The McKesson Foundation Supports Programs Addressing Inequities in Care and Diversification of the Oncology Workforce

May 11, 2022

The McKesson Foundation is one of the latest supporters of ASCO and Conquer Cancer, the ASCO Foundation’s efforts to address disparities and inequities in care and the lack of diversity in the oncology workforce. As ASCO works to ensure a world in which clinical trials more accurately represent the population of patients with cancer and one in which the oncology workforce better reflects the diversity of the population and is well-equipped to deliver high-quality, equitable care for every patient, enhancing and strengthening initiatives in these areas are at the forefront of advancing ASCO’s strategic goals.
McKesson’s grant funding through Conquer Cancer is supporting such initiatives as ASCO’s Oncology Summer Internship and Diversity Mentoring Program, which both encourage medical students from populations underrepresented in medicine to pursue careers in oncology (the latter also serves residents) and the ASCO – Association for Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) Collaboration to Increase Participation of Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations in Cancer Treatment Trials. The grant was also used for an initiative in 2021 to increase understanding by oncology trainees about social determinants of health.
Founded in 1943, The McKesson Foundation is affiliated with the Irving, Texas-based McKesson Corporation, a diversified healthcare services leader dedicated to advancing health outcomes for patients everywhere. McKesson partners with biopharma companies, care providers, pharmacies, manufacturers, governments, and others to deliver insights, products, and services to help make quality care more accessible and affordable. Like ASCO, which seeks to infuse equity into all the organization’s activities to make meaningful progress to improve the quality of cancer care, McKesson has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 
“Now, more than ever, McKesson is focused on enabling lasting change as an impact-driven organization,” said Dr. Kelvin A. Baggett, McKesson EVP and chief impact officer. “Our global impact work is a core element of our enterprise strategy, and we are positioned to make measurable and enduring positive impacts for our employees, communities, patients, and the planet.” 
Dr. Baggett explained, “McKesson aims to continuously leverage our diversity to explore opportunities, elevate our thinking, and challenge long-held assumptions. We continue to make diversity, equity, and inclusion integral to everything we do because we believe building a more inclusive future is everyone’s responsibility.”
McKesson achieves its diversity, equity, and inclusion goals in multiple ways. For example, it recently refreshed its internal self-identification campaign to facilitate opportunities for employees to voluntarily share how they identify, including sexual orientation and transgender status, and self-select their preferred pronouns. Additionally, the company developed its own focused learning modules that emphasize the importance of empathy in everyday interactions with coworkers that, in turn, set a path toward greater understanding and inclusion.
This year, for the ninth consecutive year, McKesson Corporation has been honored as one of the “Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. The company continues to build on its inclusion and diversity efforts by evolving and growing its employee resource groups and providing inclusion training to all employees. In 2021, McKesson introduced a new Native and Indigenous Tribes employee resource group that celebrates native and indigenous culture and embraces diversity by educating, connecting, and empowering McKesson employees.
The recent grant to Conquer Cancer was one of the first in its new community investment strategy focused on three pillars: reducing the burden of cancer; diversifying the healthcare talent pipeline; and emergency preparedness and disaster relief. “These pillars will serve as our guide as we increase our philanthropic investments over the next five years,” explained Dr. Baggett.
“While McKesson’s values have always been rooted in principles of community involvement, we saw an opportunity to improve how we serve our communities, and we recognized the need for insight from a wide range of stakeholders,” said Dr. Baggett. “The McKesson Foundation (along with McKesson’s Social Impact team) embarked on a ‘discovery tour’ to engage its stakeholders and evaluate how McKesson is driving impact in communities across the globe, and how it will continue to do so in years to come.” 
“This data-driven approach helped build a flexible and scalable community investment strategy that leverages McKesson’s unique expertise, has a greater impact in our communities, and better engages our employees’ passions and skills.”
“When we looked to identify nonprofit partners that shared our values and priorities, Conquer Cancer was a clear choice,” he said. “ASCO’s programming aligns well with the McKesson Foundation’s goals of reducing the burden of cancer and diversifying the healthcare talent pipeline. We are excited to partner with Conquer Cancer and ASCO to support talented individuals joining the field of cancer care and provide education and resources to those already serving cancer patients.”
Dr. Baggett added, “McKesson’s purpose is Advancing Health Outcomes for All. For us, it’s more than a tagline; it’s our recognition that together, we can measurably improve human health. Throughout the years, the Foundation has supported many causes, but narrowing our focus when it comes to charitable giving gives us the best chance to make a meaningful difference. We are proud to partner with Conquer Cancer as we help to reduce the burden of cancer and diversify the healthcare talent pipeline in the years to come.”
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