TAMPA, Fla. and MIAMI (March 28, 2023) – Moffitt Cancer Center and Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth — University of Miami Health System and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, are teaming up to increase cancer screening and prevention education throughout the state. The two institutions will be funding community implementation grants for members of the Florida Regional Cancer Control Collaborative. Cancer collaboratives are regional groups of cancer stakeholders who plan and implement cancer control efforts to address the 21 goals outlined in the Florida Cancer Plan.
The collaboratives are funded by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) and monies the FDOH receives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recent budget shortfalls have put new projects in jeopardy of not getting funding, so Moffitt and Sylvester’s community outreach offices banded together to help fill the gap.
“Florida has the second highest cancer burden in the nation. Healthcare providers and agencies across the state need to work together to make sure all Floridians understand their cancer risk, know when to get screened and have equitable access to cancer prevention and care services. These community implementation grants will help reach communities across the state to share that lifesaving information,” said Susan T. Vadaparampil, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate center director, Community Outreach, Engagement and Equity at Moffitt.
“This collaborative, statewide approach puts cancer experts on the street. These community activations include critical education, awareness and screening opportunities with a focus on rural and medical underserved communities,” said Erin N. Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate director, Population Sciences and Cancer Disparity at Sylvester and co-chair of the Florida Cancer Control & Research Advisory Council (CCRAB).
“These projects help us take the Florida Cancer Plan and put it into action through strong partnerships and evidence-based interventions to improve cancer prevention and early detection,” said Clement K. Gwede, Ph.D., M.P.H., co-chair of CCRAB.
Each of the six collaboratives had the opportunity to submit for a grant. Four regions submitted projects and will receive the funding. Here are the recipients:
North West Florida Cancer Control Collaborative
The North West Florida Cancer Control Collaborative will launch an education intervention to increase regular screening and early detection of breast cancer among women in its region. The outreach will be to women ages 25 to 74 with special attention to uninsured and underinsured populations. The project aligns with the Florida Cancer Plan goal that seeks to reduce breast cancer mortality through early detection of breast cancers. This region includes Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Leon, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Taylor, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.
North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative
The North Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative’s project is The Small-Town, Giant Colon Experience. Several community educational events will be held allowing people to walk through a giant 12-foot inflatable colon to learn about screening and risk factors for colon cancer. The initiative aligns with the Florida Cancer Plan’s goal to reduce colorectal cancer mortality through early detection. This region includes Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Lafayette, Levy, Putnam, Suwannee and Union counties.
East Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative
The East Central Florida Cancer Control Collaborative is launching an initiative to reduce the number of people at risk of radon-induced lung cancer in six counties (Brevard, Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Lake, Sumter and Marion) by enabling residents to initially screen for an unsafe level of the naturally occurring, colorless and odorless gas. This project address two goals in the Florida Cancer Plan: identifying and addressing home radon risk and encouraging the early detection of lung cancer through screening.
Southeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborative
The Southeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborative’s project focuses on increasing prostate cancer screening and clinical trial participation through the expansion of educational campaigns and peer support groups. It aligns with the Florida Cancer Plan goal to reduce prostate cancer mortality in the state. The region includes Broward, Indian River, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties.
About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 53 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s scientific excellence, multidisciplinary research, and robust training and education. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 7,800 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.4 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
About Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth — University of Miami Health System and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated and nationally ranked cancer center in South Florida, according to U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 Best Hospitals for Cancer. NCI designation is the "gold standard" for cancer centers and recognizes that Sylvester has met the most rigorous standards for cancer research, beginning in our laboratories, extending to patient care, and addressing specific needs in our community. It also offers a Phase 1 clinical trials program – the first step in evaluating how patients respond to the latest investigational treatments. Equipped with a highly qualified team of nearly 2,500 cancer-focused physicians, researchers, and support staff working together, Sylvester discovers, develops, and delivers more precision cancer care. To serve current and future patients, Sylvester has a network of 10 conveniently located outpatient treatment facilities throughout South Florida.