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Saint Francis Foundation Receives $25,000 from the American Cancer Society

Cape Girardeau, Mo. – To alleviate the financial burden of cancer treatment, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recently awarded a $25,000 transportation grant to Saint Francis Foundation. The grant will underwrite gas cards and car service rides for eligible patients who face transportation barriers to attend cancer-related appointments.

Liz Glastetter, MBA, BSN, RN, Director of Cancer Services for Saint Francis Healthcare System, acknowledges the need for funding. "One of the greatest barriers to accessing cancer treatment in our region is lack of transportation and the financial burden that creates. We are pleased to collaborate with the American Cancer Society to remove transportation barriers so our patients can focus on their health, healing and, ultimately, remission."

Lack of transportation to treatment prevents many people living with cancer from getting highquality care, which worsens cancer outcomes

In a study presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Quality Care Symposium, American Cancer Society researchers found that 2.8 percent of cancer survivors reported delays in care due to transportation barriers. Cancer survivors who delayed care due to lack of transportation were more likely to use the emergency room and had the highest risk of all-cause and cancer-specific mortality. 

According to the American Cancer Society's Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Facts & Figures 2022-2024, cancer survivors experience greater financial hardship than the general population for many reasons including the inability to work. They also have higher out of pocket medical costs compared to people without a history of cancer. The economic burden of cancer is more profound in survivors who are younger or were diagnosed in childhood, underinsured or uninsured, and have lower incomes.

"Not having access to high-quality cancer treatment due to where you live contributes to the disparities we see in cancer outcomes. It is important to provide the funding and programming needed to keep a lack of transportation from impacting survival," said Arif Kamal, MD, MBA, MHS, FACP, FAAHPM, FASCO, Chief Patient Officer for the American Cancer Society. "The local health systems we partner with across the country use this funding to deliver assistance directly to the patients who need it most."

The Saint Francis Cancer Institute is the region's only Comprehensive Community Cancer Program accredited by the Commission on Cancer. The Cancer Institute offers comprehensive oncology services for the treatment of many types of cancer, and our skilled oncologists and surgeons are recognized experts in cancer care. For more information, visit Saint Francis Healthcare System is guided by our Mission to provide a ministry of healing, wellness, quality and love inspired by our faith in Jesus Christ. Founded by Franciscan Sisters in 1875, our priority remains the same: serve all who enter with dignity, compassion and joy. Serving nearly 713,000 people across Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas, our focus is on patients' outcomes, experience and value. Anchored by Saint Francis Medical Center, a 306-bed tertiary hospital, and supported by nearly 3,000 employees and more than 250 providers in ten communities, the Healthcare System is a driving economic force in the region. Major services include the Cancer Institute, Emergency and Level III Trauma Center, Family BirthPlace and Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Heart Hospital, Neurosciences and Orthopedics.