Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Awards Community Health Grants to Regional Nonprofits

Awards designed to support health activities that increase access for underserved populations.

SEATTLE – (April 13, 2021) Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) announced today the recipients of its community health grants, designed to aid organizations focused on supporting cancer-related community health activities. This year’s beneficiaries are the Cierra Sisters, Communities of Color Coalition and the Korean Women’s Association. These organizations focus on health promotion, education, health services and cancer screenings throughout King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

“At SCCA, we are committed to ensuring that leading-edge cancer care is available to everyone in our community, and part of that responsibility is to support organizations that help advance health equity among diverse communities,” explained Nancy Davidson, MD, President and Executive Director Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. “We are very inspired by the work of the organizations selected and look forward to watching them expand their efforts to reach even more people.”

In 2019, SCCA published a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) that identified four major areas of cancer-related health needs in the community, based on input from community thought leaders and a review of cancer-related public health data. The four areas include culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach, cancer prevention and screening, access to care and Indigenous health. This year’s beneficiaries represent the key areas of focus.

Funding criteria for SCCA’s community health grant recipients include activities supporting high-needs and underserved populations that may face barriers to accessing health services. Grantees responded to a request for proposals and were chosen by the SCCA Community Benefit Steering Committee from a wide range of community health organizations to represent all three counties in the community benefit service area.

  • Cierra Sisters is a breast cancer education and support organization whose mission is to break the cycle of fear and empower African American and underserved communities with evidencebased knowledge to detect, treat, and overcome breast cancer. Cierra Sisters engages low-to-no income women and families of color living in South King and North Pierce counties. SCCA provided funding to Cierra Sisters in 2019 to support breast cancer peer education and screenings. This year, the COVID-19 crisis has created urgent needs for the community due to income loss, isolation, and lack of adequate safety precautions. The current grant will support focus groups to learn more about how cancer patients, survivors and family members are coping with COVID-19. The information gathered will be used to ensure community members are connected to the best available resources. “This important project will help up forge the essential connections needed as we continue to support the African American cancer community,” stated Bridgette Hempstead, Cierra Sisters Founder and CEO.
     
  • Communities of Color Coalition (C3), located in Snohomish County, educates and advocates for social justice and human rights, especially for people of color and other under-represented groups that have been systemically oppressed. C3 serves as the solution provider that bridges community needs with health care organizations. And because prostate cancer is the second- leading cause of cancer death in Black men, their grant will support free prostate cancer screenings in the community. Research has shown that an effective way to reduce the morbidity rate is to increase early detection. Among Black men a lack of education for early screening is indicative of the communities that are so adversely affected. And by making the free PSA test available it will provide another additional tool in early detection of prostate cancer. “C3 is proud to further our outreach to the community by offering free Initial PSA tests for Men of African Descent in Snohomish County with the acceptance of the grant provided by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance”, explained Ben Young, Director of Marketing and Grants at C3. “We welcome this opportunity to further lessen the disparities of health in the Black Community.”
     
  • Korean Women’s Association (KWA) was founded 45 years ago by a group of limited English proficiency immigrant women with a mission to help improve health equity for under-served communities. Today, they provide comprehensive and multi-cultural services that span in-home care, social services, community health care coordination, preventative health education, and behavioral health interventions. This is the second year KWA has been awarded a grant from SCCA. The funds will continue their work to support breast and colorectal cancer education and mobile mammogram events in Pierce and South King counties. "KWA is very thankful that Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is continuing to improve access to breast and colorectal cancer screening for BIPOC and immigrant communities with social determinants of health barriers. One of the unfortunate side effects of this pandemic has been plummeting rates in cancer screening. With this grant, we look forward to partnering with SCCA again to host mobile mammogram events," stated Suzanne Pak, KWA’s Director of Community & Behavioral Health.

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About Seattle Cancer Care Alliance

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance brings together the leading research teams and cancer specialists from Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s and UW Medicine — one extraordinary group whose sole purpose is the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for our patients. Based in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance has nine clinical care sites in the region, including a medical oncology clinic at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland; hematology/medical oncology and infusion services at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, medical and radiation oncology clinics at UW Medical Center - Northwest Seattle and medical oncology services at SCCA Issaquah, as well as Network affiliations with hospitals in five states. For more information about SCCA, visit seattlecca.org.

Contact:

Karina San Juan, ksanjuangu@seattlecca.org or (206) 606-1926

Heather Platisha, hplatisha@seattlecca.org or (206) 606-7239