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Expert shares how ACS can use design thinking to advance health equity

Recording of webcast now available for volunteers and staff

 A recording of a livestream event in January is now available for volunteers and staff who are interested in advancing health equity and social change using design thinking principles. The 50-minute webcast features George Aye, a nationally-renowned leader in design thinking and social sector innovation. 

Design thinking encourages organizations to focus on the unmet needs of the people they serve by employing empathy, ideation, and experimentation in their services, products, policies, and strategies. This presentation will help volunteers and staff uncover hidden opportunities for innovation in their daily work, shape positive change, and advance health equity. 

ACS and ACS CAN are intentionally integrating health equity principles into our research, programs, services, and advocacy through a 3-year grant with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

If you would like more information about this webcast or to learn more about how ACS and ACS CAN are advancing health equity, please email the Health Equity Team at healthequity@cancer.org.



  • Relay Rewards continues for the 2020 event season

    ​Relay participants encouraged to start earning Relay Rewards today!

    Once again, Relay For Life participants have the opportunity to earn Relay Rewards - points for fundraising and for taking specific actions that lead to more fundraising and engagement with the American Cancer Society.

    The Relay Rewards incentive program allows our Relay participants to earn branded merchandise that recognizes their hard work and commitment to the Relay For Life movement.

    The point system is mostly driven by individual fundraising. Volunteers earn one point for every dollar raised that is credited to their personal fundraising page on their event website. Volunteers can also earn up to 50 additional points by taking specific actions.

    Once a volunteer has reached 250 points, the lowest point total needed to redeem for Relay Rewards, they will receive an email letting them know of their achievement and how to log on to ShopRelayRewards.org to check their point balance, browse, redeem, and earn more points.

    This Relay Rewards program has many benefits to the organization and Relay For Life volunteers, including:

    • Building affinity and loyalty to our organization and Relay For Life
    • Motivating volunteers to raise more funds by not only incentivizing them to reach the next level of the program, but also to reach goals within each level of the program
    • Rewarding volunteers for their fundraising success and taking actions that help to increase fundraising
    • Giving volunteers the flexibility to spend their points however they wish, whether it's on one item or multiple items
    • Allowing volunteers to rollover any leftover points if they register for the next year’s event by the end of the calendar year (Jan – Aug events). Fall event participants (Sept. – Dec.) have until April 1 to register for the next year’s event.

    For more information, please reference visit ShopRelayRewards.org.

  • Relay For Life registration challenge begins Jan. 17!

    Challenge runs until 11:59 p.m. Central time on Jan. 27

    Let’s face it, the more friends and family you bring together for Relay For Life, the bigger impact the American Cancer Society has in the fight against cancer. More rides to treatment. More free nights of lodging for patients and caregivers. More breakthrough research. More hope for people you care about.

    Here’s how this challenge works: 

    • Invite friends and family to register for an event from Friday, January 17, to Monday, January 27.
    • The event you or your friends and family register for could win a prize package of giant Relay For Life-branded goodies like a tumble tower, four-in-a-row, corn hole, a selfie frame, and more.
    • The top 10 events nationwide based on percentage of growth will receive prize packages. Plus, an additional 20 prize package winners will be drawn from all other events that grow by at least 25% (10 packages to events up to $149K and 10 to $150K+ events).

    Incentive Eligibility: 

    • Events must have a minimum of 25 participants at the beginning of the challenge on Friday, January 17, and reach 100 participants or more online registrations by 11:59 p.m. Central on Monday, January 27, to be eligible to win.
    • Make sure all registrations are online, including the FUNdraising App. Those are the only ones that will count.

    Here’s how you can help: 

    • Since word-of-mouth is our most powerful tool, join yourself and ask friends and family to join a Relay For Life team. 
    • Repost the social posts shared throughout the challenge from the national or local pages.

  • Changes coming to Artwork Builder - action required

    Scroll down to find the full schedule.

    During the first half of 2020, Artwork Builder will be moving from Flash to HTML5. As a result, all Artwork Builder templates will be migrated over to the new format on a rolling schedule created to cause the least disruption to end-users. A copy of the schedule is included below.

    As part of this change, the Marketing team will take the opportunity to revamp and improve some of the template offerings for programs like golf and galas.

    What does this mean for Artwork Builder end-users? 

    • Prior to the program migration dates, end-users are strongly encouraged to complete all in-progress work they have in Artwork Builder and download the PDF to their computers. In-progress work is expected to be migrated over but, as a precaution, please complete and save your work.

    • There will also be Artwork Builder blackout dates leading up to each program migration. During the blackout dates, templates and saved artwork for that program will not be available

    • Please share this important update with any external users you work with.

