AstraZeneca Announces Winners and Recognizes Oncology Change Makers in Third Annual Cancer Community Awards

National awards program introduces fifth award category encouraging health equity for medically disadvantaged communities

AstraZeneca, in partnership with Scientific American Custom Media, today announced the winners of the third annual Cancer Community Awards (or C2 Awards). A part of the AstraZeneca YOUR Cancer program, the C2 Awards celebrate diverse individuals and organizations creating meaningful change in the lives of people with cancer and their loved ones across five unique categories.

This year, a new Catalyst for Equity Award category was introduced to recognize those determined to overcome historical racial and ethnic disparities so that all patients who stand to benefit can have access to the latest advancements in oncology practice and quality care.

“As we commemorate 50 years since the National Cancer Act was signed and reflect upon the extraordinary progress made in treating this disease, we are inspired by this year’s winners and finalists,” said Chatrick Paul, Head of US Oncology, AstraZeneca. “Though we still have more to do toward one day eliminating cancer mortality, especially amid a pandemic that has laid bare the disparities disproportionately faced by disadvantaged communities, these unsung heroes, through their selfless dedication, demonstrate what we can accomplish as one oncology community determined to create meaningful change for people with cancer.”

“For scientific progress to be of true service to humanity, it must be accessible and available to all,” notes Jeremy Abbate, VP & Publisher of Scientific American. “We are so proud to play a role in the C2 Awards as it is a program steadfastly dedicated to rewarding those making enormous impacts on people’s health.”

More than 100 award nominations were submitted from 28 states and the District of Columbia. The winners, selected by a third-party judging panel of leaders in the cancer community, were recognized this week during a virtual ceremony. As part of their award, winners receive a $50,000 donation to give to a non-profit organization serving the cancer community.

The 2021 winners and finalists across all five award categories include the following:

The 2021 Cancer Community Awards Recipients

The C2 Catalyst for Equity award recognizes those who have worked to overcome longstanding racial and ethnic disparities in cancer care so that all patients have equitable access to quality cancer care.

  • This year’s winner is Equal Hope, represented by Anne Marie Murphy, PhD. Equal Hope (formerly the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force) works to save lives by eliminating health disparities across women’s cancers in Illinois.
  • Finalists included Carmen Ortiz, PhD, of Círculo de Vida, for her work to provide psycho-oncology support for Spanish-speaking cancer patients and their families; and Beulah Brent of Sisters Working It Out who improves health equity for African American and Latina women in and around Chicago.

The C2 Catalyst for Change award celebrates those who significantly improve access to cancer care for underserved populations.

  • This year’s winner is Tomma Hargraves, a volunteer with the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina. Hargraves developed the Lung Cancer Initiative of North Carolina’s Access to Care Gas Card program that helps patients travel to their treatment.
  • Finalists included Stacie Lindsey of the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation, who provides education, connection, and support for families affected by the rare cancer cholangiocarcinoma; and Stephenie Kennedy-Rea, EdD, of the West Virginia University Cancer Institute who works to reduce cancer in Appalachian communities through evidence-based early detection, outreach, and education.

The C2 Catalyst for Care award recognizes those who enhance the experience of care for patients during their cancer treatment.

  • This year’s winner is Unite for HER, represented by founder Susan Weldon. Unite for HER provides integrative therapies to breast and ovarian cancer patients to help them mitigate and ease side effects and symptoms during and after treatments.
  • Finalists included Andrea McConnell of the Fairy Godmother Project, a pediatric cancer organization that focuses on supporting caregivers; and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Patient Services, represented by President and CEO Julie Fleshman, which provides patients and caregivers affected by pancreatic cancer with personalized, one-on-one support, including disease information, treatment options, clinical trials, and more.

The C2 Catalyst for Precision Medicine award honors those who improve personalized treatment for cancer patients.

  • This year’s winner is Colin Pritchard, MD, PhD, of the University of Washington. Dr Pritchard is focusing on turning next-generation genetic sequencing into a cancer risk assessment and patient-therapy matching tool, thereby leading to better targeted treatments for patients.
  • Finalists included Jonathan Simons, MD, of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, who guided the Prostate Cancer Foundation in supporting the development of advanced imaging and precision therapeutic agents that improve the treatment of prostate cancer; and Alana Welm, PhD, of the Huntsman Cancer Institute, who developed a method to grow patient-derived xenografts, in mice and in specialized cultures, which can be used to develop personalized treatments and identify those with a high risk of recurrence.

The President’s Award, selected by AstraZeneca, honors those who make a tangible and inspiring difference for patients and their loved ones.

  • This year’s President’s Award winner is Margaret Stauffer of the Cancer Support Community San Francisco Bay Area, who for more than 30 years has worked to help people affected by cancer alleviate that distress and has developed psychosocial support programs in both English and Spanish.

Nominations were evaluated by an esteemed panel of multidisciplinary community leaders, including Jill Kincaid, 2020 C2 Catalyst for Care Winner and Founder and CEO of Chemo Buddies; Lincoln Nadauld, MD, PhD, 2020 Catalyst for Precision Medicine Winner and Vice President and Chief of Precision Health and Academics, Intermountain Healthcare; Lynette Bonar, RN, BSN, MBA, FACHE, 2020 Catalyst for Change Winner and CEO of Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation; Richard Dean, PhD, 2020 President’s Award Winner and Volunteer with Johns Hopkins Hospital; John DiPersio, MD, PhD, Chief of the Division of Oncology and Deputy Director of the Siteman Cancer Center; Carolyn Aldige, Founder and CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation; Jamie Bearse, President and CEO of ZERO/The End of Prostate Cancer; Ysabel Duron, President/Executive Director of The Latino Cancer Institute; and Mitch Stoller, Chief Philanthropic Officer and VP of Development of the American Association for Cancer Research.

More details on finalists and winners can be found at YourCancer.org/c2-awards-2021.

Notes

About YOUR Cancer
The C2 Awards are part of the YOUR Cancer Program, a broader initiative launched by AstraZeneca to spotlight those at the forefront of cancer research and patient support who are contributing toward eliminating cancer as a cause of death. YOUR Cancer aims to convene, engage, and highlight the full breadth of the oncology community, utilizing four pillars: a digital partnership hub profiling community resources and perspectives, an awards program recognizing the unsung heroes of oncology, state-level roundtables with local policymakers and advocates, and media and speaking engagements profiling community oncology leaders.

About AstraZeneca in oncology
AstraZeneca is leading a revolution in oncology with the ambition to provide cures for cancer in every form, following the science to understand cancer and all its complexities to discover, develop and deliver life-changing medicines to patients.

The Company’s focus is on some of the most challenging cancers. It is through persistent innovation that AstraZeneca has built one of the most diverse portfolios and pipelines in the industry, with the potential to catalyze changes in the practice of medicine and transform the patient experience.

AstraZeneca has the vision to redefine cancer care and, one day, eliminate cancer as a cause of death.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases and BioPharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com and follow us on Twitter @AstraZenecaUS.

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