Many readers may recognize St. Baldrick’s Foundation from paper shamrocks purchased for a donation toward childhood cancer research at the grocery store each March.
But for the Bon Secours St. Francis Cancer Center, the foundation means a $50,000 grant to help expand the center’s clinical trial initiatives through a clinical research nurse coordinator, according to a news release. Bon Secours was the only South Carolina organization to receive one of St. Baldrick’s 17 new infrastructure grants, which awarded a total $819,000 to health care institutions across the country.
“By expanding the number of clinical trials St. Francis can offer, we make it easier for patients to stay in the community for treatment rather than traveling out of the area,” Dr. Hal Crosswell, director of the AYA program at Bon Secours, said in the release.
The nurse coordinator will ensure that every patient in Bon Secours St. Francis’ Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Care program is screened for research trials, often patients’ best hope for a cure, according to the release.
“Work we do now can achieve benefits that we don’t know exist yet,” he said in the release. “By understanding treatments and the effects of treatments, we may find different interventions to try to get cancer patients back into the workforce sooner, or provide resources so they wouldn’t lose their jobs, or be able to protect their jobs while they need to take medical leave.”
The one-year grants are awarded based on the need of the institution and its patients, the anticipated results of the grant and local participation in St. Baldrick’s fundraising events and activities.
“We can see that our investment in research is yielding results, but there is so much more to do,” Kathleen Ruddy, St. Baldrick’s CEO, said in the release. “These clinical trials that St. Baldrick’s is supporting will help research progress further to help more children survive and have a better quality of life after treatment.”o