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D.C. buses share message to Get Screened

An impactful #GetScreened campaign just got rolling in Washington, D.C. 

Buses travelling through neighborhoods with some of the lowest cancer screening rates have exterior signs and interior cards. 

This is grant-funded campaign that also has messages being broadcast on Radio One, a radio station with a largely Black audience, and El Zol 107.9, a station with a largely Hispanic listener base, to reach diverse audiences.


  • ACS awards $3.9M in grants to provide lodging for cancer patients

    ​Local health systems will work with hotels and other lodging facilities.

    The American Cancer Society has awarded nearly $3.9 million in funding to 77 health systems across the country to alleviate the financial burden of lodging costs for cancer patients. This funding will provide an estimated 20,000 nights of lodging for cancer patients nationwide.   

    The local health systems receiving the grant funding will work directly with hotels and other lodging facilities to secure nights of free lodging for patients and caregivers.

    For cancer patients, getting the right treatment sometimes requires travelling away from home. Lodging expenses can present a significant financial barrier to receiving lifesaving treatment, and financial barriers are known to contribute to disparities in cancer outcomes. ACS patient support services, such as lodging grants, fill critical gaps and are aligned with the ACS goal of improving lives for cancer patients.

    Lodging assistance is only one way we are working to improve patient outcomes, complemented by direct patient support through education, navigation, and transportation assistance. Each year, ACS typically provides more than 500,000 nights of free lodging through its existing Hope Lodge program. But a gap remains in many communities for cancer patients who travel to treatment centers without a nearby Hope Lodge facility. The newly awarded grant funding provides a boost of support to help address currently unmet needs. 

    "We know that having to travel far from home to receive treatment can cause a large financial burden for cancer patients and their caregivers," said Dr. Karen Knudsen, our CEO, pictured here.  "The American Cancer Society is committed to removing barriers that prevent cancer patients from getting the care they need. The ACS grants to health systems nationwide will help thousands of cancer patients receive free lodging while they are in treatment and allow them to focus on what's most important: Getting well." 

    We believe all people should have the opportunity to live a longer, healthier life free from cancer regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. This means providing specific tools and resources based on individual needs to allow everyone the opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Achieving health equity requires the removal of barriers, including transportation, that prevent people from receiving the care and treatment they need.


  • Meet our new chief patient officer

    Arif Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS will begin his new job at ACS on Feb. 1.

    We are pleased to announce the hiring of Arif Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, FACP, FAAHPM, FASCO, as our inaugural chief patient officer. Dr. Kamal comes to us from Duke University and the Duke Cancer Institute, where he has served for more than 12 years as an oncologist, researcher, and innovative leader. He will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 1.  

    He and his wife and two children live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where the Office of the Chief Patient Officer will be located.

    Dr. Kamal will lead our Patient Support vision and strategic plans to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families.  This position is a critical addition to ACS and our Executive Team, providing for the first time a single, coordinated unit to accelerate progress against cancer through our patient-facing activities. Dr. Kamal will report directly to American Cancer Society CEO Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD.

    To get a better understanding of how Dr. Kamal approaches his work, watch this video.

    Dr. Kamal is currently an associate professor of Medicine and Population Health at the Duke University School of Medicine, and recently served as physician quality and outcomes officer at the Duke Cancer Institute. He holds nationally recognized expertise in oncology quality assessment and palliative care, which aims to provide relief from symptoms and stress associated with a serious illness like cancer at diagnosis, during and after treatment, and at the end of life. To stay grounded to the needs of patients and caregivers we serve, Dr. Kamal will keep a small palliative care clinical practice at Duke Cancer Center.   

    Throughout his career, Dr. Kamal has been driven by a passion for aligning patients with the most appropriate care plans, based on both medical need and goals of care preferences. A self-described “problem-solver” with an entrepreneurial streak, he has both a medical and a business background. 

    "This unique combination makes Dr. Kamal a perfect fit for leading our Patient Support pillar, which encompasses cancer control, patient navigation, educational programs, patient lodging solutions, transportation services, our contact center, digital patient support offerings, and all aspects of ACS functions that touch patients across 5,000 communities around the globe," noted Dr. Knudsen.

    Dr. Kamal co-founded Prepped Health, a company that develops innovative technology solutions to educate and engage patients and caregivers facing a serious illness like cancer. He also holds several leadership positions in other organizations, including the National Quality Forum (NQF), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM).  

    He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as JAMAJournal of Clinical OncologyAnnals of Internal Medicine, and Lancet Oncology. He holds grant funding from the National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Aging, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.   

    Dr. Kamal received his medical degree from the six-year combined BA/MD program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, completed his internal medicine residency and a hospice and palliative medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and had a hematology/oncology fellowship at Duke University. He holds a master’s degree in health science in clinical research from Duke University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.   


  • Watch the replay of our evening of gospel

    Watch a replay of the Dec. 4 Partnering For Life event that treated viewers to fantastic gospel performances and information about the American Cancer Society. 

    The show begins 8 minutes in. Our CEO Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD, addresses viewers at 12:14 minutes in. And, Tawana Thomas Johnson, our senior vice president and chief diversity officer, speaks at 1 hour and 30 minutes in.

