World Services of La Crosse, Inc.

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Bridging Cancer Care

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation Bridging Cancer Care™

"The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation has announced a grant awarded to World Services through its Bridging Cancer Care™ program to fund Centers of Excellence in oncology nursing in Russia... The Cancer Care Nursing Practice Center of Excellence is being funded through a two-year, $350,000 grant to World Services of La Crosse. The center will be established in the Saratov Oblast, Russia and expand to the Moscow Oblast, and will draw on the experiences gained through two previous projects funded by the Foundation. Those projects focused on expanding the scope of practice for nurses in providing care to cancer patients in the community and strengthening nurse education."

More information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb “Bridging Cancer Care” announcement, here.

Partnership To Improve Cancer Care in Russia

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (BMS) 2011 -2013 Bridging Cancer Care initiative grant permitted exchange visits between nurses and physicians in three Russian cities—Saratov, Balakovo and Volsk—and the La Crosse area.  The Saratov Oblast was selected because it has a high incidence of cancer. Lead partners in the project with World Services included Gundersen Lutheran Health System and the Balakovo, Russia, Secondary Medical College.

In late 2011, representatives of Gundersen Lutheran and World Services met with Russian officials in the three cities which were the focus for the project.  The partnership worked to restructure the role and improve the skills of nurses working with general practice physicians in community clinics, improving the systems used in primary care clinics to monitor patient screening and tests and to refer patients to cancer specialists. 

The project focused on expansion of patient education and prevention activities.  Nurse coordinators working with the project initiated contact with patients to schedule routine screening appointments at recommended intervals, and actively participated in patient education and assessment.

Volsk Russia Health Officials with Gundersen Lutheran leaders Kelly Barton and Deb Rislow

Volsk Health Officials with Gundersen Lutheran leaders Kelly Barton and Deb Rislow

World Services of La Crosse was established in 2001 as national hosting organization for citizen exchange programs and provides international consulting in professional, leadership and organizational development.

The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to help reduce health disparities by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services, and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease.

The Foundation’s work related to cancer in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) falls under the Bridging Cancer Care program.  Since 2007, Bridging Cancer Care has funded partnerships in CEE focused on improving psychosocial support, education, prevention, early detection, screening, palliative care and health and care worker training.