Cancer Support Community and Equiva Health Partner to Create New Industry Standard for Digital Cancer Support
CSC will use Equiva’s platform to bring digital resources to underserved communities.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 5, 2022) — The Cancer Support Community (CSC), the world’s largest professionally led nonprofit cancer support network, today announced a partnership with Equiva Health (Equiva) to bring an innovative model of care to underserved communities. CSC will use Equiva’s health relationship management platform to bring CSC’s support services and other resources to patients via Wi-Fi-enabled tablets. The tablets will serve as an easy-to-use vehicle for making important services readily available anytime and anywhere, such as their proprietary Cancer Support Source™ distress screener provided by Patient Planning Services, a social enterprise of CSC. The pilot program will take place in Minnesota, with plans to expand to other underserved communities including people residing in rural areas.
“From my own experience growing up in rural Virginia, I know firsthand the challenges that you’re met with when living in a remote rural community,” said CSC CEO Debbie Weir. “We must overcome rural access barriers by advancing telehealth solutions that can seamlessly connect people to resources, support, their communities, and to the oncology community at large. We chose Equiva as our innovation partner based on their proven success in using digital technology effectively and efficiently.”
This initiative includes the development of stand-alone devices configured for at-home use. Starting in December 2022, Gilda’s Club Twin Cities, one of CSC’s network partners, will provide out-of-the-box ready-to-use devices to residents in Minnesota.
Also, individuals who qualify will be able to apply for the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) via an ISP partner. “The ACP is a wonderful initiative focused on ensuring that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, and healthcare,” said Equiva CEO Nir Altman. “Our teams saw a unique opportunity to partner in providing improved healthcare for exactly the people the FCC hopes to reach with this multi-billion dollar program. It’s rewarding to help bridge this gap.”
This partnership comes following the reignition of President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, an initiative created to reduce the deadly impact of cancer and improve the patient experience throughout the cancer continuum. The President has personally tasked the medical and public health communities to expand their outreach and areas of services to underserved communities.
Research conducted by Medscape and Walmart shows that people living in rural areas have lower cancer survival rates than those residing in urban areas. Additionally, only 25% of rural healthcare professionals think their patients have adequate access to mental health services. With these statistics in mind, CSC and Equiva recognize the importance of expanding into these communities.
Through this project, CSC, Patient Planning Services, and Equiva will seek to determine if the use of home health hub devices provides an effective way to deploy support services, if the approach increases access to resources, and if connecting digitally in this manner is beneficial to rural populations experiencing a cancer diagnosis. Usage will be monitored to identify content and services accessed most frequently by patients and caregivers. This data will help guide future decisions about interface design and program offerings, as well as help inform expansion to other underserved populations.
“CSC’s commitment to health equity aligns well with Equiva’s own philosophy wherein we believe that patients, loved ones, and healthcare professionals deserve a more equitable, less fragmented system where transformative technology yields powerful intelligence that promotes personalized care and wellness,” said Altman.
About the Cancer Support Community
As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC), including its Gilda’s Club network partners, is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. CSC achieves its mission through three areas: direct service delivery, research, and advocacy. The organization’s Institute for Excellence in Psychosocial Care includes an international network that offers the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer, as well as a community of support available online and over the phone. The Research and Training Institute conducts cutting-edge psychosocial, behavioral, and survivorship research. CSC furthers its focus on patient advocacy through its Cancer Policy Institute, informing public policy in Washington, D.C., and across the nation.
About Patient Planning Services
Founded in 2013, Patient Planning Services (PPS) is the social enterprise for the Cancer Support Community. Dedicated to fulfilling the mission of the Cancer Support Community, PPS licenses proprietary programs and technology to hospitals, cancer centers and nonprofits.
Backed by research in digital distress screening, the proprietary measures provided by PPS score distress, provide risk subscales, and offer resources to help providers react and create action around the distress scoring. PPS works with patients, health care providers and community organizations to provide distress screening and other assessments on a digital platform that allows for both dynamic and static resource allocation in real time while meeting accreditation standards. PPS has expanded and now provides support for a number of chronic conditions in addition to cancer support.
About Equiva Health
Equiva’s health relationship management platform helps healthcare organizations develop and retain long-term customer relationships and support initiatives to advance health equity, improve health outcomes and drive financial success. Equiva blends aspects of patient engagement, care management, and marketing in a framework that bridges data analytics with education and behavioral science-driven methodologies — to purposefully mobilize intelligence-driven action among consumers, patients, their loved ones, and care team members. A healthcare point solution aggregation and software delivery environment, Equiva’s SaaS platform can securely power any number of education and engagement solutions via mobile devices (tablets and phones,) kiosks, televisions, digital signage and more. Learn more about Equiva Health.