Public Release: 

OHSU Knight Cancer Institute awards more than $460,000 to community projects

Funding supports a diverse range of initiatives aimed at decreasing the cancer burden in Oregon

Oregon Health & Science University


IMAGE: This is Jackilen Shannon, Oregon Health & Science University. view more

Credit: OHSU

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) awarded $462,656 to 17 projects statewide as part of the first round of funding offered through its Community Partnership Program. The program's goal is to address community-identified needs to ultimately decrease the impact of cancer on Oregonians.

Projects chosen in this initial round will benefit 23 Oregon counties and a wide range of populations in both rural and urban communities. Projects will focus on preventing tobacco use among youth; providing transportation to patients in cancer treatment; increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables through a community supported agriculture prescription plan; developing a rural clinic for cancer survivors; implementing culturally appropriate strategies to increase colorectal cancer screening among medically underserved Oregonians; and developing skin cancer prevention programs for adolescents, among other needs. Oregonians served by these projects will include a wide variety of age groups, races, ethnic groups and cancer types.

The Community Partnership Program provides grants and other resources to community-identified projects addressing cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship. The initial round of funding resulted in 44 competitive proposals submitted.

"The need for this program is evident in the level of enthusiasm it has generated throughout the state and the number of proposals that were submitted," said Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D., co-director of the Community Partnership Program and co-leader of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

Three tiers of funding were available in this initial round. Early stage grants that provided up to $10,000, developmental grants that offered up to $25,000 and program advancement grants that supplied up to $50,000 in funding. The Community Partnership Program differs from many other community grants programs in that the multiple tiers of funding offer a method for organizations to take an initial idea and move through the funding tiers to develop a robust, sustainable program. Additionally, projects are paired with an academic collaborator who shares best-practices, supports program development and aids in evaluation measures. The mutual sharing of information between organizations and academic collaborators will help strengthen the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute's understanding of Oregonian's needs as they relate to cancer.

"To impact the burden of cancer statewide we know it is essential to work with organizations most in tune with the cancer needs of their communities. Working directly with these organizations will allow the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to aid in the development of sustainable projects that will benefit the health of all Oregonians," said Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., R.D., co-director of the Community Partnership Program, and co-leader of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute has committed to invest $1 million dollars annually to support this program for the next decade. In addition, the Meyer Memorial Trust recently awarded the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute a two-year grant of $500,000 to enhance the program. A second round of funding for the Community Partnership Program will open for applications later in 2015.

Organizations that received funding are:

  • African American Health Coalition
  • Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center Cancer Services, GYN
  • Association of Oregon Centers for Independent Living
  • Bay Area Hospital
  • Columbia Gorge Health Council
  • Columbia Memorial Hospital
  • Hugh Howard Housen Memorial Foundation
  • Jefferson County Public Health Department
  • Multnomah County Health Department
  • Oregon State University, KidSpirit
  • Samaritan Cancer Resource Center
  • Samaritan Regional Cancer Program - Palliative Care
  • Upstream Public Health
  • Uriel Medical Foundation
  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation and Health Center
  • Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center


To learn more about the funded projects visit:

About the Knight Cancer Institute

The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is a pioneer in the field of personalized cancer medicine. The institute's director, Brian Druker, M.D., helped prove it was possible to shut down cells that enable cancer to grow without harming healthy cells. This breakthrough has made once-fatal forms of the disease manageable and ushered in a new generation of targeted cancer therapies. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle - an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. It offers the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials. The institute continues to build upon its scientific and clinical leadership with both public support and private philanthropy. Most recently, the institute's plans to advance the early detection of cancer inspired Nike Chairman Phil Knight and his wife Penny to pledge a $500 million donation to the Knight Cancer Institute if OHSU raises an additional $500 million as part of a two-year fundraising campaign. This pledge follows a transformative $100 million gift from the Knights in 2008.

About OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University is the state's only public academic health and research university. As one of Oregon's largest employers with more than 14,000 employees, OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support not found anywhere else in the state. OHSU serves patients from every corner of Oregon and is a conduit for learning for more than 4,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to each county in the state.

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