SelfMade Health Network Announces Request for Proposals to Establish Regional Lead Organization to Support Southern Louisiana

National network expands commitment to addressing lung cancer disparities among rural populations

HAMPTON, Va., March 23, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As noted by the National Cancer Institute, "cancer health disparities" continue to exist among certain population groups and regions. These vulnerable population groups possess greater burden of disease and may be characterized by age, disability, education, race/ethnicity, geographic location, income, and gender.

SelfMade Health Network (SMHN) is a member of the CDC's Consortium of National Networks to Impact Populations Experiencing Tobacco-Related and Cancer Health Disparities. The consortium of national networks is established to advance commercial tobacco use prevention and cancer prevention in populations experiencing tobacco-related and cancer health disparities. Specifically, the SMHN focuses on those populations with low socio-economic status characteristics including vulnerable, underserved and low-resourced populations residing in rural, urban and frontier regions.

As referenced in the Institute of Medicine report "Unequal Burden of Cancer: An Assessment of NIH Research and Programs for Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved" health disparities continue to exist across a number of disease categories and is associated with some of the nation's leading costly conditions. "The establishment of a Louisiana Regional Resource Lead Organization (also known as Communities of Promise) represents a major next step in our national network's commitment to addressing geographic-related disparities and would potentially spur capacity-building, as well as, opportunities associated with increased access for medically underserved areas, and other communities in parishes," said Dwana "Dee" Calhoun, MS- SMHN Director.

SelfMade Health Network invites proposals for the Louisiana-Lung Cancer Prevention, Control and Survivorship with Business and Community Engagement funding opportunity. This RFP (Request for Proposals) is intended to establish a Regional Resource Lead Organization (RRLO) in Southern Louisiana encompassing public-private partnerships to increase lung cancer screening, early detection, treatment and survivorship. This RFP is also intended to increase tobacco cessation support primarily among male populations including: uninsured, low-income employees and/or unemployed adult tobacco users residing in primarily rural parishes and medically underserved areas.

SMHN seek proposals from business groups, eligible universities, non-profit organizations, AHECs (Area Health Education Centers) and health system entities (including the Veteran's Administration). A complete list of eligible entities is noted on the RFP. The geographic scope of this multi-year funding opportunity includes southwestern Louisiana parishes to include: Iberia, St. Mary, Evangeline, Acadia, St. Landry, Lafayette, St. Martin, Vermillion, Calcasieu and Cameron during the first two years with subsequent expansion statewide by the third year. Although preference shall be rendered to entities located in Louisiana as well as entities located outside the state are eligible to apply.

Recently established SMHN RRLOs vary by type. "We look forward to minimizing the onset of "late stage" cancers and reducing tobacco use among generations of vulnerable populations by expanding efforts to additional parishes in Louisiana and other states over the course of the next few years," said Calhoun.

Additional information pertaining to the Request for Proposals including a complete list of eligible entities, closing date and instructions for submission are posted on the SelfMade Health Network website at:

SelfMade Health Network is a national network of dedicated organizations, businesses, service agencies, academic institutions and communities seeking to conquer tobacco-related health disparities and expand the promotion of cancer prevention, screening, treatment and survivorship in vulnerable populations. It is our mission to educate, empower and mobilize regions, networks, communities and systems leading to a healthier world, workforce and generation free of preventable lung, colorectal and breast cancers. For more information, please visit or follow us Twitter at @SelfMadeHealth. Individuals and organizations interested in joining SelfMade Health Network or subscribing to its communications may email us at


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