCare. St. Bernards MMU will collaborate with 75 host sites to provide 119 free screening services to uninsured/underinsured women, to include screening mammograms and clinical breast exams. The MMC will contact host site coordinators to schedule a date for services and will travel to these communities to increase screening rates in efforts to reduce late-stage breast cancer diagnosis and reduce mortality.

Bringing Breast Health Services to your Community will provide breast health education to 1,800 women. The MMC will attend at least 12 screening events at churches, rural clinics, work sites, civic organizations, etc., to take advantage of every opportunity to educate women on the importance of breast health issues and increase Breast Self-Awareness.


Julie Adamson
1144 East Matthews
Jonesboro, AR 72401

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Program: Improving Access to Cancer Genetic Counseling and Testing Through Telehealth
Funding Amount: $54,554.00
Counties Served: Statewide
Focus Area: Genomics


Summary of Grant: Approximately 3-5% of all colon and endometrial cancer cases are caused by a genetic syndrome called Lynch syndrome. Because we have effective methods of screening for and even preventing these cancers, national guidelines now emphasize the importance of assessing all colon and endometrial cancer patients for Lynch syndrome. In the past, assessment focused mainly on the family history of cancer and certain characteristics of the patient’s cancer, such as whether it was found at a particularly young age. However, these strategies fail to capture all Lynch syndrome families. Current recommendations emphasize screening the tumor for abnormalities suggestive of Lynch syndrome, which can then be confirmed with a blood test. Since 2014, all colon and endometrial cancer patients at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences have been screened for Lynch syndrome at the time of their initial surgery. However, many cancer patients cared for outside of UAMS currently lack access to cancer genetics experts and are not offered Lynch syndrome screening.The goal of this project is to extend that screening to colon and endometrial cancer patients across the state by capitalizing on the robust telehealth infrastructure present in Arkansas. In a Community Review Board that we conducted in Texarkana in January 2017, the community experts were overwhelming in favor of having genetic counseling available to them in their local area. We propose a cancer genetics case conference convened on a regular basis via telehealth technology so that local providers can be educated about Lynch syndrome, present their cancer cases, and be guided through the algorithm for Lynch syndrome screening by UAMS experts. This will allow Arkansas cancer patients receiving their care in the community to receive the genetic evaluation that is available to UAMS patients, bringing community care into compliance with the national standard of care.


Suzanne Alstadt

4301 West Markham Slot 812
Little Rock, AR 72205

Washington Regional Medical Foundation

Program: Cancer Support Home
Funding Amount: $35,000
Counties Served: Benton, Carroll, Madison, and Washington.

Focus Area: Survivorship

Summary of Grant: Washington Regional Cancer Support Home (CSH) meets the needs of cancer patients, their families and the Northwest Arkansas community for over twenty-two years. With two locations in Washington and Benton counties, CSH provides a variety of support services and programs for cancer patients and their families throughout the region. Services include overnight lodging, support groups, a wig and prostheses boutique, counseling services, art therapy classes, an exercise program, cancer screenings, cancer navigation, financial assistance and a resource library with internet access. CSH is requesting support for three programs that directly address goals of the Arkansas Cancer Plan: overnight lodging for patients during cancer treatment, the Colorectal Cancer Outreach Program (CCOP) and the Washington Regional Mobile Dental Unit (MDU) program. These programs address the goals and objectives in the Colorectal Cancer, Oral Cancer and Survivorship chapters of the Arkansas Cancer Plan. Patients from more rural counties in Arkansas travel into Northwest Arkansas for treatment. Patients often receive treatment multiple times a week over the course of many weeks. Traveling back and forth each day can be both a financial and physical burden for patients in active treatment. Under the Arkansas Cancer Plan’s Survivorship goals, CSH is working to help “reduce the number of cancer deaths and increase the number of cancer survivors who are living five years or longer after diagnosis,” by offering assistance to help patients complete their cancer treatment. The free lodging available at CSH alleviates some of the burdens that cancer patients face and increases their access to high-quality care.

Ryan Worley
1101 N. Woolsey Ave
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703

Wells Bayou Youth Development, Inc.

