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Yale Cancer Center Announces Community Leadership Project Awards

December 18, 2023

Yale Cancer Center recently awarded three community organizations in Connecticut with Community Leadership Project grants. Community Action Agency of New Haven, Inc., Sister Girl Foundation, and Sisters’ Journey each received $10,000 to fund projects addressing cancer prevention, screening, or education.

“At Yale Cancer Center, it is critical to us that we involve our community members in the research we do. To expand this effort, we are thrilled to provide pilot grants to three, local community organizations doing important work related to cancer screening, research, and care,” said Eric Winer, MD, Director of Yale Cancer Center and President and Physician-in-Chief of Smilow Cancer Hospital.

Project submissions considered for funding focused on high priority cancers including breast, liver, lung, and prostate, as well as projects to address early onset cancers (cancer in adults 18-49 years of age), obesity/energy-balance, and tobacco use. The goals of the Community Leadership Project Awards are to increase cancer screening or awareness, reduce disparities in cancer care, and improve access to treatments.

Community Action Agency of New Haven, Inc., an organization that creates pathways to prosperity for those in poverty in the Greater New Haven area through service, collaboration, advocacy, and knowledge generation will use the funding to expand current outreach and education of cancer awareness and prevention. This will include informational campaigns, workshops, and community events to raise awareness about different types of cancer, risk factors, and ways to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The Sister Girl Foundation is an organization geared towards providing advocacy, support, education, and awareness for patients with breast, ovarian and gynecological cancers, endometriosis, and infertility. Services also include one on one advocacy and emotional and peer-support during treatment and doctors’ appointments for patients and their caregivers. They will fund weekly workshops that focus on a patient’s mind, body, soul, health and wellness, and emotional well-being to provide an outlet for stress and anxiety-reduction and to meet others who are going through similar challenges. They are planning to utilize local small businesses within the community to host their “I Am Sister Girl” Retreat Day©, giving patients tools to feel empowered, supported, and informed.

Sisters’ Journey is a faith-based organization founded to ensure that no one endures or experiences the challenges of being diagnosed with breast cancer alone. Understanding that the mortality rate for Black women diagnosed with breast cancer is significantly higher than in white women, despite the incidence being lower, Sisters’ Journey hopes to increase awareness of early onset breast cancer in Black women, in both the community and with care providers, to ensure that appropriate screening and testing are conducted.

Yale Cancer Center will provide content expertise to support the funded projects and looks forward to supporting additional community inspired programs in the coming year.

Submitted by Renee Gaudette on December 18, 2023