Rye Brook, NY – November 30, 2016 – The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) was awarded the 2016 Celgene Innovation Impact award for an initiative that will allow the organization to “Reach the Unreached” with education and support for blacks, who are at twice the risk for multiple myeloma as whites.
LLS’s initiative, “Taking it to Church: Enhancing Myeloma Knowledge and Access to Latest Treatments in Black Communities,” was one of three winners selected by Celgene from a pool of 43 applications. The LLS program was developed in collaboration with The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI), a faith-based coalition of 34,000 churches comprised of 15 denominations and 15.7 million African Americans.
“We are honored to accept the Celgene Innovation Impact award, and we look forward to collaborating with The National Black Church Initiative to increase access to education and treatment for multiple myeloma in the black community,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and CEO. “We are grateful for Celgene’s support in helping LLS and NBCI have a positive impact, particularly in low-income communities, through this unique church-based approach.”
Multiple myeloma survival rates have improved much more for whites than for blacks; research suggests that this disparity is in part due to delays in treatment and unequal access to novel therapies and stem cell transplantation. Lower-income blacks are particularly vulnerable to these disparities.
The goal of the LLS initiative is to heighten awareness and increase knowledge about multiple myeloma and available treatments, provide information to empower patients to seek novel treatments and enroll in clinical trials and encourage patients and caregivers to take advantage of the community support provided by this new platform.
LLS is supporting a large portfolio of research seeking to understand better the mechanisms of multiple myeloma, help approved therapies work better and support novel approaches to treatment.
“There have been many new therapies approved by the FDA for multiple myeloma this year alone, and they are changing the treatment paradigm for patients diagnosed with the disease, an incurable blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. We want to ensure that all patients benefit from these advances,” added Dr. DeGennaro.
Now in its fourth year, the Celgene award program recognizes and honors patient and professional organizations that have shown excellence in crafting novel solutions that creatively meet patient, caregiver and/or healthcare providers’ needs in hematology, oncology and immune-inflammatory conditions.
The LLS program is being developed and is scheduled to launch in March 2017, in Washington, D.C., and Atlanta, for Myeloma Awareness Month.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
About The National Black Church Initiative
The National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) is a coalition of 34,000 churches working to eradicate racial disparities in healthcare, technology, education, housing, and the environment. NBCI’s mission is to provide critical wellness information to all of its members, congregants, churches and the public. NBCI offers faith-based, out-of-the box and cutting edge solutions to stubborn economic and social issues. NBCI’s programs are governed by credible statistical analysis, science based strategies and techniques, and methods that work. Visit our website at www.naltblackchurch.com.
Contact: Linda Heaney