Exact Sciences awards grants to health centers focused on improving cancer screenings in vulnerable populations
Exact Sciences Corp., a leading provider of cancer screening and diagnostic tests, announced Sept. 22 it awarded $525,000 in grants to eight federally qualified health centers focused on improving colorectal cancer screening rates in vulnerable populations, including Mountain Park Health Center in Phoenix and Mariposa Community Health Center in Santa Cruz County.
While headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, Exact Sciences has a significant presence on the Phoenix Bioscience Core located in the TGen Building.
“Exact Sciences is energized by the call to action within the Biden Administration’s Cancer Moonshot plan and recognizes the important role our company can play in defeating cancer,” said Dr. Durado Brooks, deputy chief medical officer, Screening at Exact Sciences. “Through our new national FOCUS program, we’re committed to expanding equitable access to early detection and reducing barriers to cancer care within our communities.”
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is treatable in 90% of cases when detected early, yet approximately 44 million average-risk Americans over age 45 remain unscreened.ii Half of premature colon cancer deaths are due to racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic inequalities.iii Black Americans are most likely to develop colorectal cancer, and most likely to die from it.iv Hispanic Americans have the second-highest death rate.
Exact Sciences’ new health equity program, Funding Opportunities for CRC Screening Uptake Strategies (FOCUS), provides grant funding to community organizations focused on addressing these disparities. Awardees will utilize the funds to implement evidence-based and informed intervention strategies proven to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. These include supporting the screening recovery after COVID-19, improving clinic practices to assist patients with the screening process, working with pharmacists to increase access to screening options, and enhancing patient navigation efforts.
Exact Sciences developed Cologuard®, the first and only FDA-approved, non-invasive, multi-target, stool-based DNA screening test. Since making the test available in 2014, more than 9 million people have used Cologuard to screen for colon cancer at home.
Exact Sciences reviewed submissions via its corporate grants process which is fully independent from sales and marketing activities. Funding decisions were solely based on the strength of the application and alignment to the FOCUS Program objectives, without regard to any actual or potential commercial relationship with potential grantees.
Other health centers that received the $525,000 grants include Access Community Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin; AtlantiCare Health Services in Atlantic City, New Jersey; Community HealthCare Network in New York City; Angeles Community Health Center in Los Angeles; Mariposa Community Health Center in Santa Cruz County in Arizona; Mount Sinai Internal Medicine Associates in New York City; and San Joaquin Health Center in Stockton, California.
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