The best cancer care comes from a combination of treatments and a wide range of services—from nutrition to social support—that ease the burden for people with cancer and their loved ones. Consequently, complete cancer care depends on equitable access to a team of experts, from advocates to oncologists, as well as unsung heroes dedicated to creating innovative solutions to address the unmet needs for patients and their families.
A collection of innovations in overall cancer care can be found in the finalists in this year’s Cancer Community Awards (or C2 Awards), which honor the individuals and organizations catalyzing positive change in the lives of those affected by cancer. Now in their fourth year, the C2 Awards are a partnership between AstraZeneca and Scientific American Custom Media, and they are part of AstraZeneca’s YOUR Cancer program, which aims to convene, engage, and celebrate the full breadth and depth of the oncology community and all who make a difference in the lives of those living with cancer and their loved ones.
This year’s 12 finalists were selected from nominations that cover 29 states and the District of Columbia, which were submitted by experts from organizations involved in advocacy, healthcare, public health, policy, and research. There are five award categories: C2 Catalyst for Change, C2 Catalyst for Equity, C2 Catalyst for Care, C2 Catalyst for Precision Medicine, and the President’s Award. A panel of judges, all leaders in the oncology community, reviewed and scored nominees for each category except the President’s Award, which was selected by AstraZeneca.
To meet the 2022 Catalyst Award finalists, watch the videos below. Also, stay tuned to learn more about the award winners, who will be announced at an awards celebration on October 19, 2022.
ADVANCING EARLY DETECTION: C2 CATALYST FOR CHANGE
Finalists for the C2 Catalyst for Change Award bring the highest quality of care to more patients and their families. Marianne T. Ritchie of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital developed a one-stop approach to multiple cancer screenings for women. In his efforts to eradicate disparities, Charles R. Rogers of the Medical College of Wisconsin goes to barber shops and beyond to encourage early detection screening for colorectal cancer. At the Baptist Cancer Center, the team in the Thoracic Oncology Department developed an inclusive approach to the detection and treatment of lung cancer.
REACHING UNDERSERVED RURAL AND INNER-CITY COMMUNITIES: C2 CATALYST FOR EQUITY
Finalists for the C2 Catalyst for Equity Award strive to overcome long-standing disparities in improving access to preventive services and quality care in historically underserved communities. Kathy Levy of the GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer runs the Alabama Lung Cancer Awareness, Screening, and Education (ALCASE) program to reduce disparities in rural, largely African American, communities that have high levels of deaths from lung cancer. In nearly three decades of work in East Harlem, Nina Bickell of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai creates ways to reduce racial inequality in cancer treatment and outcomes for vulnerable populations. The Huntsman Cancer Institute and University of Utah’s Center for Health Outcomes and Population Equity (HOPE) develop community partnerships to improve cancer prevention and control among historically marginalized patients across Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
EASING THE BURDEN FOR EVERYONE: C2 CATALYST FOR CARE
Finalists for the C2 Catalyst for Care Award simplify the often complex steps of cancer care for patients and their families. Huntsman at Home makes house calls to treat patients within 25 miles of Salt Lake City and in three counties of rural communities in Utah. Sparrow’s Nest of the Hudson Valley cooks and delivers free home-cooked meals to almost 300 cancer patients and their families every week. In the Greater Cincinnati area, Cancer Family Care annually provides professional, individual and family counseling and support to more than 4,000 children and adults dealing with a cancer diagnosis in the family.
PERSONALIZING DETECTION AND TREATMENT: C2 CATALYST FOR PRECISION MEDICINE
Finalists for the C2 Catalyst for Precision Medicine Award develop new approaches to using genetic and molecular features of a patient’s cancer to get the right treatment to the right patient at the right time. Alana L. Welm of the Huntsman Cancer Institute creates models of a breast cancer patient’s tumor to pick the best treatment and even predict the response. Mark E. Burkard of the University of Wisconsin-Madison creates a statewide molecular tumor board that works together to analyze cancer genomics and develop the best treatment plan for a patient. Marc R. Matrana of Ochsner Health brings next-generation diagnostics and treatment to the underserved patients in Louisiana and Mississippi and advocates at the state and national level to improve access to these advances.