    The event was hosted live by actress Wendy Raquel Robinson, star of the revived hit show ‘The Game’, and spotlight previously taped performances by Jonathan Nelson, multiple Stellar Award winner and Dove Award-nominated gospel artist; Maurette Brown Clark, multiple Stellar Award winner and Dove Award-nominated gospel artist; Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music, multiple Stellar Award nominated gospel choir; and Dottie Peoples, Grammy Award nominee and multiple Stellar Award winner. 

    ACS created Partnering For Life to share essential information and resources about cancer risk, prevention, and early detection. As reported by ACS in Cancer Facts & Figures for African Americans (2019-2021), African Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial and ethnic group in the U.S. for most cancers. Partnering For Life is one of several ways ACS is working to advance health equity by addressing cancer disparities for Black people. 

    “PFL serves as a critical link in improving cancer outcomes and saving lives from the disease,” Tawana said. “This effort is helping reduce health disparities and creating better qualities of life throughout our Black communities by providing individuals, families, and organizations with relevant cultural assets and the latest cancer resources.”  

    Partnering For Life participating organizations include 100 Black Men of America, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Black Women’s Agenda, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., The Links, Incorporated, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc., National Black Justice Coalition, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.  

    Learn more about Partnering For Life by visiting cancer.org/partneringforlife.


  • Learn more about Dr. Knudsen's path to ACS

    Watch the latest episode of HEALED to learn about her education, research, and the importance of mentors.

    Our CEO Dr. Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD, was a guest on the Dec. 1 American Cancer Society HEALED Community Gathering. Watch now to learn more about what led her to cancer research and ultimately to the American Cancer Society.

    Host of the weekly hour-long show is Pat Croce, a former physical therapist, a cancer survivor, former president and owner of the NBA Philadelphia 76ers, and an author. ACS and Croce partnered in the spring of 2021 to launch the HEALED Community Movement to educate and encourage people to live healthier lives in the present moment. HEALED is short for Health and Energy through Active Living Every Day.

    Listeners also will learn how living a healthy life impacted the recovery of Brande Plotnick, who was diagnosed with breast cancer during COVID-19. 

    Gatherings are livestreamed on HEAL's Northeast Region YouTube channel and the ACS HEALED Facebook page. You can learn more about HEALED and watch previous gatherings at www.acshealed.com

  • ACS and IAFF launch long-term collaboration to help firefighters and EMS personnel with detection, treatment, and prevention of cancer

    Watch the official kickoff in NYC on Facebook.

    On Dec. 2, our CEO Dr. Karen Knudsen and International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) General President Edward Kelly officially kicked off a historic, long-term collaboration to help fire fighters and EMS personnel with detection, treatment, and prevention of cancer.

    Watch the live stream of the event, which took place at a fire house in New York City. You can read the media advisory and press release.

    Cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths among firefighters today. Numerous studies have shown that cancer rates run significantly higher for firefighters than among the general population. 

    The IAFF is a labor union representing more than 330,000 paid full-time firefighters and emergency medical services personnel in the U.S. and Canada. 

    The IAFF and ACS have developed a comprehensive online resource at iaff.org/FightCancer that will provide resources, tools, and prevention techniques to help protect firefighters and EMS personnel with the hope of preventing future disease, and supporting those who are on a cancer journey. The site will include:

    • Custom access to ACS National Cancer Information Center (NCIC) at 1-877-901-7848
    • Patient support services
    • Occupational cancer prevention programs
    • Promoting healthy behaviors through nutrition and active lifestyle
    • Screenings to find and diagnose cancer 

    What you can do

    We’re asking our supporters to help publicize this partnership. Share ACS posts about this partnership when you see them on social media.

    If you have any questions or you know of a firefighter who has or has had a cancer journey with engagement with ACS, please reach out to Kim Bruna, who is the lead relationship coordinator for this collaboration.

    We’ll continue to share more information as the partnership grows and more details become available. Thanks in advance for welcoming this new partner and the men and women of the fire service to the ACS family!

    TOP PHOTO:  From left, John Channell, firefighter (retired), New York Uniformed Firefighters Association, Local 94 and cancer survivor; Dr. Karen Knudsen, CEO, American Cancer Society; Edward Kelly, general president, International Association of Fire Fighters; and Dr. David Prezant, chief medical officer, Fire Department of New York.





  • Seeking: Nominations for 80% in Every Community awards

    Nominations must be received by Friday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. ET.

    The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable is seeking nominations for the 2022 80% in Every Community National Achievement Awards, a competitive recognition program that seeks to highlight success stories in the effort to achieve colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% and higher in communities across the nation.

    Nominations must be received by Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at 8 p.m. ET. 

    We encourage our voluntteers to nominate organizations or individuals championing colorectal cancer screening efforts by working to achieve an 80% screening rate in their community. This is your chance to recognize the organizations you work with by nominating them for this competitive awards program. Resubmissions for nominees that were not awarded in past years are also accepted!

    You can certainly nominate partners who have reached 80%, but we also are looking to recognize systems who are seeing improvements in their screening rates or who are launching ambitious or innovative interventions. 

    Visit the 80% in Every Community National Achievement Awards webpage to learn more about contest rules, and to submit your nomination. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $3,000 donation to support their work, and four first runners up will receive $1,000, all selected by an independent volunteer panel.

    Don't miss this opportunity to recognize individuals or organizations who are dedicating their time, talent, and expertise to advancing this important goal!


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