Cancer Support Community Announces Partnership with National Rural Oncology Collaborative to Provide More Comprehensive Care to Cancer Patients in Breckinridge County, Kentucky
This new partnership aims to increase access to cancer care and support for rural populations
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 14, 2022) — The Cancer Support Community (CSC) today announced that it is partnering with the National Rural Oncology Collaborative (NROC) to make medical oncology treatments and cancer support services available at Breckinridge Health, a critical-access hospital located in the rural community of Hardinsburg, Kentucky. By joining forces, CSC and NROC, the oncology division of Community Infusion Solutions, aim to use Breckinridge Health as the launchpad for a larger, long-term initiative to improve healthcare outcomes and overall quality of life for people living with cancer in rural America.
This partnership comes following the reignition of President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, an initiative created to reduce the deadly impact of cancer and improve the patient experience throughout the cancer continuum. The President has personally tasked the medical and public health communities to expand their outreach and areas of services to communities that have historically been underserved.
Research conducted by Medscape and Walmart shows that people living in rural areas have lower cancer survival rates than those residing in urban areas. Additionally, only 25% of rural healthcare professionals think their patients have adequate access to mental health services. With these statistics in mind, CSC and NROC recognize the importance of expanding into these communities.
“Pretty much any other medical center accessible to us is about an hour away, all the way around. Louisville, Elizabethtown, Litchfield, and Owensboro. I think that’s all,” said Leslie Kennedy, Chief Nursing Officer at Breckinridge Health. “Our patients have to be referred out for anything specialty-related to cancer. And I think being able to do certain things right here will really lessen the burden of that.”
“Beyond access to distant medical oncology, there is a critical need in rural America for these kinds of cancer services that can have a huge impact on health outcomes for this population. Home is where the heart is and so is supportive care. We are proud to lead this effort with Cancer Support Community,” said Mitchell Berenson, MPH, President and CEO, Community Infusion Solutions, parent organization to the National Rural Oncology Collaborative.
Through cancer support services at Breckinridge Health, cancer patients in the community will have access to CSC’s comprehensive, high-quality programming that includes healthy lifestyle programs, support groups, social connections, education, resources, and referrals — all provided free of charge. The IV infusions will be provided by Community Infusion Solutions, who are specifically equipped to serve small and rural healthcare.
“Having grown up on a farm in rural Virginia, I know firsthand both the joys and the challenges of rural community life,” said CSC CEO Debbie Weir. “CSC is honored to serve the community of Breckinridge and do our part to address barriers to quality care. We are proud to partner with NROC so that people impacted by cancer can get the care they need where they are.”
Through partnering with trusted and established local entities, CSC plans to expand its reach to even more people living with cancer in rural areas with the goal of launching programs in five more rural communities within the next two years and twenty locations within the next five years.
For more information about the partnership with Breckinridge Health please visit https://www.mybreckhealth.org/cancersupport.
About the Cancer Support Community
As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC), including its Gilda’s Club network partners, is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. CSC achieves its mission through three areas: direct service delivery, research, and advocacy. The organization’s Institute for Excellence in Psychosocial Care includes an international network that offers the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer, as well as a community of support available online and over the phone. The Research and Training Institute conducts cutting-edge psychosocial, behavioral, and survivorship research. CSC furthers its focus on patient advocacy through its Cancer Policy Institute, informing public policy in Washington, D.C. and across the nation. For more information, please call the toll-free Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355 or visit www.CancerSupportCommunity.org.
About the National Rural Oncology Collaborative
The National Rural Oncology Collaborative (NROC) is the oncology division of Community Infusion Solutions (CIS), the leader and innovator in IV infusion clinic services in rural hospitals across the U.S. Since 2008, CIS has developed more than 125 rural infusion clinics, serving 8,000+ patients a year with 90% adherence to treatment, and helping patients in underserved and disparate healthcare regions advocate for their care. Together, NROC and CIS are uniquely positioned to deliver high-quality oncology infusion services, address disparities in cancer care by and serve as a conduit for social and emotional cancer support for patients in rural America. For more information, visit https://communityiv.com/nroc/.