Hands holding a breast cancer ribbon.
It seeks to reduce the disparity in the care of this disease. Photo: Pixabay.

A new hope for cancer care in vulnerable communities

The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation announced a millionaire donation for various cancer centers in the United States.


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When someone we love has cancer, it affects all of us — our families, our friends, our communities.” Ralph Lauren.

Five cancer centers in the United States will benefit from $25 million to reduce the gap in cancer care in underserved communities.

These grant resources, facilitated by the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, seek to improve and expand access to cancer care services for diverse underserved populations across the country, earning recognition from the White House that highlights it as an exemplary partner from the public and private sector that successfully joins its “Cancer Moonshot” call to action to accelerate the battle against the disease.

“While we have made significant progress and advancements in the fight against cancer, barriers to care and access persist, particularly in medically underserved and vulnerable communities. It is our hope that, together, we can strengthen avenues of support and generate meaningful change for families and communities who need it most. For over 30 years, this has been my personal commitment, and now, joined by so many dedicated partners, we envision a world where cancer outcomes improve for everyone and survivors thrive,” said Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation, and Chair of the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation.

Two Decades Supporting the Fight Against Cancer

With these funds, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, with a 20-year track record, is making its largest individual funding commitment to date. It seeks to deepen its long-standing cancer care and prevention efforts to support access to high quality cancer treatments at an earlier and more curable stage in underserved communities.

Likewise, this initiative strengthens the Foundation's ties with the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, an alliance that will allow the establishment of the new Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention in Washington, D.C.

It's important to note that in 1989, Ralph Lauren co-founded the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center after his close friend and then, Washington Post fashion editor, Nina Hyde, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"We are deeply honored to carry the commitment of Ralph Lauren and the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation forward here in the nation’s capital with the establishment of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention. For over 30 years, Mr. Lauren’s pioneering vision to fight cancer through the Nina Hyde Center at Georgetown Lombardi has led to remarkable progress in breast cancer research and care. This newly-expanded collaboration will strengthen our ability to meet the needs of the most vulnerable and underserved members of our community, so they can more fully benefit from improved cancer prevention and early detection. This extraordinary gift will allow us, working together with the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, to make the world a better place,” said Louis M. Weiner, MD, Director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute. 

Medical Access for All

Seeking to break down the barriers that prevent people from obtaining high-quality health services, several programs will be funded with these resources, especially those that focus on providing patient navigation services and ordering more screening tests, as well as those that offer access to early diagnosis and treatment.

“Building on the existing practices of Capital Breast Care Center, the renamed and reimagined Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention will expand its services in patient navigation and education beyond breast cancer. This expanded center's mission will provide a range of patient navigation services to support early detection, diagnostic, treatment and preventative measures while broadening screening capacity to include colorectal, lung and prostate cancers — three of the most common types of cancer that disproportionately affect people in the district’s metropolitan area. Situated in the southeast part of the district, the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention will serve a diverse population and engage the community through targeted outreach and educational workshops,” it is highlighted from the Foundation.

In addition to the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Ralph Lauren Center in Harlem, NY, will also benefit. In the coming days, three additional locations will be announced that, like the previous two, have a special designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

“Ralph’s decades-long commitment has enabled MSK Ralph Lauren Center to create a replicable model that can bring patient navigation to medically underserved communities all across the country,” noted Dr. Harold Freeman, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of MSK Ralph Lauren Center.

Coming soon, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation and Conquer Cancer will select three additional NCI-designated cancer centers based on their record of clinical excellence, community involvement, demonstrated commitment to overcoming health disparities, and a comprehensive plan to improve cancer outcomes in the most vulnerable and underserved patients in their communities.


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