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Merck Foundation Announces the Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care, a $15 Million Initiative to Improve Access to High-Quality Cancer Care in Underserved Communities in the United States

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Merck Foundation announced today the launch of a new initiative, the Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care (the Alliance), to support programs aimed at improving timely access to patient-centered care and reduce disparities in cancer care, especially for vulnerable and underserved populations in the United States. Non-profit organizations in the United States are invited to apply for an Alliance grant to support the implementation of multi-faceted cancer care programs to strengthen patient-provider communications, including patient engagement and patient-centered treatment planning; enhance care coordination and integration; improve patient outcomes, and build sustainable partnerships that advance patient-centered cancer care and help reduce disparities in access to high-quality care for underserved communities.

“Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, access to high-quality cancer care continues to be challenging for some patients in the United States, especially those in vulnerable and underserved communities,” said Dr. Julie Gerberding, executive vice president, strategic communications, global public policy and population health, Merck and chief executive officer, Merck Foundation. “We are optimistic that the learnings from the Alliance’s activities will bring forward new approaches in the delivery of cancer care that can be implemented throughout the health care system.”

As part of the new initiative, the Merck Foundation and its partners will also work with the awardees, which may include public/private institutions, cancer centers, oncology medical homes and other community-based and non-governmental agencies, to evaluate the grant-supported programs and identify best practices in patient-centered care.

Interested organizations can learn more about the application process, eligibility requirements, guidance for proposed interventions, and deadlines from the Merck Foundation’s Call for Proposals on our website. Invited proposals will be evaluated by an external advisory committee based on specific criteria. Proposed programs must implement cross-cutting interventions that address multiple cancer types; integrate intervention components at different levels of the healthcare ecosystem: patient, provider/health care team, and health care system; incorporate scientific evidence-based or promising practices, and build meaningful collaborations with community partners to promote sustainable improvements in cancer care delivery and quality. The Alliance will be supported by the Merck Foundation for up to $15 million over five years. Awardees will be announced in early 2017.

About The Merck Foundation

The Merck Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by Merck, a global health care leader, the Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is Merck’s chief source of funding support to qualified non-profit charitable organizations. Since its inception, the Merck Foundation has contributed more than $844 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs and are consistent with Merck’s overall mission to help the world be well. For more information, visit

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