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February 28, 2024

UVA Cancer Center Backs 5 Community Projects to Reduce Cancer-Related Disparities 

Five community groups are the recipients of the University of Virginia Cancer Center’s latest round of Comprehensive Community Grants, which will help improve screening, education, access to care and improving quality of life for cancer patients.

Each organization has received $10,000 for one-year projects to reduce the burden of cancer while addressing health disparities and advancing health equity across the cancer center’s service area of 3.2 million people, which includes eastern West Virginia, Southwest Virginia and Southside Virginia as well as Culpeper and portions of Northern Virginia. 

The program is part of UVA Cancer Center’s mission as one of 56 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers to educate the public about cancer, improve screening, conduct innovative research and provide cutting-edge, high-quality cancer care. 

“When you combine grassroots initiatives driven by leaders who know their communities best with the UVA Cancer Center’s expertise, the result is impactful programs that exceed the capabilities of any single organization working alone,” said Lindsay Hauser, director of UVA Cancer Center’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement. “These programs provide services and education in innovative and meaningful ways,” 

The awardees:

  • Hitting Cancer Below the Belt’s Colon Online on Land (COOL) project brings colorectal cancer education and screening messaging to communities online, on land, and even on wheels to raise the level of conversation around colorectal cancer in ways that move people in Virginia from awareness to action.
  • Vance Street Missionary Baptist Church’s Cutting Cancer project in Danville promotes awareness of the importance of early cancer detection by engaging community members in culturally appropriate cancer conversations, screening education and resources to navigate the healthcare system.
  • The Primary Care Partnership’s WellAware Program in Charlottesville aims to broaden services such as transportation, food deliveries, home visits, health coaching and outreach to improve engagement with cancer services and expand the public’s knowledge about cancer. 
  • Hopecam’s Champions of Hope project aims to help children receiving cancer treatment overcome social isolation by providing them tablets, laptops, internet access and Hopecam resources to connect them virtually with classmates and peers at no cost.
  • Yellow Door Foundation's Apartment Refurbishment project aims to renovate four of their eight Charlottesville apartments, which for six years have been a free home away from home for the families of pediatric cancer and transplant patients for the duration of the child’s treatment at UVA Health Children’s.

“HCB2 is dedicated to defeating colorectal cancer by moving people from awareness to action through both access to affordable screening services and engaging educational activities,” said Mindy Conklin, Executive Director at Hitting Cancer Below the Belt. “Bridging resources by way of our partnership with UVA and the medical community enhances community outreach initiatives, and can save even more lives.”

More information about the grant recipients and projects is available at

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