Alexandria, LA - The American Cancer Society has awarded a $20,000 transportation grant to the Rapides Cancer Center to assist patients. Cancer patients undergoing treatment frequently require assistance getting to and from facilities, often creating a financial and logistical burden. These funds will be used to address the transportation needs of cancer patients in Central Louisiana.

"The last thing anyone going through cancer treatment needs to worry about is how they will get to their appointments," said Jeff Langston, MBA, MHA, Director of Oncology and the Rapides Cancer Center at Rapides Regional Medical Center. "This generous grant from the American Cancer Center, combined with our other fund-raising efforts, will remove this burden from many of our patients and let them focus on beating cancer."

The Rapides Cancer Center formed the Rapides Regional Auxiliary Cancer Fund years ago to help raise money to assist patients undergoing treatment, primarily with transportation costs. Numerous events held annually, such as No Shave November, help provide funding. The ACS grant will provide needed stability to the fund. These grants are available in select communities through an application process and focus on addressing unmet transportation needs of cancer patients, particularly vulnerable populations experiencing an unequal burden of cancer.

"Disparities predominantly arise from inequities in work, wealth, income, education, housing and overall standard of living, as well as social barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services," said Michele Bryant, Cancer Control Strategic Partnerships Manager in Louisiana for the American Cancer Society. "The Society collaborates with community health partners to reach individuals in areas with higher burdens of cancer and limited or no access to transportation because even the best treatment can't work if a patient can't get there."

The Rapides Cancer Center provides assistance annually to many patients through the Auxiliary Cancer Fund.

"Many of our patients receive treatments five days a week for weeks at a time," said Langston. "The timing of this grant could not have occurred at a better time for our patients. Transportation programs are vital for these patients to get the treatments they need and deserve."

Get additional information about the American Cancer Society or call (800) 227-2345.