The IMF is pleased to announce that its first Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) government grant was renewed for second year funding.
In January, I had the honor of representing the IMF at the second meeting of the CDC for grant awardees under Program Announcement 04159 – Hematologic Cancers Initiative. At this meeting, all ten grant recipients, including the IMF, presented their progress in reaching out to varied communities across the country with the overall mission to inform, educate, and support those affected by myeloma, leukemia, and lymphoma.
As I reported last year, the work plan submitted by the IMF involves educating those in major metropolitan areas about the increased risk of myeloma in African American communities, as well as developing outreach that also includes the elderly, the underinsured, and the uninsured. People in these communities affected by myeloma often struggle in their search for information. The video we produced in conjunction with our CDC grant, “I Have Myeloma…What’s Next?” is a wonderful means of reaching out to these individuals, and it also educates those who, previous to watching it, were entirely unaware of the disease. Not only is the video a very compelling introduction to myeloma, it also addresses the data surrounding the higher incidence rate of myeloma amongst African Americans.
During 2005 Myeloma Awareness Week we shipped this video and distributed it, with energetic help of our support groups, around the country. The video is also a vital outreach tool in our ongoing efforts to reach underserved clinics, hospitals, community centers and centers of worship.
In all, the IMF shipped more than 500 of these videos during our 2004-2005 program year. For 2005-2006, we will easily triple that figure. If you have not yet seen this video, please contact me for a copy at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the IMF at 800-452-2873. It’s available in VHS or DVD format.
But don’t just watch it yourself—pass it on. The IMF has a rich history of grass-roots efforts in achieving community outreach and education, and for the CDC initiative, this is as important as ever. We must continue to raise the level of awareness about myeloma and the programs of the IMF (our Hotline, Patient and Family Seminars, our publications, and our web site) so we can continue to help those who are diagnosed learn more about support, treatment, and research.
With our CDC grant renewal for 2006, the IMF will reach out to additional communities, as well as strengthen the community relationships we formed in 2005. The IMF includes you. Whether at your local oncology clinic or your community center, please take a moment to let those in need of our services know that the IMF is committed to helping anyone touched by myeloma.