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Reach To Recovery website and app now in Spanish

​Creative assets and a paid promotional campaign is coming in May.

To better support the needs of those facing breast cancer, the Reach To Recovery® program fully transitioned to a digital first approach earlier this year. 

Since the program launched, more than 300 volunteers have been trained, and more than 1,700 patients have created a Reach To Recovery profile. Based on program surveys, patients report a 96% satisfaction rating.

Now, we are excited to share that the Reach To Recovery website and mobile app are available to patients in Spanish.

The Reach To Recovery website and app allow those facing breast cancer to create an online profile and see possible volunteer matches immediately. Patients who want to connect with a Spanish-speaking volunteer can indicate that preference when creating their profile.

Patients and volunteers can connect through online chat, phone, or exchanging messages. Video chat will also be available through the Reach To Recovery website and app later this year. 

Patients can access Reach To Recovery by visiting reach.cancer.org. To view the site in Spanish, patients should select “Spanish” from the language drop top at the top of the page. They can also search for ‘ACS Reach To Recovery’ on Google Play or the App Store to download the app. 

Volunteers should visit the Volunteer Community to complete Reach To Recovery volunteer training prior to registering online. Then, they will receive a unique invitation to create their online volunteer account.

Here’s what patients are saying about the program:

  • “It was super helpful to have tips for managing all the overwhelming to do list after my diagnosis. It was also helpful to talk to someone with a husband and how they managed the diagnosis as a couple.”
  • “It was wonderful to connect with someone under 40 and able to discuss the unique challenges of the diagnosis.”
  • “[The volunteer] provided the emotional support I needed and discussed a little more information about her own journey with cancer, so I felt much less alone after the call.”

Additional resources coming soon

Creative assets in English and Spanish will be available in May to help volunteers and staff promote the Reach To Recovery website and app. We’ll also launch a media campaign to drive broader awareness of and engagement with the program.


  • Five new ECHO series launching in Q2

    The first one, beginning April 27, focuses on racial disparities.

    The American Cancer Society is excited to announce the launch of the Disparities Reducing ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes), which will bring recipients of three ACS and Pfizer-funded grant opportunities on Breast Health Equity, Addressing Racial Disparities in Cancer Care, and Prostate Cancer Disparities together to discuss relevant disparities-reducing topics and provide an opportunity for learning and networking.  

    The series is set to launch Tuesday, April 27. ACS staff supporting the projects are invited to attend. 

    This is first of five ECHO series to launch through June 2021Additional series are focused on increasing HPV vaccination in UtahWyoming, and northern Texas, and increasing lung cancer biomarker testing in Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi.  

    For more information about these ECHO series, please contact the leads listed below: 

    • Back to School HPV ECHO – Hannah Nein, senior program manager, Rocky Mountain Area HPV 
    • Disparities Reducing ECHO – Karla Wysockisenior director, Clinical Interventions 
    • Lung Cancer Biomarker Testing ECHO – Kelly Durdendirector, Clinical Trials Roundtable 
    • Mission: HPV Cancer Free Texas Vaccination ECHO – Community Health Worker Clinic (including one English-language and one Spanish-language series) – Tralisa Hallprogram manager, HPV Cancer Free Texas 
    • Mission: HPV Cancer Free Texas Vaccination ECHO – Medical Clinic – Tralisa Hallprogram manager, HPV Cancer Free Texas 

    You can find more information about how ACS is using the ECHO model to fight cancer by visiting echo.cancer.org. There you will find information about past and ongoing ECHO series, including recordings, resources, and more! 

    What is Project ECHO? 

    Project ECHO is a virtual hub-and-spoke telementoring environment founded by Dr. Sanjeev Arora at the University of New Mexico. Hubs include a facilitator and expert faculty who share best practices and contribute to learning through case-based and didactic learning. Spokes learn from each other and experts from across the United States. 

