Focus on Equity

$1.5M Genentech grant to fund community partnerships, build trust

The funds will go toward implementing findings from a prior grant, Participatory Action for Access to Clinical Trials (PAACT). The vital research by this dedicated team is an impactful way to help address disparities in cancer care for underserved populations.

During PAACT 1.0—a research partnership between Henry Ford Health, University of Michigan and eight community organizations—researchers worked to understand barriers to enrolling in clinical trials for Black patients and subsequently developed strategies to overcome these barriers. This included hosting two community forums with partners to discuss the underrepresentation of Black people in cancer clinical trials.

Genentech awarded a new grant for PAACT 2.0, recognizing that participation of Black patients in clinical trials is essential in order for researchers to develop globally applicable curative, life-extending, life-enhancing cancer therapies.

The overall goal of the work is to further build trust between cancer providers and the Black community in Southeast Michigan through partnership in encouraging participation in cancer clinical trials, with full understanding that this is one of many critical aspects of improving outcomes.


Oncology health equity summit hosts collaborative discussions about disparities in care

In September 2023, Henry Ford Innovations hosted the Advancing Health Equity – Oncology Summit, in partnership with Henry Ford Cancer and Premier Applied Sciences (PAS). The event showcased the meaningful work being done across the cancer service line to understand and address health equity. The format was to learn from, and engage with, leaders in health equity, community engagement and DEIJ initiatives at Henry Ford that touch patients faced with cancer. Collaboration with partners at PAS and many life science companies in attendance identified accessible funding to support elevating this work in Detroit and then scaling it to other communities.


Your Prostate, Your Health increases cancer education and screening for Black men in southeast Michigan

In 2021, Henry Ford Cancer received a $250,000 grant funded from Pfizer Global Medical Grants to fund Your Prostate, Your Health, a program that’s aimed at reducing prostate cancer disparities among Black men, who develop prostate cancer at a younger age and are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer versus men of other races and ethnicities. We have made significant progress, including:

  • Conducted focus group discussions with Black men to assess their perceptions and understanding of prostate cancer and screening.
  • Developed educational materials that were distributed at community events, and promoted awareness and events on social media.
  • Administered surveys to assess Black men’s knowledge, interest and perceptions of prostate cancer screening and diagnosis.
  • Offered prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing at select events, including one held with the Detroit Pistons.

  • 1.2M social media impressions
  • 120,000 individuals reached
  • >1,500 educational materials
  • 51 community events

Cancer screening program partnerships target disparities in mammography

Henry Ford Cancer participates in several initiatives to help improve health equity in breast cancer screening among disadvantaged groups.

  • American Cancer Society (ACS) Breast Health Equity: Partnership with ACS focused on increasing breast cancer screening for underserved Black and Hispanic women in metro Detroit.
  • CHASS: Partnership with Community Health and Social Services Center in Detroit to offer free or low-cost mammograms to women who need them.
  • NFL Links to Care: Partnership with the National Football League to provide mammograms to underserved women from our local Federally Qualified Health Center.
  • Yes Ma’am: Program that provides free mammograms to uninsured women in the Downriver community on an annual basis.
Cheron’s Story
Radio personality Cheron Sanders’ breast cancer was discovered during a routine mammogram. She had no symptoms or family history of the disease.

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