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  • Posted: 12/07/2004

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Cancer Information Service Selections for Future Contract Awards Announced

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the government's lead agency for cancer research and part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today the selection of 15 organizations for five-year contract awards (anticipated effective January 15, 2005) to operate its Cancer Information Service (CIS). These 15 regional CIS offices will be located at cancer centers and health care institutions across the country and will serve the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the U.S.-associated Pacific Territories. The anticipated contracts will total $20.9 million in the first year.

NCI will award 15 contracts to operate a regionalized CIS Partnership Program, working with other agencies and organizations in the states in each region to reach minority and medically underserved populations. Four of the 15 awardees will also operate CIS Contact Centers, providing information to the public through a toll-free telephone service in English and Spanish and LiveHelp instant messaging. All of the awardees will participate in the CIS Research Program, by engaging in cancer control, behavioral, and health communications research that supports the National Cancer Institute's priorities and programs, particularly those addressing cancer health disparities. Participation in the Research Program will be coordinated by four awardees.

The CIS is the federal government's source for the latest, most accurate cancer information for the public, patients and their families, and health professionals. The CIS assists organizations in developing education efforts to reach people who do not have easy access to cancer information and services, provides up-to-date scientific information in understandable language, and studies ways to promote healthy behaviors and communicate cancer information effectively.

Mary Anne Bright, director of the CIS, stated, "With this configuration of 15 regional Partnership Program offices and Contact Centers located at four of them, we have realigned program resources and retained the strengths of our Partnership Program. Previously, the CIS comprised 14 regional offices, each of which operated a Partnership Program and a Contact Center. The new configuration maximizes NCI's potential for preserving and enhancing trusted, long-standing regional partnerships. At the same time, CIS is taking advantage of advanced technology to consolidate Contact Center operations without separating the Partnership Program from the vital resources of the Contact Centers."

According to Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D., director of NCI, "The CIS remains an important investment for this institute and for the American public. We are committed to providing a superlative source of information that can be accessed by anyone in need. I am pleased to say that we have been successful in streamlining the program, enabling us to retain key regional partnerships with organizations that work to address cancer health disparities and to consolidate the Contact Center functions while containing costs."

The CIS collaborates with national, state, and regional organizations to disseminate cancer information and develop cancer education programs that reach minority and medically underserved populations. The Partnership Program brings cancer information to people who may have difficulties seeking health information because of educational, financial, language, or other barriers. It also strives to increase partners' awareness that cancer health disparities are a major public health problem where the burden of cancer falls disproportionately on certain racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. The Research Program will help the CIS engage in research that helps both the Information Service and Partnership Program better understand, apply and disseminate effective communication approaches to educate the public about cancer and contribute to the nation's cancer control efforts.

Staffed by specially trained information specialists, the CIS provides toll-free telephone service in English and Spanish (1-800-4-CANCER), offering personalized attention to each caller and answering questions about cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, and research. Through NCI's Web site, www.cancer.gov, internet users can access CIS for real-time assistance through LiveHelp, an instant messaging service. In addition, CIS offers smoking cessation counseling via NCI's Smoking Quitline (1-877-44U-QUIT).

The CIS collaborates with over 900 partners with special attention to populations most affected by cancer health disparities. The CIS also takes nearly 300,000 calls annually and has responded to over 10 million callers since its inception in 1976.

NCI's Cancer Information Service 2005 Contract Awards

The following organizations have been selected for an anticipated award of Cancer Information Service contracts serving the regions designated:

New England Region: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
Yale University Cancer Center (Research Coordination award)
New Haven, Connecticut
Vincent T. DeVita, Jr., M.D., Principal Investigator

New York Region: New York State
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (Contact Center award)
New York, New York
Thomas J. Fahey, Jr., M.D., Principal Investigator

Atlantic Region: Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Paul F. Engstrom, M.D., Principal Investigator

Mid-Atlantic Region: District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia
West Virginia University/Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center
Morgantown, West Virginia
Pamela Brown, M.P.A., Principal Investigator

Southeast Region: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina
Duke University Cancer Center
Durham, North Carolina
Isaac Lipkus Reiner, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Mid-South Region: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee
University of Kentucky/Markey Cancer Center (Research Coordination award)
Lexington, Kentucky
Steven Wyatt, D.M.D, M.P.H, Principal Investigator

Coastal Region: Florida, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands
University of Miami (Contact Center award)
Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center
Miami, Florida
Clyde B. McCoy, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Mid-West Region: Indiana, Michigan, Ohio
Wayne State University/Karmanos Cancer Center
Detroit, Michigan
Terrance Albrecht, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Heartland Region: Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska
University of Kansas Medical Center (Contact Center award)
Kansas City, Kansas
Gary Doolittle, M.D., Principal Investigator

North Central Region: Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin Cancer Center
Madison, Wisconsin
Patrick Remington, M.D., Principal Investigator

South Central Region: Oklahoma, Texas
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (Research Coordination award)
Houston, Texas
Stephen Stuyck, M.P.H., Principal Investigator

Rocky Mountain Region: Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
Penrose-St. Francis Health Systems
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Donna Bertram, M.B.A., Principal Investigator

Northwest Region: Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Contact Center and Research Coordination awards)
Seattle, Washington
Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

California Region: State of California
Northern California Cancer Center
Union City, California
Dee West, Ph.D., Principal Investigator

Pacific Region: Hawaii and U.S. Associated Pacific Territories (American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, and Guam)
University of Hawaii
Cancer Research Center of Hawaii
Honolulu, Hawaii
Brian F. Issell, M.D., Principal Investigator
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For more information about cancer, visit the NCI Web site at www.cancer.gov or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).