Program: Understanding of Bio-Banking in Women that Lack Access to Breast Care Using Colorectal Cancer Screening as a Proxy
Funding Amount: $45,298.00
Counties Served: Desha, Drew, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

Focus Area: Breast Cancer

Summary of Grant: African Americans (AA) have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial and ethnic group in the US for most cancers. Particularly among African American women, the most commonly diagnosed cancer is breast cancer. Next, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women. In addition, AA women have the highest breast cancer mortality rates compared to other ethnic groups within the state of Arkansas. Since the Human Genome was mapped in 2003, scientists have been very instrumental in analyzing biospecimens for the identification of novel ways to treat, cure, or even prevent human diseases based upon an individual’s genetic makeup. Therefore, human biospecimens have the potential to bridge the gap between emerging molecular information and clinical information. Although African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer compared to white women, a significant barrier to scientific breakthroughs in biomedical research still exists considering the lack of volunteer participation among AA in donating their biospecimens to scientific research (referred to as bio-banking). In support of the Arkansas Cancer Plan, the Arkansas Delta Bio-banking Program (BBP) will target 155 AA women ages 40 and above by collaborating with the UAMS Mobile Mammography Program (MMP) , UAMS Colorectal Cancer Screening and Prevention Program (CCSP), and community partners to increase awareness and voluntary participation in bio-banking activities using colorectal cancer screening as a proxy.The BBP aims to identify a total of 155 AA women ages 40 and above by collaborating with the MMP, CCSP, and community organizations to increase awareness of and voluntary participation in bio-banking. The current proposal will assess AA women understanding of biobanking and whether culturally competent approaches influence their decision to donate their biospecimen. Wells Bayou will conduct two studies: the first a structured focus group interviews with 25 participants to ascertain the perceptions of AA regarding bio-banking (Activity 1) and a quantitative study with 130 participants that will compare actual or objective perceptions of bio-banking (Activity 2). The primary aim of both the focus group study and the quantitative study is to evaluate perceptions that may influence behaviors associated with resistance to bio-banking and to use this information to develop a culturally sensitive health promotion program. Finally, Wells Bayou will determine the return rate of participants for CRC screening using FIT.


Ermer Preston

PO Box 523
Gould, AR 71643

Arkansas Immunization Action Coalition

Program: HPV Vaccination Workgroup
Funding Amount: $25,000.00
Counties Served: Statewide

Focus Area: Cervical Cancer

Summary of Grant: According to the 2016 America’s Health Rankings report, Arkansas is currently ranked 49th and 40th for boys and girls 13-17 years of age who received 3 doses of the HPV vaccine. Key healthcare stakeholders recognized this as a priority and convened an HPV Vaccination Workgroup, with the intent of increasing vaccination rates and preventing long-term sequelae associated with HPV infection. Many groups are invested in improving the state’s HPV vaccination rates; groups include but are not limited to: the Arkansas Cancer Coalition, the Cervical Cancer Task Force, the Arkansas Immunization Action Coalition, the American Cancer Society, the Arkansas Department of Health, and many more. The aforementioned stakeholders took a strong interest in reaching the medically underserved areas and populations of the state, especially because of the limited access to medical services, poverty, and low levels of educational attainment and health literacy. With the primary goal of developing a comprehensive and strategic approach to increasing HPV vaccination rates, specifically focusing on health literacy appropriate education and provider education, the workgroup sought out current educational resources, developed materials to fill in identified educational gaps, and pursued innovative and creative means of educating healthcare providers on the necessity of the HPV vaccine.The allocated funds from the Arkansas Cancer Coalition will 1.) pay a person to convene and facilitate a statewide HPV Vaccination Workgroup as an on-going function, 2.) continue to support unique and practical state-wide healthcare provider education, and 3.) establish a pool of funds that the HPV Vaccination Workgroup could use to complete projects in support of the HPV vaccination objectives. The Arkansas Immunization Action Coalition will manage the activities and the Arkansas Pharmacy Foundation will be the immediate steward of the grant dollars as the sponsoring non-profit 501(c)(3).Contact:John Vinson

417 South Victory Street
Little Rock, AR 72201

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