10 Washington groups take on cancer health disparities with grants from Fred Hutch (2024)

A record number of applicants vied this year for grants of up to $15,000 from the Community Grants Program, which supports projects to reduce cancer health disparities in Washington state. Ten organizations serving counties across the state will use the funds to increase access to screenings, provide mental health care for people with low income, mentor early-career oncologists and more.

“This year, our request for applications was aligned with the community health needs assessment we do every three years,” said Liz Tallent, community health education manager for the , which operates the grants program. “The assessment helps us identify who is at highest risk for cancer in our state, who has the highest burden of cancer incidence or mortality, and which are the top cancer sites.”

The OCOE, housed at Fred Hutch Cancer Center, is part of the Fred Hutch/University of Washington/Seattle Children’s Cancer Consortium.

Based on the most recent assessment, the program prioritized projects serving Black Americans, Native Americans and Alaska Natives; those at risk for breast or colorectal cancer; and those who have not received a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, which helps eliminate risk from cervical and other HPV-driven cancers.

“We also focused on projects in counties that might not have participated in this grants program in the past or where we could form new partnerships to help support local work,” Tallent said.

Community-based organizations, non-profits, 501(c)3 groups and tribes are eligible to apply. Along with receiving funding, each awardee is connected with a Fred Hutch community health educator to aid their efforts. Over time, the grant program is meant to build the organizations’ capacity to make a meaningful impact by planning, developing, implementing and evaluating evidence-based projects that meet specific needs.

And the learning goes both ways.

Sitting down together with people from diverse organizations helps the OCOE team better understand how Fred Hutch can best serve every Washingtonian, especially those who might be underserved today.

“It’s a privilege to go through the full one-year grant cycle with a partner doing work relevant to the community they serve or the area they are in,” Tallentsaid. “We get to help equip people doing that important work with the tools they need, and we learn so much from each awardee in return.”

Grant funds for 2024-2025 came from the OCOE, the Community Benefit Program and the Science Education Partnership.

This year’s grantees and funded projects include:

  • Binaytara Foundation: “Washington Physician Mentorship Program for Cancer Care Equity”
    The mentorship program will connect five Alaska Native, Black, Hispanic or Native American oncologists who are early in their careers with mentors who are leaders in their field. The goal is to support the mentees so they can reach more patients from these priority populations using evidence-based strategies and reduce treatment delays.
  • Cancer Lifeline: “Increasing Access to Mental Healthcare for Low-Income and Marginalized Individuals Living with Cancer”
    With its grant, Cancer Lifeline will provide free mental health counseling by licensed therapists to 120 cancer patients or survivors who might otherwise not be able to afford services. Cancer-focused counseling can help improve quality of life, but is not always accessible to people with low incomes or those who are uninsured or underinsured.
  • Cancer Pathways: “SUNSET: Sun Safety, Education and Training”
    Cancer Pathways will develop a comprehensive, culturally-relevant curriculum on sun safety and skin cancer risk reduction and will host a workshop intended mainly for Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders. They will also train up to 20 local educators and community leaders to offer the workshop to more people.
  • Feast World Kitchen: “Representative Community Health Around the Table”
    To promote breast cancer screenings and other preventive health services to immigrants, Feast World Kitchen will recruit three women who represent major former-refugee populations in Spokane, Washington. The recruits will complete formal community health worker training and then do outreach to the immigrant community they are part of and put on gatherings centered around food.
  • Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Providence: “CHW Outreach to Improve Preventative Cancer Screening Rates in Underrepresented Populations”
    Kadlec will add a community health worker, or CHW, to its primary care team to encourage more patients to get preventive care, such as breast cancer screenings, colorectal cancer screenings and HPV vaccinations. They will deliver culturally adapted outreach and help identify and remove barriers to care, including helping patients schedule the services they need.
  • Lahai Health: “Increased Access to Women’s Cancer Screenings for Uninsured Adults”
    With its grant, Lahai Health will provide no-cost mammograms, cervical cancer screenings and other women’s health screenings. The project will prioritize people who are uninsured, are living at very low income levels and may face other barriers to getting care, such as limited English proficiency. They will also provide referrals to no- or low-cost specialty care for patients who need it.
  • Nuestras Raíces(“our roots”): “Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening Education and Care Referrals for Hispanic/Latine People”
    Nuestras Raíces will launch a multi-pronged effort to promote breast and cervical cancer screenings and follow-up care to people in Spokane County through culturally and linguistically attuned workshops, its existing women’s groups/activities and social media. (Editor's note: Nuestras Raíces prefers the gender-neutral term Latine, sometimes written Latinx.)
  • South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency (SPIPA): “Pathways to Wellness: Outreach to Reduce Breast Cancer Amongst Chehalis, Squaxin Island, Shoalwater Bay, Nisqually and Skokomish Nations”
    The SPIPA Northwest Women’s Wellness Program will partner with the five tribes in SPIPA to hold a series of community outreach activities promoting prevention and early detection of breast cancer. Their plans include a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk and the Cancer Prevention Color Run, where they will focus on sharing information about healthy lifestyles and regular cancer screenings.
  • Tacoma Urban League: “Breast Health Navigator Program 2024”
    Tacoma Urban League created a program in 2017 to support Black women get screening mammograms. In the years since, the group has refined the program along with their health care partners to continue improving results. With this year’s grant, Tacoma Urban League will recruit and train four community health workers to guide women in scheduling appointments and going to screening events.
  • YMCA of Greater Seattle: “Empowering Resilience: Advancing Breast Cancer Awareness, Prevention and Treatment Through Community Engagement”
    YMCA of Greater Seattle will use its grant to hold educational workshops and screening events and offer support, such as help with scheduling, transportation and childcare, to encourage more Black women to get annual breast cancer screenings. The group’s goal is to reduce breast cancer mortality.

