NASHVILLE, TN — Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center (MWCHC), Nashville’s oldest non-profit health center, has received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), to improve equity in cancer screenings throughout Nashville, Clarksville and Smyrna. This $5 million initiative is part of President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Initiative, which aims to close the cancer screening gap, decrease the impact of preventable cancers, and support patients and caregivers.
MWCHC is one of 11 HRSA-funded community health centers to receive funding to facilitate access to life-saving cancer screenings and early detection services for underserved populations. These first-of-their-kind partnerships are bringing health centers together with National Cancer Institute (NCI)-Designated Cancer Centers.
MWHC will work with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which will deploy their outreach specialists and patient navigators in Nashville, Clarksville and Smyrna with a focus on breast, cervical and colon cancers.
“Many of our community members still lack access to affordable, timely, cancer screenings. The Accelerating Cancer Screening project will strengthen our programs and ability to reach more people,” said Katina Beard, CEO of MWCHC. “We have a long history of working with our partners at the Vanderbilt Cancer Center; now we will have an opportunity to use the various tools and resources together in this national effort. We are confident these efforts will increase and improve cancer screening rates in our community.”
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the United States, with nearly 600,000 deaths annually. Significant disparities continue to exist in screening and follow-up care after an abnormal cancer screening test result, based on an individual’s income, insurance status, and race or ethnicity. These cancers can be prevented or detected early through appropriate screening and timely follow-up care.
Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center is a non-profit health center providing affordable and quality healthcare to patients in the Middle Tennessee and surrounding areas. MWCHC is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art care to all patients regardless of economic status, with its three facilities in Nashville, Clarksville and Smyrna reaching almost 17,000 patients a year.