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“Together we can improve and save lives”: Massey announces 2023 seed grant recipients

Feb 13, 2023

seedlings and saplings

This year, six community-led initiatives will receive funding from VCU Massey Cancer Center to expand their efforts to improve health outcomes for Virginians.
On Feb. 8, the cancer center announced the following organizations have been awarded $5,000 seed grants:

  • Baptist General Convention of Virginia (Colonial Heights/Hopewell/Petersburg)
  • Firefighter Cancer Support Network (across the Commonwealth)
  • Greater Norfolk Medical Society of South Hampton Roads (Hampton Roads)
  • Hitting Cancer Below the Belt (across the Commonwealth)
  • Us Giving Richmond Connections, Inc. (Greater Richmond Area)
  • Virginia Community Health Workers Association (across the Commonwealth)

The seed grants are the first level of funding available through Massey’s Community Grant Initiative, which launched in December 2021.

“The work of these community partners is invaluable in the fight against cancer,” said Robert A. Winn, director and Lipman chair in oncology at Massey. “Collectively, they will springboard initiatives for breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. They will provide more resources to the Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and LGBTQIA+ communities, along with firefighters, who deal with a great occupational cancer burden. Together we can improve and save lives.”

Each seed grant-funded program focuses on the promotion of health and health equity; the programs also aim to reduce suffering across the cancer continuum, from prevention through survivorship.

“These organizations are embedded in their respective communities and work at the ground level to build trust,” said Vanessa Sheppard, Ph.D., associate director for Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) at Massey. “The COE team looks forward to working alongside them, sharing ideas with them and learning from them ultimately to bridge gaps in cancer awareness and education.”

The awardees will work with COE to implement their grant-funded programs, while having an opportunity to connect with additional Massey resources.

Later this year, Massey will also begin the second phase of the Community Grant Initiative by awarding $20,000 cultivate grants. The third phase of the program will roll out in 2024, offering one $50,000 harvest grant to a selected applicant.

In 2022, Massey seed grants supported a total of seven programs in Richmond, Petersburg, Danville and Kilmarnock, Va. All recipients of these grants must be located within Massey’s catchment area, defined as the 66 contiguous localities in central, eastern and southern Virginia served by the cancer center.

Written by: Amy Lacey

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