MOBILE — The USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute has been awarded grants totaling $45,000 from the American Cancer Society to help patients with transportation and lodging needs during their …
MOBILE — The USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute has been awarded grants totaling $45,000 from the American Cancer Society to help patients with transportation and lodging needs during their treatment.
Cancer patients undergoing treatment frequently require assistance getting to and from facilities, often creating a financial and logistical burden. Patient transportation and lodging grants from the American Cancer Society, awarded at a local level to health systems, treatment centers and community organizations, are intended to address these access-to-care needs for cancer patients and ultimately help save lives.
The grants awarded to the MCI include $30,000 for patient lodging and $15,000 for patient transportation.
“There are times when an oncology patient needs to travel from out of town to receive treatment, and the financial expenses can be a barrier to care,” said Sheila McElhany, associate manager of patient support care services for the MCI. “Helping patients with lodging and transportation can reduce the financial burden and make it easier for them to get the life-saving treatment they need.”
McElhany said that during the previous year, American Cancer Society grants enabled the MCI to assist 164 patients with transportation and 32 patients with lodging.
An estimated 30,730 Alabama residents will learn they have cancer this year, and getting to their scheduled treatment may be one of their greatest roadblocks. American Cancer Society patient transportation and lodging grants are available in select communities through an application process and focus on addressing unmet access-to-care needs of cancer patients, particularly vulnerable populations experiencing an unequal burden of cancer.
As the only academic cancer research and treatment facility in lower Alabama, the MCI serves the upper Gulf Coast region, which is spread across four states, with some patients traveling more than two hours to receive treatment.
“The financial burden of cancer treatment contributes to disparities in cancer outcomes,” said Leigh Davis, senior director, cancer center partnerships, at the American Cancer Society South Region in Birmingham. “We’re working to increase access and remove barriers to timely, high-quality cancer care. Providing these grants directly to local health systems and partners allows us to deliver assistance directly to patients when and where it is needed most.”