At Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon, we are committed to improving the health of our communities and ending cancer health disparities. We surround our patients with cutting-edge treatments and compassionate support, and we work closely with community partners to improve access to health care across the communities we serve.
This is especially important for underserved and vulnerable communities who have difficulty accessing health care services due to financial challenges, language barriers or lack of transportation resources.
In 2022, we were proud to have sponsored and participated in 25 community events held virtually and in-person: 1 cancer screening event, 10 educational talks and 14 community engagement events.
“Community partnerships raise awareness about the symptoms and risk factors associated with cancer and how people can reduce their risk through screening and prevention,” said Lyn Burrell Dobrunick, MN, FNP, executive director, Providence Cancer Institute of Oregon. “They also provide vital resources to patients and families in need of extra support throughout their cancer journey.”
Providence oncology nurse navigators, oncology social workers and resource specialists worked closely with patients to provide financial assistance resources through community partner grants and donations. Patients also received educational and support group resources. These benefits are in addition to the financial, psychological and social support resources provided by Providence as part of our Mission to care for the poor and vulnerable.
Collaborating with diverse community groups
Patient education is an important part of the cancer journey. For diverse communities, however, time constraints, communication obstacles and cultural differences can create barriers to education.
To support patients from different backgrounds, our education materials and videos are developed with patient-friendly medical information and health literacy principles. They are available in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and other languages and are important resources for our community partnerships with underserved populations.
We partnered with and supported Promotores de Salud (a program of Providence Community Health Division) and Providence Newberg Medical Center Diagnostic Imaging to provide free mammograms for Latina women. The goal of the screening event was early detection of breast cancer, the leading cause of cancer death among U.S. Hispanic women. However, when breast cancer is caught at its earliest most treatable stages through preventive screening, women have better health outcomes.
We also partnered with the Asian Health & Service Center (AHSC) for a series of virtual education talks featuring our experts in colorectal cancer, lymphoma, nutrition and integrative medicine. We have established a strong relationship with AHSC to support our Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese communities.
Engaging our patients in their health care
Our patient-centered approach to care brings together the best cancer treatments with unsurpassed support and service. Our experts led several patient education talks and panel discussions on the latest treatments, research and clinical trials for gynecologic, pancreatic, skin and blood cancers. Other topics included integrative medicine and oncology nurse navigation, social work and nutrition.
Supporting our community
Being active participants in run/walk events and fundraising campaigns throughout Oregon is an important part of supporting our patients and their family members. We were proud to sponsor a range of fun and important events this year: Get Your Rear in Gear, Hood to Coast/PDX to Coast Relays, Hope Gala, Kite Board4Cancer, Light the Night, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, O’Vary Funny, Pink Glow Gala, PurpleStride, Reach the Beach, Relay for Life Yamhill County, Steps Against Melanoma, #TurquoiseTakeover, and Zero Prostate Cancer Run/Walk.
Of special note, our own Janet Ruzich, D.O., was honored as the 2022 Woman of the Year for Portland by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, for her fundraising efforts to support blood cancer research in our community.
Grateful for our partnerships
Thank you to all our 2022 partner organizations:
- Aim at Melanoma Foundation
- American Cancer Society
- American Lung Association
- Asian Health & Service Center
- Colon Cancer Coalition
- Hood to Coast Relay
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- Ovarian Cancer Alliance
- Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
- Pink Lemonade Project
- Zero Prostate Cancer
We look forward to presenting new patient education events in 2023 and continuing to support the communities we are honored to serve.
To learn more about our support services and resources for patients, visit Providence.org/ORcancersupport.