NHRMC Partnership Focuses on Equity in Breast Cancer Prevention, Screening

June 01, 2021

New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC), part of Novant Health, is one of 21 hospitals across the country named by the American Cancer Society as a Community of Practice site. As a Community of Practice, NHRMC will work with community partners to advance health equity in breast cancer screening and prevention.

Over the next three years, NHRMC will partner with New Hanover County Health and Human Services, Going Beyond The Pink and the Wilmington, North Carolina Chapter of The Links, Inc. to advance breast health equity in our community. This year, the partnership aims to increase the breast screening rate for eligible Latinas and African American women ages 50 to 74 in southeastern North Carolina.

Since 1990, breast cancer death rates have declined by 40% because of improvements in treatment and earlier detection. Yet Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women, and Latinas are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer in advanced stages.

“We are excited about the opportunity to gather partners and intentionally work together on eliminating these unacceptable disparities,” said Dr. Philip Brown, chief community impact officer for Novant Health. “We also know that many patients may be behind on routine screenings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and this effort provides another opportunity to underscore the importance of receiving recommended screenings.”

Meg Fischer, strategic director of National Health Systems and Organizations for the American Cancer Society, said the organization is thrilled to partner with NHRMC.

“They have been able to articulate a need to address breast health equity in their community and we are excited to help support this important work,” Fischer said. “The overwhelming commitment to addressing health equity by New Hanover Regional Medical Center was one of the reasons they were selected to participate in this initiative and the needs of their community is one of the reasons why this is so critical. We applaud this Community of Practice team for their commitment and hard work, and we look forward to the impact they will make in the years ahead.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided $7,500 of federal funds to support this initiative, which also received private funding.