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CancerCare® Convenes Stakeholder Meeting to Begin Creating Model Disaster Response Program for Cancer Patients

CancerCare®,, the leading national nonprofit providing free, professional support services to individuals affected by cancer, is pleased to announce that it is convening a stakeholder meeting to identify and begin to address the challenges cancer patients face in the wake of a natural disaster.

The meeting will be held in conjunction with a program that involves multiple oncology stakeholders in the creation of a model disaster response program for cancer patients. The goal is to have a disaster program ready to launch immediately when disasters arise in the future.

The stakeholder meeting is being hosted at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida on May 15, 2019. Participating organizations include (among others) the American Cancer Society, American Society for Radiation Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Direct Relief, Florida Blue, Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute, Florida Society of Clinical Oncology, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Medical Oncology Association of Southern California, Inc., Migrant Clinicians Network, Moffitt Cancer Center, National Cancer Institute, Oncology Nursing Society, Partners HealthCare, Elderly Transportation Service LLC (TRANSCITA), UnitedHealthcare, and US Department of Health and Human Services.

CancerCare provided financial assistance as well as psychosocial and practical support to more than 1,000 cancer patients who were affected by the catastrophic hurricanes in Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico.

“CancerCare’s work in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas in 2017 showed us just how devastating a natural disaster can be to patients already dealing with the difficulties of a cancer diagnosis,” said Patricia J. Goldsmith, CancerCare CEO. “CancerCare is excited to bring together such an esteemed group of organizations to begin tackling the greatest challenges cancer patients and their healthcare providers face as a result of disasters.”

This program is supported by grants from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc. and the Merck Foundation. This program will further our mission to better serve anyone affected by cancer. For more information on CancerCare’s services, patients and health care professionals can call CancerCare’s toll-free Hopeline, 800-813-HOPE (4673), staffed Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.

About CancerCare®

Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation

The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to help reduce health disparities by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. For more information on the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, visit

About the Merck Foundation

The Merck Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, the Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is Merck’s chief source of funding support to qualified non-profit charitable organizations. Since its inception, the Merck Foundation has contributed more than $921 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs and are consistent with Merck’s overall mission of inventing for life by bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. For more information, visit


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