More than 80% of cancer patients turn to local healthcare facilities for care. But those small-town centers many times don’t have access to the latest innovations found in the leading academic and research institutions. To take on this geographic inequality, the COE — winner of the 2019 Catalyst for Care Award — is bringing top-tier multidisciplinary cancer care to community hospitals across the country. The program is patient-focused; COE director Leah Fine describes it as all about hugs, not handshakes. And it’s working. With 30 COEs across 14 states, the organization has treated more than 20,000 patients.

For more remarkable stories from the 2019 Winners of the Cancer Community Awards, visit our Heroes of Cancer Care collection.

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