The American Cancer Society recently awarded a $24,000 transportation grant to St. Anthony Regional Cancer Center to ease the financial burden of transportation costs for patients with cancer. The Cancer Center will use the grant funding to purchase gas cards which will be distributed to patients throughout the region. No qualifications are needed for patients to receive this benefit. The money can also be used to help fund private transportation services to cancer appointments not covered by insurance.
“70 percent of the patients we serve drive 10-60 miles for treatment over an extended period of time,” said Lori Pietig, Director of Cancer Services at St. Anthony. “For some patients, public transportation is not an option, and it’s up to the patients and their caregivers to provide transportation. St. Anthony extends many thanks to the American Cancer Society for providing grant opportunities to assist with the financial burdens that comes with a cancer diagnoses.”
In 2022, more than 1.9 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States. In a large national study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI) in April, American Cancer Society researchers found U.S. cancer survivors who reported medical financial hardship had a higher mortality risk.
“The financial burden of cancer treatment directly contributes to disparities in cancer outcomes,” said Kevin Kann of the American Cancer Society. “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’s need most.”
From 1991 to 2019, there has been a 32% decline in cancer mortality. The American Cancer Society can directly attribute declines in the overall cancer death rate to investment of funds and resources in the areas of advocacy, discovery, and direct patient support. All people should have a fair and just opportunity to live a longer, healthier life free from cancer regardless of how much money they make, skin color, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status or where they live. The grant is one of 520 nationwide grants totaling over $7.5 million awarded by the American Cancer Society in 2022. Based on assistance provided through previous grant funding, these grants will provide more than 328,000 rides to treatment for nearly 25,000 people.