The Lazarex Cancer Foundation, founded by Dana Dornsife, has provided a $200,000 grant to the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center (USC Norris) to establish Cancer Wellness HUBs in the greater Los Angeles area. The Cancer Wellness HUBs will be situated within the diverse communities we serve. USC Norris staff will enhance community engagement and provide a local resource for cancer-related education and navigation support for cancer services, ranging from prevention to survivorship. Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, MPH, associate director for Community Outreach and Engagement at USC Norris, will lead this program in collaboration with Marya Shegog, PhD, MPH, CHES, health equity and diversity coordinator at the Lazarex Cancer Foundation.
“The wellness community Hubs will bring vital information about clinical trials and cancer support services directly to communities most impacted by cancer,” Baezconde-Garbanati said. “Resources will be available in their own neighborhood without having to go far to get information or be connected to what they need.”
USC Norris will utilize a “pop up” model for the Cancer Wellness HUBs, making use of existing facilities such as churches, schools, YMCA locations, community centers, and health clinics within the community. Services offered at the USC Norris Cancer Wellness HUBs include conversations with cancer healthcare providers, cancer education workshops, as well as cancer support groups, cancer survivorship toolkits, and information on how to reduce cancer risk, engage in cancer screening, and participate in clinical trials. USC Norris will also employ cancer care companions from local medical and community organizations to address the informational and support needs of community members. Neighborhood health ambassadors will serve as the bridge from the local neighborhoods to the Cancer Wellness HUBs.
“We are very grateful to the Lazarex Foundation for their continued support of our mission at USC Norris,” said Caryn Lerman, PhD, director of the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, associate dean for Cancer Programs and H. Leslie and Elaine S. Hoffman Chair in Cancer Research at the Keck School of Medicine. “These neighborhood hubs will transform how we engage our community to reduce the burden from cancer for patients and families.”