Community organizations that are interested in learning more about how to participate in this program next year can visit the OCOE’s Community Grants Program website.

10 Washington groups take on cancer health disparities with grants from Fred Hutch (2024)


Is Fred Hutch a good cancer center? ›

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, WA is nationally ranked in 1 adult specialty and rated high performing in 6 adult procedures and conditions. It is a cancer facility.

What is Seattle Cancer Care Alliance ranked? ›

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) is proud to be ranked among the top 10 cancer hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report's 2020-2021 “Best Hospitals” survey.

What is the #1 cancer treatment center in the US? ›

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today was named number one in the nation for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report's 2023-24 “Best Hospitals” survey. The institution has been one of the nation's top two hospitals for cancer care since the survey's inception in 1990.

Which cancer charity is the best? ›

Cancer Charities
CureSearch for Children's CancerB+
Dana-Farber Cancer InstituteA
Entertainment Industry Foundation / Stand Up To CancerA-
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What is the best hospital in Washington state for cancer? ›

  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center/University of Washington Medical Center. ...
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center. ...
  • Swedish First Hill Hospital. ...
  • Overlake Medical Center & Clinics. ...
  • MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital. ...
  • Providence St. ...
  • Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children's Hospital. ...
  • EvergreenHealth Kirkland.

What is Fred Hutch cancer Center known for? ›

Fred Hutch is a world leader in researching leukemia — cancer of the blood or bone marrow — and is the place where bone marrow transplantation, one of the most significant advances in treating leukemia, was pioneered.

What is the best state for cancer treatment? ›

Minnesota tops our list of states with the best cancer care. The state has low average costs of health insurance and the best access to medical care. Georgia, Oklahoma and Wisconsin placed at the bottom of our evaluation, due to the high cost of insurance and limited access to public health coverage.

What are the top 3 cancer centers? ›

The best hospitals for cancer care

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

What is Fred Hutch Cancer Center known for? ›

Fred Hutch is a world leader in researching leukemia — cancer of the blood or bone marrow — and is the place where bone marrow transplantation, one of the most significant advances in treating leukemia, was pioneered.

Who is Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center affiliated with? ›

Fred Hutch is an independent, nonprofit organization, that also serves as UW Medicine's cancer program. This unique relationship allows for enhanced care coordination with one of the world's leading integrated health systems .

What is the best sarcoma center in United States? ›

MD Anderson treats more sarcoma patients than any other cancer center, which translates to a remarkable level of experience and expertise. Our surgeons are among the most skilled in the world in surgery for sarcoma.

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