PROFESSIONAL SPACE IN MOTION

The Cancer Moonshot Initiative and Out-of-Office Cancer Screenings

Mobile health care serves a wide section of the population providing dental care, blood donations, primary and preventive medical care, along with mobile mammography and general cancer screenings.  We all know cancer screenings are important for the early detection of disease, better health outcomes, and saving more lives.  Many organizations work with the CDC through their national programs to extend these services to millions of people.

Recently, the White House underscored the importance of cancer prevention and early detection by making it a national priority and cornerstone of the new Cancer Moonshot Initiative.  The President’s Cancer Panel also released “Closing Gaps in Cancer Screening: Connecting People, Communities, and Systems to Improve Equity and Access.” 

The 2022 relaunch of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative sets two particularly ambitious goals for the future of cancer prevention and control: 

  1. Reduce the death rate from cancer by 50 percent over the next 25 years
  2. Improve the experience of patients and families living with and surviving cancer 

As part of Moonshot, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made a commitment that supports these new objectives:OhioHealth Mobile Medical Clinic accelerating efforts to nearly eliminate cervical cancer through screenings and HPV vaccination, with a particular focus on reaching people who are most at risk.  A very large portion of those at risk are the rural and urban disenfranchised.  Those people who have little or no access to medical care. 

The Moonshot initiative includes a specific goal “to speed progress against the most deadly and rare cancers, including childhood cancers.” 

“Today, we know cancer as a disease for which we lack good strategies for developing treatments against many of the more than 200 distinct types. We can invest in a robust pipeline for new treatments, and the COVID-19 pandemic response has demonstrated we can accelerate clinical trials without compromising safety and effectiveness.” 

The White House also issued a call to action to jumpstart progress on cancer screenings that were missed due to Covid-19.  A recent study in England raised the alarm about missed and delayed diagnoses in children, an issue that has been closely followed since the beginning of the pandemic. 

To improve early cancer detection mobile health units provide breast, cervical and skin cancer screenings.  There are many mobile health clinics around the country performing these screenings such as the Hollings Cancer Center in South Carolina to provide cancer screens and education services to communities designated as the most medically underserved, and the McGovern Medical School in Texas spreading cervical cancer awareness in the Rio Grande Valley.   

March of Dimes Funds Mobile Clinics 

In an effort to further meet the need for out-of-office cancer screens along with prenatal care the March of Dimes has funded many mobile clinics that provide “Mom & Baby” units that go to Social worker Cynthia Ward in OhioHealth Mobile Clinicschools and other locations to meet the needs of those who find it difficult to get to a doctor.  These mobile clinics work to alleviate barriers pregnant and new mothers face in accessing health care,The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is providing women in Southeast Ohio with prenatal and postpartum care and reproductive health services. The effort is in response to limited availability of maternity care services in the region. The program is dedicated to improving the health of new moms and babies, specifically when it comes to premature birth.  According to Dr. Seuli Brill, a physician at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and associate professor in the Ohio State University College of Medicine who co-leads the mobile health initiative; “With 1 in 10 babies in Ohio born preterm, and a high rate of pregnancy-associated deaths for new mothers, we want to ensure that all moms and babies – especially those with the greatest need – get the care they deserve.”  

Conclusion 

As stated in the Cancer Moonshot initiative announcement; “The experience of cancer — of getting a cancer diagnosis, surviving cancer, losing someone to cancer — has touched virtually every American family.” 

The announcement goes on to say that achieving the bold goals laid out by the administration will take all of us.  Progress will be informed by patients, caregivers, and families and made by all parts of the oncology community and beyond.  The President is calling on the private sector, foundations, academic institutions, healthcare providers, and all Americans to join the mission of reducing the deadly impact of cancer and improving patient experiences in the diagnosis, treatment, and survival of cancer.  All Americans are being called on to share perspectives and ideas; — organizations, companies, and institutions are asked to share actions they plan to take as part of this mission. 

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