The Foundation of FirstHealth’s Cancer CARE Fund was initiated in 2000 by the community and for the community to support patients navigating their cancer treatment journey. CARE is an acronym representing Clinical, Advocacy, Resources and Education, and the fund supports various initiatives under these guidelines.
As of August 2021, the Cancer CARE Fund dispersed $2.1 million dollars and served 7,970 patients. Support has included transportation to and from appointments, gas cards, wigs, medication, medication management, nutritional supplies, prosthesis, dental care and more. The goal of the fund is to breakdown the barriers that patients in need face when receiving their news of a cancer diagnosis and treatment plan.
Transportation was already an early identified need that inspired the origin of the Cancer CARE Fund; and once COVID struck the US in 2020, the need for transportation increased due to the limitations of ride-share opportunities. “If we have a patient in need that needs consecutive treatments and transportation is that barrier, we are removing that barrier,” says Carie O’Quinn, Administrative Director, Foundation Operations. Today, transportation makes up 30-40% of the Cancer CARE Fund’s dispersements.
“It’s been a great marriage between the energy of the community and local patients,” says Carie. More than 50% of patients being treated at FirstHealth come from outside of Moore County. The fund also supports local patients who may be treated at other medical facilities. Since the Cancer CARE Fund originated, similar CARE funds have been established for Heart, Children and Dental. To learn more or donate, visit the Cancer CARE Fund.