New Orleans, LA (November 18, 2019) – With the Great American Smokeout just days away, the American Cancer Society (ACS), National Football League (NFL), and the New Orleans Saints have awarded a grant to Daughters of Charity Health Centers and Touro Infirmary,addressing lung cancer mortality by increasing screenings and supporting smoking cessation efforts. The grant funding was made possible through ACS’s partnership with the NFL and the League’s Crucial Catch campaign.
“The New Orleans Saints are proud to partner with the NFL and the American Cancer Society in awarding this grant to the Daughters of Charity Health Centers and Touro Infirmary in the hopes of aggressively combating the troublesome lung cancer mortality rates,” said New Orleans Saints Owner Gayle Benson. “Through the Crucial Catch campaign, more than $20 million dollars has been raised and we, as a League, are committed to working closely with these outstanding organizations.”
The grants are the latest in ACS’s Community Health Advocates Implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program, which provides funding opportunities as part of the ACS’s commitment to reduce cancer disparities. Daughters of Charity will receive $100,000 and their collaborating partner, Touro Infirmary will receive $25,000 over two years.
“Daughters of Charity is excited to be awarded the NFL Lung Cancer CHANGE Grant through the American Cancer Society,” said Jennifer Frizzell, Vice President of Population Health and Quality Management for Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans. “Our network of clinics serves the largest number of lives through Federally Qualified Health Centers in Louisiana. Implementing a lung cancer screening program accompanied with smoking cessation will optimize the opportunity to impact rates of early detection of lung cancer in our patients and community.”
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States, responsible for about 1 in 4 cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women but takes more lives than any other cancer. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. The ACS estimates there will be about 228,150 new lung cancer cases and 142,670 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2019.
“Since the 1960s, doctors have been searching for a way to screen our patients for lung cancer, the cancer that causes the most deaths in the United States,” said Neil Ninan, MD, Interventional Pulmonologist at Touro Infirmary. “Now we have that test and it has the potential to save thousands of lives in the coming years. Lung cancer screening can decrease your chance of dying from lung cancer by 20 percent. If you are a smoker, talk to your doctor about quitting and about lung cancer screening.”
“The American Cancer Society is committed to saving lives and attacking cancer from every angle,” said Jasmyne Watts, Health Systems Manager for the American Cancer Society. “We are excited that Daughters of Charity and Touro Infirmary will be able to increase awareness in the community and provide the necessary steps to ensure that patients have access to early detection through improved screenings.”
Lung cancer can be diagnosed in anyone, including those with no known risk factors. Cigarette smoking increases the risk of several cancers and is clearly the strongest risk factor for lung cancer, accounting for about 8 out of 10 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. For smokers, quitting is the best way to reduce the risk of lung cancer and helps lower the risk of developing several other types of cancer. Let the Great American Smokeout event on Thursday, November 21 be the day to start your journey toward a smoke-free life. Join thousands of people who smoke across the country in taking an important step toward a healthier life and reducing your cancer risk.
Since 2009, the NFL’s Crucial Catch has raised more than $20 million in support of ACS. Funding raised since 2012 has supported ACS’s CHANGE program. This program promotes health equity and addresses cancer early detection disparities through community-based cancer prevention programs that increase access to necessary cancer screenings. The program officially launched in 2012 within 17 communities across the country. Since 2012, the NFL has funded over 200 projects in safety-net, primary care systems within 100 miles of an NFL market to increase cancer awareness and access to potentially life-saving screenings. To date, 1 million individuals have been reached with education, navigation, and screening reminders.
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to www.cancer.org
About Crucial Catch
The NFL, its clubs, the NFL Players Association and the American Cancer Society are committed to the fight against cancer. Crucial Catch expands the impact of the NFL’s work around breast cancer to address multiple types of cancer through prevention, early detection, and timely access to follow-up care as needed. Since 2009, the first year of the NFL’s Crucial Catch campaign, the league’s work has raised more than $20 million for the American Cancer Society. Money raised through Crucial Catch supports the American Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program, which promotes health equity and addresses cancer-related disparities. Visit nfl.com/crucialcatch to learn more and get involved.