    ACS launched its first ECHO in 2018 related to lung cancer patient support. Since then, 17 ACS-led ECHOs have focused on colorectal cancer treatment, increasing HPV vaccination and lung cancer screening rates, increasing access to smoking cessation resources, the impact of COVID-19 on cancer care teams and caregivers, and increasing organizational capacity in cancer-fighting organizations in Kenya and Uganda. 

    For more information about ECHO, please contact Richard Killewald, director, Cancer Control Interventions, Kristen Wehling, director, Interventions & Special Projects, or visit the Project ECHO Society Source page.


  • $1M grant will help fight cancer in at-risk communities

    With help from The Links, this collaboration aims to increase awareness of breast and colon cancer screenings.

    Cancer is a disease that affects everyone, but not equally. Studies indicate that Black Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial/ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers. 

    For the next year, ACS and the Anthem Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc., have committed to address the unequal burden of cancer by delivering cancer prevention and early detection information and resources in at-risk communities.

    Backed by a $1 million grant from Anthem, the collaboration will work to increase awareness of breast and colon cancer screening. The programming is anticipated to reach up to 10,000 people.

    "The risk factors for Black Americans impacted by breast and colon cancer is alarming and the work to improve early detection must include a focus on eliminating health barriers if we are going to challenge the status quo," said Shantanu Agrawal, MD, chief clinical officer at Anthem, Inc. "This is one more way we are working to foster an open dialogue in our at-risk communities and help to provide residents with access to tools and healthcare resources dedicated to early cancer screenings that will help further our goal to eliminate health disparities." 

    To help initiate and promote the conversations and group informational sessions, we have engaged The Links Foundation, Incorporated to train approximately 500 ACS/Links Health Ambassadors who will play a critical role in providing local resources to individuals and encourage them to seek care at community health centers.

    “The Links are trusted messengers across the country with a commitment to community service and advancing public health,” said Tawana Thomas-Johnson, our vice president, Diversity and Inclusion.

    The importance to reach and influence members within the Black community comes at a critical time. Research done by ACS shows that Black men are 1.2 times more likely to have new cases of colon cancer, as compared to non-Hispanic White men, and death rates among Black women diagnosed with breast cancer are approximately 40% higher than White women.

    "The statistics surrounding cancer and people of African descent are disheartening. We not only have the highest mortality rate, but when compared to other racial and ethnic groups, our survival of most cancers has the shortest window," said Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, PhD, national president of The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated. "Our organization exists to serve the community, and part of our service efforts are targeted at addressing cancer disparities and driving health equity in all communities touched by cancer. This grant from Anthem Foundation will allow us to continue transforming communities through community outreach and education," she added.

    About Anthem Foundation

    The Anthem Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc. Through strategic partnerships and programs, the Foundation addresses the social drivers that will help create a healthier generation of Americans in communities that Anthem, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on critical initiatives that make up its Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets: maternal health, diabetes prevention, cancer prevention, heart health and healthy, active lifestyles, behavioral health efforts, and programs that benefit people with disabilities. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s year-round Dollars for Dollars program which provides a 100% match of associates’ donations, as well as its Volunteer Time Off and Dollars for Doers community service programs. To learn more about the Anthem Foundation, please visit anthem.foundation and its blog at medium.com/anthemfoundation.

    About The Links Foundation, Incorporated

    The Links Foundation, Incorporated has contributed more than $25 million to charitable causes since its founding. In 2018, it named its fifth $1 million grantee – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Other million- dollar grantees include the United Negro College Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the National Civil Rights Museum, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture and History in Washington, D.C.

    About The Links, Incorporated

    The Links, Incorporated is an international, not-for-profit corporation established in 1946. Its membership consists of more than 16,000 professional women of color in 292 chapters in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. Links members contribute more than 1 million documented hours of community service annually. For more information, visit linksinc.org


  • ACS takes steps to reopen Hope Lodge facilities in Q3

    Since our Hope Lodge facilities temporarily closed to patients last year, we have been awaiting the day we can again welcome guests to these special communities. Now, the American Cancer Society is taking steps to prepare to open most Hope Lodge facilities in the third quarter of 2021.

