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Community seed grant in review 2022: Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation

Dec 20, 2022

Nikki Jennings, the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation resource coordinator. VBCF was a Massey Cancer Center Community Seed Grant recipient in 2022. Nikki Jennings, the VBCF resource coordinator, visited Danville to share information about the program funded by Massey's seed grant.

In 2022, VCU Massey Cancer Center awarded $5,000 to the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation (VBCF) as part of the Community Grant Initiative. VBCF, a statewide, Richmond-based nonprofit, is committed to the eradication of breast cancer through education and advocacy.


VBCF used the Massey seed grant to support its new Resource Coordination program, which connects breast cancer patients, survivors and their families to resources that support the non-medical aspects of their cancer journey. The funding helped VBCF promote the new program and offset the resource coordinator’s travel costs to visit communities and share information first-hand.


Since the Resource Coordination program's launch, cancer patients from across Massey’s catchment area have received assistance regarding their finances, career concerns, mastectomy garments and more. VBCF also secured a free laptop for a survivor living in the catchment, defined as the 66 Virginia localities served by Massey.


“Education around breast cancer is a pillar of our mission, and deepening our connection to Massey has helped us to educate more people in more ways,” said Erin Steigleder, MSW, VBCF education manager. “Not only is the money we received from the seed grant beneficial, but so are the connections that come from working with Massey.”


According to Steigleder, VBCF was able to connect with Massey programs like Facts & Faith Fridays to share information about a number of its programs, like Act PINK for faith communities.


VBCF encourages organizations meeting the criteria outlined in the Request for Applications (RFA) to apply for the next round of Massey funding. The seed grant application period is open until Jan. 20, 2023.


“The Massey seed grant can provide a bit of a cushion for an organization to try a new idea,” said Steigleder. “We have really enjoyed deepening our relationship with Massey during this grant process. We've been connected to more departments and learned more about the inner workings of Massey, which helps us to be better partners.”


Massey will score the 2023 applications on merit and notify the winners by Feb. 3, 2023.

In addition to VBCF, six other organizations across Massey’s catchment area also received 2022 seed grants:


  • World U.P. Foundation (Richmond)
  • Vance Street Missionary Baptist Church (Danville)
  • Saving Pennies 4 A Cure / Trials of Color (Petersburg)
  • Northern Neck Middlesex Free Health Clinic (Kilmarnock)
  • Fifth Baptist Church (Richmond)
  • Ebenezer Baptist Church (Richmond)

Launched in Dec. 2021, Massey’s Community Grant Initiative helps community partners expand programs focused on the promotion of health, health equity, person-centered care across the cancer continuum (from prevention through survivorship) and reducing suffering from cancer.

Written by: Amy Lacey


This article is part of a series highlighting each of the seven 2022 seed grant recipients

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