LOWELL, MA – The Greater Lowell Health Alliance (GLHA) of the Community Health Network Area 10 has been awarded a $50,000 grant to conduct a cancer disparities needs assessment in the Greater Lowell region. Focus groups, key informant interviews and provider roundtable discussions will be conducted in the Greater Lowell region in order to obtain input from community members.

The funds were awarded through the Department of Public Health (DPH) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for phase I of the Cancer Disparities Capacity Building Pilot Project. The grant will be used to conduct an assessment of the health status of area residents and report cancer disparities and health inequities of interest and importance to the community. JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) will serve as the contractor and administrator of the project.

As the leading cause of death in Massachusetts, cancer claims approximately 13,000 lives annually. Racial and socioeconomic disparities continue to impact cancer incidence and mortality in Massachusetts and the Greater Lowell communities experience a higher age-adjusted overall cancer death rate than the state (224.7 per 100,000 versus 185.2 per 100,000) based on the most recent MassCHIP reports from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Our community residents are burdened with higher mortality rates across almost all cancer types including lung, breast, uterine and oropharyngeal disease sites.

“As an organization solely dedicated to improving the quality of health in the communities we serve, we are very pleased to have been awarded this grant, which will assist in the goal of reducing the impact of cancer while simultaneously reducing cancer disparities and promoting health equity in the Greater Lowell region,” said Kerrie D’Entremont, GLHA Executive Director.

GLHA – comprised of healthcare providers, business leaders, educators, civic and community leaders – plays a critical role in helping individuals and organizations collaboratively improve the health of the Greater Lowell region. By raising awareness and providing resources for community organizations, the Alliance empowers them to make decisions and take actions that will lead to an improvement in the region’s health.

Members of the public interested in participating in the project should email Kerrie D’Entremont at kdentremont@greaterlowellhealthalliance.org or call (978) 934-8368.