Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Announces Six New Grants

Bristol-Myers SquibbThe Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation today announced six new grants totaling more than $900,000 that focus on improving cancer awareness, prevention and care by developing cancer nursing skills and building nurse-community partnerships in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia. The funding is a result of the 2011 request for proposals issued by Bridging Cancer Care™, an umbrella program for the Foundation's efforts to help reduce cancer disparities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Organizations receiving funding are:

  • Hungarian Hospice Foundation will engage general practice nurses in efforts to encourage Roma people to participate in cervical, breast and prostate cancer screenings and to seek cancer care services when needed
  • National School of Public Health, Management and Professional Development will adapt and implement the U.S. model of the Oncology Nurse Navigator in Romania
  • Project Hope Poland will help improve early detection of cancer in children by training community nurses and primary healthcare teams
  • Romanian Cancer Society will train nurses on how to disseminate information on prevention, early diagnosis, treatment guidelines and follow-up for stomach, colon, and melanoma cancers to their communities
  • University of Washington will partner with Bashkir State Medical University in Russia to train nurses in evidence-based oncology nursing practices
  • World Services of La Crosse will help improve nursing skills and expand the scope of nursing practice in Russian primary care clinics

"Nurses are an integral part of the health care system and have the potential to significantly influence patient outcomes," said John Damonti, president, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and vice president, Corporate Philanthropy, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "Through our 2011 Bridging Cancer Care™ Request for Proposals, we were looking for innovative solutions that elevate the participation of nurses in patient education and care and help reduce disparities in health outcomes of cancer patients in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia. The projects we selected will improve education and training for nurses and patients and, ultimately, maximize the role nurses play in reducing the burden of cancer and helping to control the disease."

About Cancer in Central and Eastern Europe
Cancer is the second-most common cause of death in Europe and remains a significant health problem. There are currently 3 million new cancer cases and 1.7 million deaths from cancer in the region each year.(1) Central and Eastern European countries, however, have worse cancer incidence and mortality rates than the EU 15.(2) Cancer illiteracy among the general population, lack of prevention and screening efforts, and limited health care resources are all seen as contributing factors to this gap.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation and Bridging Cancer Care
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. The Foundation’s work related to cancer in CEE falls under the Bridging Cancer Care™ program. Beyond cancer, the Foundation also focuses on HIV/AIDS in Africa through its SECURE THE FUTURE® program, hepatitis B and C in Asia through its Delivering Hope™ program, and mental health and type 2 diabetes in the United States through its Mental Health & Well Being and Together on Diabetes® programs.

Since 2007, the Foundation has directed grant making and partnership development to cancer disparities in CEE with programs focused on a variety of needs, including psychosocial support, disease information, palliative care, care coordination, assessment of cancer services, and building nursing capacity. Beginning in 2010, the Foundation has focused on making grants for projects that improve nursing skills and build nurse/community partnerships.

1. Coleman, M.P. Responding to the challenge of cancer in Europe (2008).
2. Zatanski, W., J. Didkowska. Closing the gap: cancer in Central and Eastern Europe Eur J Cancer. 2008 Jul;44(10):1425-37