Moffitt Cancer Center’s Health Equity Program Gives Business Opportunity to Improve Health of Local Communities
Seizing the moment, Moffitt Cancer Center gives corporations a way to contribute to the vision of health equity for all.
// By Althea Fung //
Although cancer affects all populations in the United States, because of various social, environmental, and economic factors, some groups bear a disproportionate burden of the disease than others. For example, Black men are twice as likely to die from prostate cancer than non-Hispanic White men. In addition, Hispanic women are 40 percent more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer and 30 percent more likely to die from the disease than non-Hispanic White women.
Over the years, many organizations have tried to implement programs and interventions to address health inequities in cancer care and other clinical areas. But many programs have fallen short due to various factors, including funding.
Stark differences in patient outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic spurred a renewed interest in addressing the inequities that harm communities nationwide. In Tampa Bay, the health equity team at Moffitt Cancer Center seized the moment, launching a new corporate membership program — the Moffitt Health Equity Partners — to give corporations a way to contribute to the vision of health equity for all people in the Tampa Bay community.
Launched in early 2022, the Moffitt Health Equity Partners is a continuation of a storied health equity program the cancer center created to address health disparities in the Black community. Moffitt Cancer Center created the George Edgecomb Society in 2017 for donors to address issues disproportionately impacting the Black community. Over the years, the society raised more than $1.7 million in pledges and donations toward the cause.
Lorrin Rucker is associate director of Health Equity at Moffitt Cancer Center. “As a new colleague to the George Edgecomb Society, it was my opinion that to reach our maximum potential and donorship, it was imperative that we pivot from not only individual-based DEI initiative but introduce a way for corporations to illustrate their intent toward communities that are affected by disparities but also benefit from their market share,” she says.