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Harney District Hospital is one of 13 statewide projects to receive funding for cancer-related needs

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Community Partnership Program has invested more than $3 million in nearly 120 projects since 2014
two women sitting in an office, smiling at one another, seated.
Savanna Cate, (left) program outreach coordinator for the Harney District Hospital Community Assistance for Neighbors with Cancer Program, shares information with patient Debbie Pike. (Photo courtesy Harney District Hospital Community Assistance for Neighbors with Cancer Program)

Thirteen new organizations in Oregon have received funding from the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s Community Partnership Program to address community-identified cancer needs.  The latest round of funding, totaling $257,346, supports 10 new projects and 3 continuations of previously-funded projects around the state, many of which are focused on prevention efforts such as: tobacco cessation and prevention, human papilloma virus – or, HPV - vaccination, and cancer prevention through cultural teachings.

One of the Community Partnership Program’s goals is to support all of Oregon’s communities in identifying and addressing their most pressing cancer-related needs. The Harney District Hospital in Burns, Oregon, received a new grant to conduct a needs assessment of cancer patients in Harney County to identify cancer-related needs and barriers to care.

At Harney District Hospital, cancer-support services are provided through the internal CAN, Community Assistance for Neighbors with Cancer Program, administered by program outreach coordinator Savanna Cate.

“CAN Cancer of Harney County provides emotional and financial assistance to help support local cancer patients undergoing treatment,” Cate says. “Patients coming to us live anywhere from 130 to 450 miles away from their cancer specialists. It's our job to help break down barriers and get them to their appointments.”

Funding from the Community Partnership Program grant will help CAN Cancer advance its mission by helping to identify and eliminate barriers for cancer patients living in a community so rural that Cate says it is sometimes considered “frontier.”

Christina Balch, whose husband is a CAN Cancer client, says: “There are never enough words to express the gratitude that my husband and I have for CAN Cancer. Traveling from Burns to Bend is not an easy trek. Having to do it weekly to bi-weekly is taxing. The help and support we’ve received from CAN Cancer has been just amazing. CAN Cancer is always checking in on us to make sure things are okay and to see if there is anything they can help with. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal cancer just over a year ago. When one has to go through something so life-changing and altering, it’s comforting to know that there is an organization like this on your side.”

The Community Partnership Program offers multiple tiers of funding to support local organizations in identifying and developing tools to address a local cancer-related need.

Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D.

“It’s really very exciting to take a step back and see the breadth and depth of cancer survivorship and prevention efforts these programs are addressing,” says Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D., co-director of the Community Partnership Program and associate director of community outreach and engagement at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. “Our mission is to work hand-in-hand with communities to end cancer as we know it, and we’ve been impressed with the energy and dedication from community-based organizations across Oregon to address these important issues.”

Organizations receiving grants in this funding cycle include: 

  • Douglas Public Health Network—Douglas County HPV Prevention Project
  • Oregon State University, College of Public Health and Human Sciences—Women's experience with interval breast cancer
  • Harney District Hospital—Harney County Cancer-Related Needs Assessment
  • Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice—Active Cancer Patient Inquiry for Interest, Need and Form for End of Life Education and Counseling
  • Oregon State University, College of Public Health and Human Sciences—Well water remediation program with Oregon well owners to remove arsenic
  • Samaritan Health Services—Feasibility of administering the evidence-based Exercising Together program at a community cancer center
  • Yamhill Community Care Organization (YCCO)*—Tobacco Prevention Program for Youth
  • Sky Lakes Medical Center Foundation—Fresh and Local: SLMC Outpatient Nutrition Outreach
  • See You at the Summit—Therapeutic nature and adventure impact on adolescent oncology psychosocial health
  • Urban League of Portland*—Older Adult Cancer Coalition
  • Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)—Cancer Prevention through Cultural Teachings
  • Oregon State University Coos County Extension*—WE CAN (Wellness Education for Cancer Nutrition)
  • American Lung Association in Oregon—Reduce Tobacco and Nicotine Use Among Youth in Oregon

Learn more about the projects funded.

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