Stavros Niarchos Foundation Grant Brings Quality Improvement Program to Practices Supporting Medically Underserved Communities

Dec 16, 2015

The Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO has received a generous grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) in support of a new ASCO initiative, “Improving the Delivery of Cancer Care in Medically Underserved Communities.”

Over an 18-month period, this initiative will bring ASCO’s Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®), Quality Training Program, and targeted hands-on assistance to four oncology practices serving high proportions of racial minorities and persons of low socioeconomic status.

“We support programs that will have a lasting impact in social change, particularly for quality care programs supporting underserved populations,” said Roula Siklas, Program Coordinator for SNF’s Health and Sports Grants. “Supporting ASCO’s initiative is helping us achieve this goal.”

SNF is an international philanthropic foundation, making grants to nonprofit organizations around the world. Since beginning its grant-making activities in 1996, SNF has made more than 3,000 grants totaling €1.5 billion (nearly $2 billion) to organizations in more than 110 countries. Areas of focus include arts and culture, education, health and sports, and social welfare.

Through its health program, SNF is supporting the replacement of obsolete linear accelerators in seven public hospitals throughout Greece in an effort to upgrade radiotherapy and improve the quality of care for patients with cancer. The effort is in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, the Hellenic Society of Radiation Oncology, and the Hellenic Association of Medical Physicists. SNF also supports palliative care programs throughout Europe and the United States.

Thanks to SNF’s support, ASCO will provide multipronged quality assessment and improvement activities for participating practices. These activities will harness tools, resources, collaborations with content experts, and the infrastructure of QOPI® to measure and enhance each participating practice’s quality of care, as well as provide the training and tools necessary for these practices to sustain this improvement over time.

Four practices will be selected through a rigorous application process.

“We are deeply grateful for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s generous support of a project that will help to close the gap in quality care and ensure equitability in cancer care, no matter where it is delivered,” said Dana Wollins, ASCO Senior Director of Health Policy.

Participating practices will receive an on-site assessment, assistance in identifying achievable improvements, targeted toolkits, and hands-on quality improvement training. They will each partner with a mentor practice that will assist with specific areas of quality improvement. Outcomes of the project will be reported at the ASCO Annual Meeting, the Quality Care Symposium, and in the Journal of Oncology Practice.

“The multiplier effect is meaningful to us,” Ms. Siklas said. “We are looking to bolster under-resourced communities with better access to care, particularly quality care. Providing quality training for clinicians and disseminating what is learned from the project to the oncology community are very important to the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.”

Find more information about the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Check out Institute for Quality for more information about ASCO’s quality initiatives.

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