Kansas American Cancer Society helping remove barrier to patients receiving cancer care | Ascension

Kansas American Cancer Society helping remove barrier to patients receiving cancer care

In any given year, 3.6 million Americans miss at least one medical appointment because they lack transportation. For patients undergoing cancer treatment, delayed or missed medical appointments can have a life-altering impact.

That's why the Wichita office of the American Cancer Society is working with Ascension Via Christi and other providers to bridge the gap by helping patients access safe and timely transportation to and from their cancer treatment appointments.

"The American Cancer Society asked us several years ago what they could do to help, we told them and they responded," says Keisha Humphries, director of Oncology Services at Ascension Via Christi. "They truly have been a wonderful community partner as this program has been a saving grace for so many of our patients."

Since 2019, ACS' Wichita Transportation Program has provided more than 1,100 rides to 122 patients who need help to get to their appointments. Of those, 502 rides and 50 patients have been helped through the grant to Ascension Via Christi.

The Wichita ACS office secures grant funds and then awards them to health systems that serve cancer patients through an application process. The goal is to reduce missed cancer-related medical appointments due to transportation barriers.

"We are extremely grateful for our partnership with Ascension Via Christi and the donors who make this program possible," says Sarah Vincze, associate director of Development for ACS' Wichita office, noting that donors are Dwane and Velma Wallace Foundation, Daniel J. Taylor Family Foundation and "SteveN," and another donor who both wish to remain anonymous.

"These partnerships ensure that our local cancer patients can receive the treatment they need and have the best possible health outcomes,” says Vincze, whose organization has provided $20K in transportation grant funding to Ascension Via Christi to date.

With that money having been successfully put to use, Vincze says she is hoping to be able to provide a similar grant amount to Ascension Via Christi going forward.