Cancer center receives $1 million grant to equalize health care

The GW Cancer Center received a $1 million grant for a training program to promote health equity and improve communications for patients and providers, according to a release.

The Pfizer Foundation, a charitable organization that provides funds and resources to improve global health strategies, awarded the grant to the center to advance cancer care by improving communication, patient health literacy and cultural sensitivity between patients and health care providers.

Mandi Pratt-Chapman, the lead researcher and associate center director for patient-centered initiatives and health equity at the GW Cancer Center, said in the release that health care professionals are pressed for time and patients are often overwhelmed by information.

“We will develop tools to help patients identify their priorities for care and clarify when information is confusing,” Pratt-Chapman said. “We will also train patient navigators and clinicians on communication techniques to support patient engagement and understanding of information across diverse and intersecting backgrounds.”

This grant will continue efforts to help patients make informed choices about their health care through the GW Cancer Center’s Prepared Patient Program.

The program will train patients to advocate for themselves, and health care providers will learn culturally sensitive practices, according to the release.

This research will also examine the ways gender, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity and income impact the patient and provider relationship. Researchers hope to determine if providers who received this training will be more committed to providing culturally sensitive care, the release states.

“Productive patient-provider interactions are essential to ensuring that all individuals living with cancer are able to access quality care,” Caroline Roan, the president of the Pfizer Foundation, said in the release. “We are pleased to be working with the GW Cancer Center on this initiative to improve access to patient-centered, equitable oncology care for women.”

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