Patient Advocate Foundation Partners with Local Organizations to Provide Case Management Support to Underserved Individuals with Lung Cancer in West Virginia

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation awards Patient Advocate Foundation a three-year, $1.36 million grant to raise awareness of lung cancer screening and remove barriers to care for vulnerable populations

HAMPTON, Va., Feb. 29, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), a national nonprofit dedicated to helping patients with serious illness access healthcare, has been awarded a three-year grant courtesy of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Bridging Cancer Care™ initiative.

"Obstacles to screening, especially for minority and underserved populations, often result in patients receiving a late-stage diagnosis, which dramatically reduces their chances for survival," says John Damonti, President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation. Patient Advocate Foundation seeks to combat this by tackling social and other financial barriers to care experienced by Medicaid Managed Care beneficiaries through sustained case management support, improved provider outreach and engagement, and increased patient awareness and education about lung cancer screening.

"Lung cancer continues to be the deadliest, yet most preventable cancer out there," says Shonta Chambers, Executive Vice President of Health Equity at Patient Advocate Foundation. "We believe that by taking a fully integrated, preventive patient approach, including linkages to tobacco cessation supports, we'll see a shift in health disparities."

Patient Advocate Foundation's initiative will primarily focus on linking limited resourced lung cancer patients to comprehensive case management support. Furthermore, the project will identify barriers to care for vulnerable populations and develop strategies to link patients to providers, as well as increase community awareness of lung cancer screening opportunities. Lastly, PAF will launch the Lung Cancer CareLine; a toll free phone number providing comprehensive navigation of the health care system to increase access to emerging therapies and treatment for lung cancer patients.

"Our dedicated case management team will provide one-on-one customized attention to ensure lung cancer patients are given the tools they need to approach their healthcare empowered and educated about their options," Alan Balch, PhD, CEO of Patient Advocate Foundation says.

Patient Advocate Foundation will work closely with partners West Virginia University Cancer Institute, Coventry Cares of West Virginia, West Virginia Prevention Research Center, Mountains of Hope Cancer Coalition, West Virginia Hospital Association, and the American Cancer Society to fully execute the program's goals and initiatives.

Patients, caregivers or medical providers interested in learning more about Patient Advocate Foundation's mission and initiatives should visit Bi-lingual case managers are available to assist Spanish speaking callers.


About Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF): Established in 1996, Patient Advocate Foundation assists patients who have been diagnosed with serious illness overcome healthcare access barriers. PAF provides in-depth sustained assistance through personalized case management, financial support, and connection to critical community resources, all at no cost to the patient or their caregiver. For more information about Patient Advocate Foundation and its mission to improve health access to all patients, visit or call 1-800-532-5274.

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