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American Cancer Society and UMC Provide Better Access to Cancer Treatment

  • A lack of transportation for cancer patients poses challenge for the UMC Southwest Cancer Center.
  • American Cancer Society awards UMC with $5,000 grant to help with transportation.

Transportation is a foundational need in today’s society, even more so for cancer patients travelling to and from treatments regularly. The lack of funds, or means, for travel is a barrier UMC and the UMC Southwest Cancer Center are helping patients overcome, thanks to help from the American Cancer Society.

The UMC Foundation was awarded a Community Transportation Grant in the amount of $5,000 for the Southwest Cancer Center to utilize for patient transportation. Grant funds will go toward fuel vouchers, transportation vouchers and bus passes.

Currently, patients travel to the Southwest Cancer Center within the City of Lubbock or up to 350 miles, crossing state lines. UMC succeeds in a highly competitive healthcare environment while also continuing to honor its tradition of caring for the region’s medically unfunded and underfunded patients.

Although we have already helped with patient transportation over the years, we have not always been able to in a large capacity. For this reason, and more, we are appreciative of our partnership with the American Cancer Society and look forward to more collaboration through transportation services funded by this grant.

“A cancer diagnosis is a huge load to carry,” said Betty Hitch, Patient Navigation Manager in the UMC Southwest Cancer Center. “To worry whether or not you can make it to treatments on top of that is a burden no one should carry. What I appreciate about the American Cancer Society is that they have always been in-tune to that need. Taking this on as a project, in terms of raising funds and creating a grant, speaks to their priority of caring for the whole person. It is such a gift to have these kinds of funds available.”

In 2016, UMC Southwest Cancer Center was able to assist 104 patients with transportation, while in 2017 we were able to assist 93. We hope to aid at least 40 additional individuals during the grant period.

The UMC Southwest Cancer Center is a premier center of excellence committed to providing comprehensive care through prevention, diagnosis, treatment and support for cancer patients and their families in our community. Our expert physicians and staff promote improvements in the quality of care and services by the use of state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge research. Our compassionate staff assists patients and their families in coping with the physical and emotional impact of cancer. Exceptional care today provides hope for a cure tomorrow.

UMC Health System has developed a strong and enduring culture, adhering to the motto Service is Our Passion, our ‘why.’ This sustains UMC as the employer of choice—consistently ranking among the best places to work in Texas by the Best Companies Group – and the provider of choice – ranking among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation for patient experience by HealthGrades.

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