    This change applies to Artwork Builder templates only and does not impact Brand Toolkit assets. If you have questions, please send them to Brandtoolkit@cancer.org.

    Tentative Migration Schedule

    Program of Work

    Last day to complete work in progress and download PDF's

    Blackout dates (templates and saved artwork not available)

    Templates available again

    RMWP

    1/26/20

    1/27/20 - 2/2/20

    2/3/20

    MSABC

    1/26/20

    1/27/20 - 2/2/20

    2/3/20

    Golf

    2/23/20

    2/24/20-3/1/20

    3/2/20

    5K

    3/29/20

    3/30/20-4/5/20

    4/6/20

    Corporate Partners

    3/29/20

    3/30/20-4/5/20

    4/6/20

    ACS Regional Communication Materials

    3/29/20

    3/30/20-4/5/20

    4/6/20

    Laureate Society 

    3/29/20

    3/30/20-4/5/20

    4/6/20

    Patient Services

    4/26/20

    4/27/20-5/3/20

    5/4/20

    Co-branded Screening Reminders Postcards 

    4/26/20

    4/27/20-5/3/20

    5/4/20

    GASO

    4/26/20

    4/27/20-5/3/20

    5/4/20

    Cancer Control Flyers

    4/26/20

    4/27/20-5/3/20

    5/4/20

    Cancer Control Posters

    4/26/20

    4/27/20-5/3/20

    5/4/20

    Cancer Control Postcards

    4/26/20

    4/27/20-5/3/20

    5/4/20

    CvC

    4/26/20

    4/27/20-5/3/20

    5/4/20

    Discovery Shop

    5/24/20

    5/25/20-5/31/20

    6/1/20

    DetermiNation

    5/24/20

    5/25/20-5/31/20

    6/1/20

    Gala

    5/24/20

    5/25/20-5/31/20

    6/1/20

    ACS General

    5/24/20

    5/25/20-5/31/20

    6/1/20

    Hope Lodge

    5/24/20

    5/25/20-5/31/20

    6/1/20

    RFL

    6/28/20

    6/29/20-7/5/20

    7/6/20

    Gold Together

    6/28/20

    6/29/20-7/5/20

    7/6/20

     



  • ACS awards inaugural Pat Flynn Spirit of Relay Award

    On Jan. 14, ACS CEO Gary Reedy presented the first Pat Flynn Spirit of Relay Award to students at Father Ryan High School in Nashville, TN.

    Students at the private coeducational Roman Catholic school have raised $1.2 million over 10 years for the American Cancer Society, created the largest student-led Relay For Life, per capita, in the nation, and attracted more than 1,000 people to its 2019 Relay last October.

    This new nomination-based award is given in memory of Pat Flynn, known as the "Mother of Relay," who inspired Relay participants around the world. This award honors an event or individual that embodies the same spirit of Relay that Pat Flynn embodied.

    The inspirational awards ceremony was attended by many local dignitaries and was covered by local TV stations. Among those present were the Most Reverend J. Mark Spalding, Catholic Bishop of Nashville; Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools for the Diocese; Jim McIntyre, president of Father Ryan High School; Michelle Mast and Jonathan McGee, moderators of Relay For Life at Father Ryan; Elizabeth Elfers, dean of Campus Ministry and Student Life; and Tim Forbes, the former dean of Campus Ministry who started Relay For Life on the Father Ryan campus in 2009. 

    Representing ACS were Bill Cance, MD, our chief medical and scientific officer; Wayne White, EVP, North Central Region; and Jeff Kean, chair of the American Cancer Society Board of Directors.

    In his remarks, Gary called the students "extraordinary" He talked about their creative fundraisers, including raising $1,500 in 60 seconds through the "Miracle Minute." The students also had penny wars, benefit concerts, and donated hair for wigs.

    Gary told those assembled that the students and their supporters are part of the world's largest peer-to-peer fundraising event to save lives from cancer. Since 1985, Relay For Life has raised nearly $6.5 billion. In 2018, 1.6 million people in the U.S. participated in more than 2,500 events and raised $185 million across the country.

    "I know cancer hit really close to home for you all with the passing of two members of the Father Ryan family last year," Gary said. "It is because of you and the broader Relay For Life community that we can conduct breakthrough research, provide free rides to treatment, places to stay near hospitals, and a live 24/7 cancer helpline.

    "Passionate, dedicated youth like you are changing the course of this disease. You are our greatest hope for fighting cancer. Your spirit and dedication are what put you at the very top of the over 2,000 nominees for the inaugural Pat Flynn Spirit of Relay Award," he said.

