Union City, New Jersey – April 4, 2014

The American Cancer Society announced today that a $50,000 grant has been awarded to North Hudson Community Action Corporation’s Health Center Division to provide cancer awareness, education, and screening for colorectal cancerto individuals in the northern region of Hudson County.

The grant is part of a $6.4 million gift from the Walgreens Way To Well Commitment® program that supports the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) program. The CHANGE grants help promote health equity and ensure that communities with a higher burden of cancer have equal access to education and screening resources.

“We are pleased to partner with the American Cancer Society to deliver the message that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable through routine screening,” said Joseph Muniz, Board Chair of NHCAC.

The Health Center’s goal is to increase colorectal (colon) cancer screening rates among men and women aged 50 years and older.  An increase in rates will reduce illness and death from the disease. A certified medical assistant will assist patients with receiving appropriate and timely follow-up for abnormalities and also facilitate the timely start of treatment. The screenings, along with one-on-one education, individualized support and follow-up will be at no charge to patients.

“This important initiative has been designed to reduce disparities to screening and quality care” Joan M. Quigley, President/CEO of the North Hudson Community Action Corporation, said in a statement. “Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. If you are 50 or older or have a history of colon cancer in your family, get screened. It can save your life.”

According to the American Cancer Society, disparities predominantly arise from inequities in work, wealth, income, education, housing, and overall standard of living, as well as social barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services. Additionally, persons with lower socioeconomic status are more likely to experience increased cancer risks due to tobacco use, physical inactivity and poor diet due to environmental or community barriers that provide fewer opportunities for physical activity and less access to fruits and vegetables.

The Society collaborates with community health partners to reach individuals in communities with high burdens of cancer and limited access to cancer screening. Through the CHANGE program, the Society provides resources to increase cancer screening rates in those communities. Since 2011, CHANGE has awarded 258 grants to partners reaching underserved communities across the country; educating over 480,000 individuals about cancer risk and prevention, and providing over 140,000 cancer screenings. 

The Walgreens Way to Well Commitment program, which focuses on improving everyday health through the prevention and early detection of leading diseases, has been a supporter of the CHANGE grant program since 2012. But the company’s overall support of the Society spans two decades and has helped to raise a total of $23 million to date in local communities throughout the country in partnership with their customers. In addition to funding CHANGE grants, Walgreens served as a corporate enrollment site for the Society’s Cancer Prevention Study 3 (CPS-3), the historic research study that will help cancer researchers discover more ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer and save more lives.

About North Hudson Community Action Corporation

Since its founding in 1965 as a Community Action Agency, North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC) has expanded the array of social service programs to include a full spectrum of quality primary health care. The Agency was designated a Federally Qualified Health Center in 1997, achieved Joint Commission Accreditation in 2003, and in July 2013 achieved designation as a JCAHO Primary Care Medical Home (PCMH) for all eleven of its practice sites. In 2013, NHCAC served more than 91,200 unduplicated clients/patients throughout Hudson, Bergen and Passaic Counties. The Corporation is the largest and the only Federally Qualified Health Center/Community Action Agency in the State of New Jersey. For more information visit www.nhcac.org.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society’s efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. In 2013, we celebrated our 100th birthday that also marked our ongoing dedication to finishing the fight against cancer. We’re finding cures as the nation’s  largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

About Walgreens

As the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2012 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to be the first choice in health and daily living for everyone in America, and beyond. Each day, Walgreens provides more than 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 8,105 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers, medical practices, and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.

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