NEW SQUARE, New York— RefuahHealth has been awarded a $500,000 Accelerating Cancer
Screening (AxCS) Program grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). A
cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative launched when he was vice president in
2016, the AxCS Program aims to improve access to life-saving cancer screenings and early detection
services for underserved communities.
During the two-year program, RefuahHealth will partner with the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer
Center (HICCC) at Columbia University to train and deploy a team of culturally competent outreach
specialists and patient navigators. This grassroots team will promote early detection of cancer, connect
patients to screening services, and provide hands-on assistance with accessing high quality cancer care
and treatment to underserved communities across New York’s Lower Hudson Valley. To increase access
to low income, insular and/or geographically isolated individuals, RefuahHealth will offer colorectal,
cervical, and breast cancer screening services via a mobile cancer screening clinic. With AxCS funding,
RefuahHealth aims to provide cancer screenings to over 14,300 individuals in 2023.
“An estimated 9.5 million cancer screenings were missed during the pandemic,” Alexandra Khorover,
RefuahHealth’s Chief Strategy Officer said. “This award will help close the cancer screening gap and
decrease the impact of preventable cancers.”
During early 2023, AxCS awards went out to 22 community health centers across the nation as President
Biden reignited the Cancer Moonshot program with new national goals to cut the death rate from cancer
by at least 50% over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people and their families living with
and surviving cancer.
Cancer remains the second-leading cause of death in the United States, with approximately 600,000
deaths annually. According to data from the New York State Cancer Registry, in Rockland County nearly
1,800 individuals are diagnosed with an invasive malignant tumor with over 430 deaths annually. Breast
and colorectal cancers rank among the highest in malignancy and death. While appropriate screening and
timely follow-up care help to detect and prevent cancer, many families living in underserved communities
continue to face challenges in getting life-saving cancer screenings and treatment.
“Community health centers are designed to breakdown access issues like income, insurance status, race,
and ethnicity. We’re the perfect candidate for connecting communities with screening services. Our
program will not only make it easier to get screened but to also get connected to any needed follow-up
care,” said Dr. Corinna Manini, RefuahHealth’s Chief Medical Officer.
RefuahHealth, a community cornerstone for over 30 years, provides comprehensive medical, dental, and
mental health care, including select medical specialties, to residents across Rockland and Sullivan
counties in New York’s lower Hudson Valley. Per the US Department of Health and Human Services,
RefuahHealth is a 501(c)3 Federally Qualified Community Health Center.