Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Awards MMC $5M for Sustainable Lung Cancer Prevention and Screening in Maine
PORTLAND, Maine — The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has awarded a $5 million grant to Maine Medical Center (MMC) for the creation of a statewide initiative to improve the prevention, early detection and treatment of lung cancer in Maine, where incidence rates and deaths due to lung cancer are among the highest in the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Maine Lung Cancer Prevention and Screening (Maine LungCAPS) Initiative is a four-year multi-institution, multi-disciplinary collaboration of Maine health care providers and stakeholders.
“Maine LungCAPS Initiative is bringing together multisector partners and stakeholders to develop and validate innovative models for access and utilization of lung cancer screening, treatment and care that are effective and sustainable for vulnerable populations throughout Maine,” said John Damonti, president of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.
Maine Cancer Foundation is the primary co-funder for the project with a grant of $400,000 over four years. The Maine Economic Improvement Fund, through the University of Southern Maine, will contribute $200,000 to the project.
“Maine’s high smoking rate, our rural nature and barriers to health care all contribute to high cancer rates,” said Tara Hill, executive director of the Maine Cancer Foundation. “Over a quarter of Maine’s cancer patients have lung cancer. The case for MCF to co-fund this initiative was obvious and compelling.”
Maine LungCAPS Initiative Principal Investigator Paul Han, MD, MA, MPH, director of the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation at the MMC Research Institute said, “The Maine LungCAPS Initiative will develop the infrastructure and inter-institutional collaboration required to expand access to evidence-based lung cancer prevention and screening services, and to facilitate earlier and more effective treatment of lung cancer for patients across the state.”
Maine LungCAPS Initiative’s major partners include: MaineGeneral Prevention Center, MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence, Maine Quality Counts, American Lung Association of the Northeast, American Cancer Society, University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, and Maine Public Health Association as well as statewide health care providers and advocacy organizations.
These partner organizations will work together on several major activities, including educating health professionals, patients and community members about lung cancer prevention and screening, and developing effective ways of providing these services.
The Initiative will target individuals at the highest risk of cancer: adult smokers living in rural communities with limited access to health care.
“The Maine LungCAPS Initiative will test innovative strategies to reach these individuals and ultimately reduce suffering and death from lung cancer in our state,” said Dr. Han. These strategies include using both community health workers and telemedicine technology to provide lung cancer prevention and screening services for residents of rural communities with limited access to health care.
The four-year project will begin in the summer of 2016.
About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of heavily affected populations by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease.
About Maine Cancer Foundation
Maine Cancer Foundation was started in 1976 by a group of concerned citizens eager to do more for the state of Maine in the fight against cancer. We lead a state-wide effort to foster and grow the most promising and effective cancer-fighting efforts available to the people of Maine through a combination of grant-based financial support and coalition building. To learn more, visit www.mainecancer.org
About the Maine Economic Fund
The Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF), established by the Maine State Legislature in 1997, represents Maine’s ongoing commitment to advance research and development for the benefit of all Maine people through facilitating collaboration among the state, the private sector, and the University of Maine System universities. The University of Southern Maine (USM) uses MEIF to invest in strategic applied research and workforce development initiatives that enable USM to be a key player in the creation of a thriving economy in Maine.
About Maine Medical Center
Maine Medical Center (MMC), recognized as the number-one ranked hospital in Maine by U.S. News and World Report for 2015-2016, is a complete health care resource for the people of Greater Portland and the entire state, as well as northern New England. Incorporated in 1864, MMC is the state’s largest medical center, licensed for 637 beds and employing nearly 6,500 people. MMC's unique role as both a community hospital and a referral center requires an unparalleled depth and breadth of services, including an active educational program and a world-class biomedical research center. As a nonprofit institution, Maine Medical Center provides nearly 23 percent of all the charity care delivered in Maine. MMC is a member of the MaineHealth system, a growing family of health care services in northern New England. For more information, visit www.mmc.org.