    Accepting the plaque were Relay co-chairs, students Madison Ahern and Danny Farone. 


  • Winner of our Super Bowl sweepstakes will meet these stars

    One lucky National Football League fan will have the opportunity to meet The Masked Singer’s Ken Jeong and watch the Super Bowl LIV with Stranger Things star Caleb McLaughlin during a VIP weekend experience of a lifetime in Miami, the host city of this year’s Feb. 2 game. 

    “I am thrilled to be partnering with the NFL and American Cancer Society in the fight against cancer at Super Bowl LIV. This is a cause near and dear to my heart as my wife is a breast cancer survivor,” said Jeong.

    “There is no discrimination when it comes to cancer. It affects everyone, especially those in the under-privileged communities that can’t afford to get the screenings they need,” said McLaughlin. “For this reason, I am truly happy to be partnering with the NFL and the American Cancer Society for the 2020 Super Bowl. 100% of the funds raised will help benefit the many people who are in desperate need of lifesaving screenings/treatments.”

    The sweepstakes winner and a guest will enjoy round trip airfare to Miami, lodging, two tickets to Super Bowl LIV (sitting alongside McLaughlin), a meet and greet with Jeong, pre-game sideline passes, access to the hottest parties in Miami, and other exclusive perks. BTW, the half-time show performers will be Jennifer Lopez and Shakira!

    NFL fans can enter the sweepstakes at CrucialCatch.NFL.com by donating a minimum of $10 to the American Cancer Society. (ASC staff are not eligible to enter, but by sharing an ACS2Go post on with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, you could win an autographed Crucial Catch T-shirt!)

    About Ken Jeong
    Known for his scene stealing abilities, actor, producer, writer, and comedian Ken Jeong has established himself as one of today’s top comedic stars. Since his feature film debut playing the doctor in Knocked Up in 2007, Jeong has gone on to star in several memorable roles in a series of successful comedies including his role as an Asian-mobster “Mr. Chow” in The Hangover. Recently, Jeong appeared in the Warner Bros. box office sensation Crazy Rich Asians, which grossed over $150 million worldwide. In February 2019, Jeong returned to his stand-up roots for his first-ever hit Netflix comedy special, “Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho”, which earned him a People’s Choice nomination for “The Comedy Act of 2019.”  In television, Jeong can currently be seen as a judge on the FOX hit celebrity reality singing competition “The Masked Sing,”nnow in its second season. Prior to that, Ken starred on ABC’s “Dr. Ken,” which he created, wrote, and produced. Jeong’s career path started off on a different course. He earned his undergraduate degree at Duke University and went on to get his medical degree at the University of North Carolina. 

    About Caleb McLaughlin 
    McLaughlin stars as “Lucas Sinclair” in the Netflix hit Stranger Things, renewed for a fourth season after the streaming giant revealed it was their “most-watched original series ever." Recently, McLaughlin wrapped production on the film Concrete Cowboy which also stars Idris Elba and Jharrel Jerome. McLaughlin will take the next major step in his burgeoning career with his debut as a recording artist. He plans to release new tracks and music videos this year. He also recently released his own IGTV series entitled Be Your Biggest Fan, based on a social movement he created online in which McLaughlin promotes self-acceptance and self-confidence.



  • Congrats to the teams receiving our Hero of Research Award

    An exception was made this year for a non-Relay team

    Our Heroes of Research Award offers qualified Relay For Life teams an opportunity to name an existing post-doctoral fellowship research grant in honor of a loved one or their team. Once identified, this named grant would be active for three years and the team would have the option to talk with the actual researcher.

    This award has been given to 15 Relay For Life teams nationwide since its inception in 2017, including one special exception this year. To win this award, teams must raise $165,000 in a calendar year. 

    In 2019, we had three teams qualify for the Heroes of Research Award — Nucor Steel Louisiana (from Relay For Life of St. James Parish, LA), The Naturals (from the Relay For Life of York, PA), and Ravens in the Hood (from Fighting Cancer to the Coast in Seaside, OR). Among the three teams, they raised more than $285,000 over what they did in 2018.

    Let’s learn more about these three impressive Hero of Research teams! 

    Nucor Steel Louisiana Relay For Life Team

    Nucor Steel Louisiana is a part of the Nucor Corporation based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The team has participated in the St. James Parish Relay event since 2013. It became a Hero of Research in 2018 by raising $217,00. Nucor Steel Louisiana team was awarded a second Hero of Research Award in 2019 by raising $200,000 more than it did in 2018.