    We’ll know more about reopening plans for specific facilities as we get into Q2, but we are planning for most communities to reopen at about 30 percent capacity.

    A number of factors impact each facility’s readiness to reopen, including COVID-19 rates and trends in a community, staffing levels, and building readiness.

    To reopen, each market must meet the following criteria as reported by globalepidemics.org:

    • COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people must be below 10.0 for at least two consecutive weeks in the county/parish in which the facility is located.
    • The COVID-19 test positivity rate must be 5% or less.

    Our commitment to safety

    We are taking steps to create the safest possible environment for guests and staff. This includes:

    • Facilities. Each facility will be deep cleaned prior to opening. High-touch areas, such as door handles and light switches, will be disinfected at least twice daily. Air handling and HVAC units will ensure maximum filtration.
    • Personal protection. Guests and staff should be symptom free and with no close exposures within 10 days of arrival. Masks will be required, handwashing is highly encouraged, and sanitation stations will be available. Additionally, we are strongly encouraging guests to complete vaccination 14 days prior to their stay at a Hope Lodge location.
    • Distancing. Physical distancing will be required in common areas.
    • Referral partners. We are requiring referral partners in each market provide an in-market COVID test for patients and caregivers within 5 days of arrival at Hope Lodge. We will also require partners to find alternate lodging for any guest who becomes symptomatic or tests positive for COVID during their stay.

    Facility updates

    We are pleased to share that two Hope Lodge facilities will open for the first time: the American Cancer Society Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Hope Lodge in Houston and the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge in Dallas.

    The facility in St. Louis, now called the American Cancer Society Worldwide Technology Hope Lodge, will reopen in a larger, state-of-the-art building next door to the previous location.

    Other facilities have undergone renovations, expansions, or upgrades during the period they were not open to guests, including those in Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Lexington, New York, and Philadelphia.

    We will share more information about our plans as we get closer to reopening.


  • ACS teams up with the National Basketball Wives Association

    The partnership will prioritize funding cancer research grants for HBCU medical and STEM students.

    The American Cancer Society and the National Basketball Wives Association (NBWA) have teamed up to inspire millions to join the fight against cancer through the power of advocacy, basketball, and sport.   

    Together, these two organizations join in a mission to ensure that no one is disadvantaged in their fight against cancer and to help eliminate barriers to cancer prevention and treatment in underserved Black and Latinx communities.  

    The NBWA is the official nonprofit charitable membership organization represented by wives, significant others, and life partners of active and former NBA players. 

    The partnership will focus on initiatives that ensure that the fight against cancer includes a diverse group of cancer researchers from all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. According to data from the National Institute of Health, the combined number of grant applications from Black and Latinx scientists is less than 7%  ̶  with less than two percent of those grant applications submitted by Black or African American cancer researchers. This translates to fewer people of color entering career stages of cancer research, and inevitably, fewer scientists of color working to develop cancer breakthroughs.   

    “The American Cancer Society is committed to tackling racial disparities related to cancer. To do this, we must address the critical need for diversity in the scientific workforce,” said Howard Byck, our senior vice president of Corporate and Sports Alliances. “We are grateful that the National Basketball Wives Association is joining us in this fight and lending their talent and influence to this important issue.” 

    Funds raised through this partnership will support our Diversity in Cancer Research Internship program and will provide internship grants to African American students at Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) to increase their entry into the field of cancer research. African Americans have the highest death rate for most cancers, yet are the most underrepresented group in the field of cancer research. 

    “Our 2021 goal is focused on health and education equity, the two widening gaps that have adversely affected our most vulnerable communities,” said Mia Wright, NBWA president. “We are proud to be in the fight against cancer with American Cancer Society, and are ensuring we use our platform to create access for HBCU students, who are some of our world’s most brilliant minds.”  

    Partnership goal 

    As its initial goal, the NBWA will work toward funding $125,000 in STEM cancer research internship grants awarded to 25 HBCU medical students. This program will provide opportunities for under-represented scientists of color to enter the cancer research pipeline, ultimately increasing diversity in cancer research. The program’s goal is to positively affect the outcomes for cancer diagnosis in the Black community, while filling the gap of education and career opportunity for Black students.  

