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OHSU Knight Cancer Institute funds 13 projects to address cancer-related health needs in Oregon

Community Partnership Program has invested more than $4 million in 152 projects since 2014
A young woman with long, brown hair sits talking with a smiling adult woman with blonde hair; they are seated at a black table with purple foliage in vases, with a couch in the background.
Kaleigh Bellinger (right) talks with Michelle Gibson, LCSW, a grief counselor at Thadd's Place, a grief support center in John Day, Ore. The organization was named after 39-year-old cancer patient and Grant County resident Thaddeus Cowan Thompson who died in 2019. Thadd's Place received a grant from the Community Partnership Program to develop resources to help cancer patients and their families navigate the grief process from diagnosis through treatment and end of life. (Photo courtesy of Thadd's Place)

The Knight Cancer Institute’s Community Partnership Program has awarded $320,000 to 13 community-led projects across the state to address cancer-related needs.

The latest round of funding supports 10 new projects and continues funding for three others, together targeting a diverse range of cancer types and demographics. For the first time, the program has funded projects in Baker City, Gresham and John Day.

The Community Partnership Program works with Oregon communities on projects that range from cancer prevention through survivorship. The program offers multiple tiers of funding to help local organizations identify cancer-related needs and create solutions.

In John Day, the grief support center Thadd’s Place received funding to develop programs to support cancer patients and families. The center currently offers general support groups and individual counseling for children and adults.

“We are creating resources and support groups tailored for cancer patients and their families to help them navigate the grief process from diagnosis through treatment and end of life,” says Sylvia Ross, secretary at Thadd’s Place. “Currently, there are no emotional support services for anticipatory grief in Grant County and this grant will help change that.”

The Oregon School-Based Health Alliance, a statewide nonprofit, received funding to expand its program designed to increase youth knowledge about the human papilloma virus, or HPV, and HPV-related cancers through peer-led education in health classes at urban and rural high schools.

HPV can cause six types of cancer, and the vaccine can prevent up to 90% of those cancers. In 2020, only 55% of Oregon youth aged 13 to 17 completed HPV vaccination.

“There is a need for HPV prevention education throughout Oregon, says Maureen Hinman, interim executive director at the Oregon School-Based Health Alliance. “Our first grant from the Community Partnership Program enabled us to develop a peer education session about HPV that successfully increased HPV inoculation at participating health clinics. With this new funding, we’ll able to expand the program to more schools in Multnomah and Hood River counties.”

In addition to supporting projects in urban and rural areas, many of the newly funded projects will develop programs to support Black, Indigenous, Hispanic and Asian communities.

Close-in headshot of Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D., a smiling blonde woman with dark blonde hair.
Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D.

“We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to work with community-based organizations on projects that will not only have a positive impact locally—but will help reduce the burden of cancer in Oregon,” 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. “Together, we’re making strides in our mission to end cancer as we know it.”

Organizations receiving funding in this grant cycle include:

* project continuations

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