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Sylvester Part of Three-Center Cancer Detection and Prevention Initiative

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is collaborating with Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Florida Health Cancer Center to fund four grants that will bring cancer prevention and detection education to high-risk Florida communities.

Moving cancer care closer to where people live and work is a great way to prevent disease and save lives.

To that end, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth—University of Miami Health System, will join two Florida cancer centers to help Floridians detect and treat cancer early.

Cancer Education for At-risk Communities

Sylvester, Moffitt Cancer Center and the University of Florida Health Cancer Center will fund four $16,000 community grants to support screening and prevention projects across Florida this year. The grants will fund a health fair with smoking cessation services, free mammograms and a walk-through inflatable colon that demonstrates tumor growth, among other initiatives.

Miller School of Medicine's Dr. Erin Kobetz
Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., says the community grants to which Sylvester contributed will focus on people at high risk for cancer.

“These partnerships are an effective way to leverage resources and organizations to empower more people to take early action against cancer,” said Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate director, community outreach and engagement at Sylvester and the John K. and Judy H. Schulte Senior Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. “In particular, many of the programs focus on at-risk populations, including smokers, the elderly and people of color who often lack access to information and medical care that can help them prevent cancer or detect it early.”

The recipients are non-profit groups that strive to meet the goals of the Florida Cancer Plan

“This funding is a unique opportunity for Florida academic cancer centers and the Florida Regional Cancer Control Collaboratives to advance our shared commitment to prevention and early detection to improve the health of Floridians,” said Susan T. Vadaparampil, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate center director of community outreach, engagement and equity at Moffitt.

Cancer in Florida

The effort is part of an ongoing program by the Florida Department of Health, supported by funds from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Between 2019 and 2021, 138,174 Floridians died of cancer, the United States’ second-highest figure. About 1.6 million new cancer cases are reported each year in the U.S., according to the CDC.

“This initiative allows Florida cancer collaboratives to address cancer-related issues that are relevant to the local community and ensures the funds are used to tackle the most pressing needs and challenges faced by the people in that region,” said Ramzi Salloum, Ph.D., associate director for community outreach and engagement at the UF Health Cancer Center. “These funds will be directed toward improving access to cancer prevention and screening services, which is particularly important in areas where individuals may face barriers to health care, such as financial constraints or geographical distance.”

Tags: breast cancer, community health, community outreach, Dr. Erin Kobetz, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center