Cancer

The American Cancer Society Awards Spectrum Health Cancer Program Transportation Grant to Remove Barriers for Cancer Patients Receiving Treatment

October 4, 2021

**Sharing on behalf of the American Cancer Society**

For all Spectrum Health Cancer program sites including Grand Rapids, Pennock, Ludington, Reed City, Big Rapids, Fremont, and Greenville starting September 1, 2021. 

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently awarded Spectrum Health a $15,000 grant to help alleviate the financial burden of transportation costs for cancer patients.  The grant will enable Spectrum Health to assist more than 250 cancer patients with rides to treatment in 2021.

For cancer patients, lack of transportation creates a significant barrier to receiving lifesaving treatment and is known to contribute to disparities in cancer outcomes. The ACS grant is part of a $2 million national transportation investment provided to health systems across the country.

Each year, the ACS typically serves under 6,000 cancer patients with transportation assistance through our existing transportation grants program. During 2020, the program provided more than 71,000 rides. But a gap remains in many communities for cancer patients for whom transportation is a challenge.

“ACS patient support services—such as these transportation grants—fill critical cancer gaps and are aligned to the ACS goal of improving lives of patients and their families,” said Kathy Goss, PhD, regional vice president of Cancer Control at the American Cancer Society. “The newly awarded grant funding provides a boost of support to help address currently unmet needs in Grand Rapids, Pennock, Ludington, Reed City, Big Rapids, Fremont, and Greenville.

“We are grateful for the generosity and continued support from the American Cancer Society,” said Anas Al-Janadi, MD, vice president and department chief for hematology and oncology at Spectrum Health.  “This funding will positively impact the lives of our patients and will make treatment much more accessible for those who struggle with transportation.”

Transportation is the third most-commonly cited barrier to accessing health services for older adults. Every year, 3.6 million people in the United States do not obtain medical care due to transportation issues. Transportation issues include lack of vehicle access, inadequate infrastructure, long distances and lengthy times to reach needed services, transportation costs, and adverse policies that affect travel.

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is on a mission to free the world from cancer. We invest in lifesaving research, provide 24/7 information and support, and work to ensure that individuals in every community have access to cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. For more information, visit cancer.org.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system that provides care and coverage, comprising 31,000+ team members, 14 hospitals (including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital), a robust network of care facilities, teams of nationally recognized doctors and providers, and the nation’s third-largest provider-sponsored health plan, Priority Health, currently serving over 1 million members across the state of Michigan. People are at the heart of everything we do. Locally governed and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are focused on our mission: to improve health, inspire hope and save lives. Spectrum Health has a legacy of strong community partnerships, philanthropy and transparency. Through experience, innovation and collaboration, we are reimagining a better, more equitable model of health and wellness.

Contact:
Rick Jensen
Media Relations
Office: 616.391.5291
Mobile: 616.706.2608
Email: richard.jensen@spectrumhealth.org