LUNGevity Foundation Awards Inaugural Health Equity for Communities Research Awards

Investigators to create programs to address barriers to equitable lung cancer healthcare in high-risk populations
Media Contact

Linda Wenger
(973) 449-3214

WASHINGTON, DC (November 30, 2021)—LUNGevity Foundation, the nation’s leading lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization, today announced the recipients of the LUNGevity Health Equity for Communities Research Award, given to two novel community-based participatory research (CBPR) programs focused on optimizing care throughout the lung cancer care continuum.

LUNGevity’s Health Equity for Communities Research Award supports young researchers interested in lung cancer CBPR as a way to establish quality outcomes and health equity in high-risk populations.

This year, LUNGevity is supporting two Health Equity for Communities Research Awards. Each award is for a maximum of $250,000 for 2 years.

  • Kristen Riley, PhD, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
    CBPR intervention to decrease lung cancer stigma and health disparities
    Dr. Riley will be applying virtual mindfulness interventions to decrease intersectional stigma among Black, LatinX, and LGBTQ+ lung cancer patients and examining the reach, acceptability, and feasibility with and for these communities. This research project aims to improve health behaviors and outcomes.
  • Matthew (Matty) Triplette, MD, MPH, University of Washington/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
    Tailoring screening and smoking cessation for the LGBTQ community
    Dr. Triplette will partner with an urban LGBTQ+ community center to create and evaluate a tailored lung cancer screening and smoking cessation navigation program to specifically address the needs of this community. This program has the promise of a scalable, sustainable community-based program for this population that is high-risk due to a high incidence of tobacco use.

Experts from LUNGevity’s Health Equity Council, chaired by Chief Health Equity and Diversity Officer Jeanne Regnante, guided the selection of the awardees. Their stewardship ensures that the CBPR grants are awarded to those researchers whose proposals demonstrate the greatest potential for creating interventions and prevention strategies to reduce health disparities for those affected by lung cancer.

“CBPR begins with a research question that is agreed to with the community in partnership. It must have great promise and combine expertise and action to address disparities in lung cancer and improve health outcomes with sustainability,” explained Carla Berg, PhD, George Washington Cancer Center’s Associate Center Director for Population Sciences and Policy and Milken Institute School of Public Health’s Interim Vice Provost for Research and professor, Department of Prevention and Community Health, and a member of LUNGevity’s Health Equity Council.

“We are pleased to support the 2021 inaugural Health Equity in Communities research awards. The inclusive collaboration of researchers, HCPs, communities, and patient organizations like LUNGevity Foundation helps to drive innovation in lung cancer research, address health disparities, ensure everyone has a fair and just opportunity to achieve optimal health outcomes,” said Adam Lenkowsky, Senior Vice President, General Manager of U.S. Cardiovascular, Immunology, and Oncology, Bristol Myers Squibb. “Congratulations to Dr. Riley and Dr. Triplette.”

LUNGevity’s Health Equity in Communities Research Awards Program is supported by Bristol Myers Squibb.

About LUNGevity Foundation

LUNGevity Foundation is the nation’s leading lung cancer organization focused on improving outcomes for people with lung cancer through research, policy initiatives, education, support, and engagement for patients, survivors, and caregivers. LUNGevity seeks to make an immediate impact on quality of life and survivorship for everyone touched by the disease—while promoting health equity by addressing disparities throughout the care continuum. LUNGevity works tirelessly to advance research into early detection and more effective treatments, provide information and educational tools to empower patients and their caregivers, promote impactful public policy initiatives, and amplify the patient voice through research and engagement. The organization provides an active community for patients and survivors—and those who help them live longer and better lives. 

Comprehensive resources include a medically vetted and patient-centric website, a toll-free HELPLine for support, the International Lung Cancer Survivorship Conference, and an easy-to-use Clinical Trial Finder, among other tools. All of these programs are to achieve our vision—a world where no one dies of lung cancer. LUNGevity Foundation is proud to be a four-star Charity Navigator organization.

About Lung Cancer in the US

  • About 1 in 16 Americans will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.
  • More than 235,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year.
  • About 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or are former smokers.
  • Lung cancer takes more lives than the next three leading cancers (colorectal, breast, and prostate) combined.
  • Only 22% of all people diagnosed with lung cancer will survive 5 years or more, BUT if it’s caught before it spreads, the chance of 5-year survival improves dramatically.