    Nucor Steel Louisiana is the only team to receive two Hero of Research Awards, allowing it to name two research grants. The team named its first grant “The Nucor Bailee-Bee DIPG Grant,” and named its second grant “Bailee’s Brigade mTOR Grant” in honor of a teammate’s 12-year-old daughter. 

    The Naturals Relay For Life Team (pictured above)

    The Naturals is a team made up of staff from the United Natural Foods. The Naturals begin fundraising for Relay For Life 10 years ago, and had been consistently raising around $100,000 yearly. In 2018, the team raised a little more than $84,000. Members of the team wondered if they should continue as a team, however in 2019 the team had the best year yet by raising more than $166,000. The Hero of Research Award is a great way to recognize this team for its 2019 fundraising effort. The Naturals now have a renewed excitement.

    This team named its first grant “Gabby Galino and The Naturals of UNFI Hope Research Grant” to honor Gabby Galino, a 13-year-old student at Northern Middle School in York County who is battling cancer. Gabby was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in October. UNFI (the company that supports The Naturals) has rallied around her, helping the family fundraise to pay their medical bills, and supporting the team.

    Ravens in the Hood (pictured in the smaller image)

    Ravens in the Hood is an incredible high school team from Ravenscroft School in North Carolina. This team participates in the Fighting Cancer to the Coast DetermiNation event where athletes run in the Hood To Coast Relay in teams of 8-12 people for 199 mil, from Mount Hood to Seaside, OR. The team has raised approximately $450,000 solely through Fighting Cancer to the Coast, and it also supports Crucial Catch in their hometown of Raleigh, NC, raising more than $80,000 in three years. Because of their dedication to the American Cancer Society mission, an exception for Ravens in the Hood was made so it could become a Hero of Research Award winner, an honor usually reserved for Relay teams. Watch this video to learn more about their experience

    This team named its first grant “Ravenscroft School Cancer Research Fund” to honor the students, faculty, and alumni that are part of the team and who do so much every year to make their team successful. 

    Congratulations to all three teams! If you have any questions, please contact Steve Konsdorf, director, Relay For Life platform initiatives.


  • Gary Reedy issues statement after President takes credit for decline in cancer deaths

    Our CEO urges President to increase access to comprehensive health care and support evidence-based tobacco control policies

    In the wake of our release of Cancer Statistics, 2020 and Cancer Facts & Figures 2020, President Donald Trump issued a tweet in which he said: "U.S. Cancer Death Rate Lowest In Recorded History! A lot of good news coming out of this Administration."

    In a written statement, Gary Reedy, our CEO, said the following: 

    "The mortality trends reflected in our current report, including the largest drop in overall cancer mortality ever recorded from 2016 to 2017, reflect prevention, early detection, and treatment advances that occurred in prior years.

    "Since taking office, the president has signed multiple spending bills that have included increases in funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute -- though the impact of those increases are not reflected in the data contained in this report.

    "The administration has an opportunity to significantly impact future declines in both cancer incidence and mortality by increasing access to comprehensive health care, supporting robust and sustained increases in federal funding for cancer research, and passing and implementing evidence-based tobacco control policies."

    You can read a CNN story about this. CNN was the first news organization to contact us for a response to the President's remark.


  • The Young and the Restless launch a breast cancer storyline with help from ACS

    J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, MACP, our deputy chief medical officer, has been reviewing the medical content for accuracy

    On the Jan. 9 episode of The Young and the Restless, CBS’ most watched daytime drama, the character played by actress Sharon Case shared with her boyfriend that she has breast cancer. It will be the support from Sharon’s family and friends in the coming weeks that help her remain positive, according to an article on soaps.com.

    "The Young and the Restless approached us to do a breast cancer storyline, which will run from January through October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month," said Kathi Di Nicola, director of media relations, the lead on this project.

    She said Dr. Len has been reviewing the medical content to make sure it’s medically and scientifically accurate. "The show will feature our website and some of our materials over the next ten months. Other aspects of the partnership are still being finalized, but it’s a great relationship for us and meaningful exposure, reaching 175 million viewers a year with accurate information about breast cancer signs, treatments, and more," Kathi explained.

    The Young and the Restless, now in its 47th season, has tackled important issues, such as AIDS, alcoholism, and domestic abuse. There will be a public service announcement (PSA) from CBS Cares and the American Cancer Society that will feature Sharon Case prominently at the end of the January 9 episode. CBS Cares produces television PSAs that usually feature performers from CBS Television Network programming.  

    Congrats to Kathi, as well as staff in marketing, social media, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and others, who are helping make this happen!


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