    For more information, visit cancer.org/NBWA or contact Sheri Barros.  


  • ACS leads effort to increase cancer screening rates

    The American Cancer Society has long been a leader in raising awareness about the importance of cancer screening. Now, amid unprecedented declines in screening rates as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are approaching our efforts to increase screening rates with more urgency than ever.  

    Even before the pandemic, screening rates weren’t high enough. We don’t know the full extent of the decline due to the pandemic yet, but this much is clear: if we don’t act with sustained urgency to help people get back to screening, we could see a rise in cancer mortality rates in the coming years.  

    Every movement needs a leader, and the American Cancer Society is the organization to lead the charge at the local, state, and national levels. We’re convening partners in all sectors – health systems, corporate partners, community organizations, government, and more – to make sure people are getting their recommended screening tests. Our efforts will focus on populations with traditionally lower screening rates, including populations who have been historically disadvantaged.

    This work has already started and will continue throughout 2021 and beyond. Here’s a look at the six components of the effort: 

    • National consortium – We’re convening a group of national influencers to identify strategies to minimize the effects of the pandemic on cancer screening and care. This group met for the first time on March 18 and includes founding sponsor Genentech and governmental agencies, leading cancer screening and advocacy organizations, professional societies and associations, research institutions, national organizations representing diverse populations, national roundtables and collaboratives, and industry partners.
    • Public awareness campaign – Later this spring, we’ll launch a multi-faceted public awareness campaign to raise awareness about the importance of screening.  
      Research – Our in-house team of scientists are examining the impact of the pandemic across the cancer continuum from prevention to cancer screening to outcomes. Staff from OCRI’s Surveillance and Health Equity team published a special section on COVID-19 and cancer in Cancer Facts & Figures 2021.
    • State and coalition leadership – We are working with an existing network of state and territorial-level comprehensive cancer control coalitions and cancer-specific roundtables to advance our organization mission priorities. A number of materials have already been shared with state and local cancer coalition leaders, including this guide to resuming cancer screening, a cancer screening messaging guidebook, and an issue brief. Please note that these materials are intended for a professional audience including health care providers, cancer coalitions, and professional associations and organizations only; they should not be shared with the public.
    • Health systems screening interventions – We’re engaging with priority health systems across the US in evidence-based interventions to increase screening rates. This work includes providing technical assistance and resources to rapidly increase screening rates, addressing disparities and reducing barriers to screening exacerbated by the pandemic, and creating learning communities to foster best practice sharing.
    • Policy – ACS CAN is pursuing public policy solutions to help ensure access to timely screening and follow-up care.

    Here are a few ways you can support our efforts:

    • Make sure you’re up to date on your recommended screening tests. 
    • Encourage your friends and family to get screened.
    • Learn more about screening by visiting cancer.org/stayhealthy.
    • Post about the importance of screening on your personal social media.

  • ACS and ACS CAN issue statement on the Georgia voting law

    The American Cancer Society and American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) are committed to reducing cancer incidence and deaths nationwide. Fighting cancer is as much a matter of public policy change as it is scientific discovery, and our elected officials are critical to advancing public policy change that will impact the trajectory of this disease.

    Cancer patients, survivors, and their families -- like all Americans -- must have equal access to the democratic process in order to engage, educate, and influence public health policies that directly affect their health and wellbeing. Everyone should be counted, and their voices should be heard.

    Cancer patients’ engagement and trust in government, critical to reducing the cancer burden, is harmed by any law that erodes access to voting. The American Cancer Society and ACS CAN will continue to speak out on measures that threaten to weaken cancer patients’ voices to influence their governments in the fight against cancer.

  • ACS breaks ground for Oklahoma City Hope Lodge

    On March 25, the American Cancer Society (ACS) broke ground on the Chad Richison Hope Lodge, a facility that will offer cancer patients and their caregivers free lodging while they travel to receive care from any of the area’s premier medical centers.

