American Cancer Society Harold P. Freeman Award Recognizes Queen’s Cancer Center and Molokai General Hospital in Medically Underserved Populations

The American Cancer Society 2010 Harold P. Freeman Service Award recognized The Queen’s Cancer Center’s Oncology Research Program and Molokai General Hospital for their leadership in serving medically underserved populations.

The Queen’s Cancer Center’s Oncology Research Program and Molokai General Hospital are two of six 2010 Harold P. Freeman Service Award recipients which are given to individuals, groups, organizations or companies who demonstrate exemplary achievement in saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer by improving the quality of life for cancer patients in underserved, at-risk communities.

“We are delighted to announce these winners,” says Jackie Young, PhD, Chief Staff Officer of the American Cancer Society Hawai`i Pacific. “The awardees all deserve this recognition for the hard work they do in bringing down the barriers for people in our disparate populations to receive cancer screenings and care.”

The American Cancer Society 2010 Harold P. Freeman Award was presented to The Queen’s Cancer Center, Oncology Research Program by Dr. Mark Clanton, Chief Medical Officer, American Cancer Society High Plains Division. (Photo credit: Jason Y. Kimura, The Queen’s Medical Center)

The Oncology Research Program at The Queen’s Cancer Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, was awarded the 2010 Harold P. Freeman award for their specific effort to increase the representation of Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and Filipinos in clinical trials. Ethnic minorities are frequently underrepresented in clinical trials and suffer from higher rates of cancer incidence and mortality.

The Navigation Program at Queen’s is the first hospital-based navigation program in Hawai‘i. The program uses the Harold P. Freeman patient navigation model, the gold standard for patient navigation.

Since it started in September 2006 The Queen’s Patient Navigation program has served over 1,600 cancer patients.

The Molokai General Hospital in Kaunakakai, Hawaii, was recognized as a recipient of the 2010 Harold P. Freeman award for their efforts to reduce cancer care disparities and increase early detection of cancer for Native Hawaiians. Native Hawaiians have worse outcomes and lower survival rates than the general population for many types of cancer. The program at Molokai General Hospital is also the first of its kind for the island, and models itself after the Harold P. Freeman patient navigation model.

“The work that The Queen’s Cancer Center and Molokai General Hospital is doing in the community is urgent and important because it is helping to build the infrastructure for preventive care,” said Young.

The other recipients of the 2010 Harold P. Freeman Award are:

  • The Mitchell County Hospital in Beloit, Kansas for their outreach into the community to increase cancer awareness and available support;
  • The Race Against Breast Cancer program in Topeka, Kansas for their work to increase prevention and early detection of breast cancer among the poor and medically underserved. Since 1991, the program has funded more than 4,000 mammograms to those in need of financial assistance;
  • The SEMO Health Network in New Madrid, Missouri for providing residents with the highest quality of health care, regardless of their ability to pay. Since 2009, the Network has seen more than 17,000 patients from the medically underserved rural community; and
  • The Empowerment Network, Inc., of St. Louis, Missouri for their work with African American men facing prostate cancer. The Network provides prostate cancer advocacy, education, and support.

The Harold P. Freeman Service Award was developed by the American Cancer Society to recognize outstanding efforts in cancer control activities. The award is named after Harold P. Freeman, MD, a past president of the Society, who placed priority on issues relating to the medically underserved during his presidency.

This award recognizes individuals, groups, organizations, or companies that demonstrate exemplary achievement in bringing the American Cancer Society’s mission to the underserved, at-risk communities. The award acknowledges projects aimed at reducing cancer disparities amongst underserved populations. This award is presented annually in the High Plains Division which includes Kansas, Hawaii, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.