    The $16.7 million facility is named in recognition of ACS's capstone donor, Chad Richison, who donated $5 million to fund Oklahoma's first Hope Lodge. Located at 800 NE 7th St. near the University of Oklahoma’s Stephenson Cancer Center, the Chad Richison Hope Lodge is a centrally located home-away-from-home for patients and their families.  

    “This is a personal cause for many, including myself, and helps ensure anyone traveling for treatment will have one less item to worry about,” said Richison, the founder and CEO of Paycom. “This is a much-needed facility, and I’m pleased to be able to support the American Cancer Society’s vision to build it here in the heart of Oklahoma City.”

    Each year, approximately 3,700 cancer patients travel to receive potentially life-saving cancer treatment in Oklahoma City. Often, patients and their families spend significant time away from home. The emotional and financial toll from the loss of income, medical bills, hotel rooms and dining out can be staggering. Once the doors are opened in 2022, the Chad Richison Hope Lodge is expected to provide more than 14,600 nights of free lodging annually. The facility will include 34 private guest suites, each with separate beds and a private bathroom. In addition, the facility will feature common living areas, dining room, laundry facilities, library, recreation room and outdoor garden. (The smaller image shows a rendering of the outside space.) Patients and their caregivers will also have access to the current offerings of the American Cancer Society’s programs and services, including free transportation to all cancer treatment centers in Oklahoma City.

    “The American Cancer Society is committed to breaking down the access to care barriers many cancer patients must face when they travel away from home for treatment,” said Jeff Fehlis, executive vice president for the American Cancer Society. “Thanks to the generosity of community partners and individuals like Mr. Richison who have stepped up to help with this project, we will soon be able to provide a free home-away-from-home for cancer patients, allowing them to focus on what’s important – getting well.” 

    The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge Capital Campaign is led by Chairman Scott Meacham and Chair Emeritus Gene Rainbolt. The campaign has surpassed its fundraising goal with extraordinary support from generous individuals and organizations. As the capstone donor, Richison helped provide a tangible, positive solution in the fight against cancer. 

    Other major donors included the Presbyterian Health Foundation, Chickasaw Nation, Penny L. Norman Estate, E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation, The J. E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Inc., Charles and Peggy Stephenson Foundation and University of Oklahoma. The American Cancer Society continues to seek philanthropic support for ongoing operating expenses.

    The American Cancer Society operates more than 30 Hope Lodge facilities nationwide. Each Hope Lodge community offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when their treatment is away from home.

    Since 1970, the American Cancer Society has provided more than 6 million nights of lodging to patients across the country.  To make a donation or learn more, contact Michelle Fair, director of  philanthropy for the American Cancer Society, at  or visit cancer.org/HopeLodgeOklahomaCity.

  • Did you miss the NCCRT webcast? A replay is now available.

    On March 16, the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) hosted a webcast featuring Richard Wender, MD, and Robert Smith, PhD, NCCRT co-chairs; Lisa Richardson, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control; Rebecca Siegel, MPH, our senior scientific director, Surveillance Research; Folasade May, MD, PhD, MPhil, UCLA Health, our 2021 80% in Every Community National Achievement Awards grand prize honoree; and other special guests. 

    If you missed the annual event, held every March in recent years to mark Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a replay is now available.

    Host of the show was our own Desiree Berenguer Carton

    Coming up on Thursday, April 15, 2 - 3 p.m. ET, is another NCCRT webinar: Colorectal Cancer Screening & COVID-19 Update: A Look At The Current Landscape One Year Into The Pandemic.

    The webcast is free and is open to NCCRT members, 80% Pledge partners, CDC grantees, ACS and ACS CAN staff, and other partners working to increase colorectal cancer screening rates. Pre-registration is required.

    This webinar will bring back together the authors of NCCRT’s action-oriented playbook (released June 2020) to discuss what progress has been made and what challenges remain for colorectal cancer screening in 2021.


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