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OCE Partnerships and COVID-19

VHA partnership with lung cancer nonprofit will help save Veterans’ lives

In June, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a partnership with the nonprofit GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, to increase awareness about lung cancer screening options and improve outcomes for Veterans impacted by the disease. Lung cancer is the No. 1 cause of cancer-related mortality among Veterans, according to the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NCP), the office that manages this partnership.

Laurie Fenton Ambrose, co-founder, president, and CEO of GO2, Foundation said that it is an “extraordinary privilege and honor” to partner with the VA, and explained that for more than 15 years, GO2 Foundation has made bringing screening and care to military individuals a core priority of the organization.

This partnership will focus on: developing and sharing technical resources with health care professionals inside and outside of VA so they are informed as to the importance of screening; tailoring educational outreach specific to Veteran communities; and increasing access to screening of Veterans at risk for lung cancer at medical centers.

Several board members of GO2 Foundation are Veterans, including three- and four-star Retired Admirals, a two-star General and retired Lieutenant Colonel of the United State Army.

“Both our Board and VA leadership grasp the importance of this partnership,” Ms. Ambrose said. “We now have our marching orders and are excited to be moving full-steam ahead.”

“This partnership will link prevention, early detection, and treatment research together in a continuum of care that will move the needle toward better health outcomes for Veterans,” Ms. Ambrose continued. The goal, she said, is to save lives.

“When you screen for lung cancer – you are able to find and detect the disease at its earliest, most treatable and most curable stage. We can literally transform survivorship with this approach,” she added.

Screening for lung cancer is an important opportunity to counsel those who are current smokers as well.

VHA’s NCP is also focused on screening for lung cancer, and offers informative resources for Veterans about screenings and VA’s work in this area.

Dr. Drew Moghanaki, section chief of radiation oncology at the Atlanta VA Health Care System and an associate professor at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, said: “I think that the GO2 Foundation is ideally situated to help all Americans better understand how committed VA is to [addressing] lung cancer and to leaving no one behind as we try to tackle the No. 1 cause of cancer related mortality among Veterans. It’s just so sad that we lose 15 Veterans a day to lung cancer, right up there with suicide.”

This partnership was facilitated by VHA’s Office of Community Engagement (OCE). OCE is VHA’s resource for establishing and growing nongovernmental partnerships that benefit Veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors.

Dr. Tracy L. Weistreich, nurse executive for OCE, said that this partnership represents the importance of collaboration and resource-sharing.

“Both VA and GO2 Foundation have years of experience and deep knowledge of the lung cancer community and will bring gained knowledge and unique perspectives to the table as we explore side-by-side how to best reach the Veteran community to reduce lung cancer diagnosis and mortality,” Dr. Weistreich said. “VA and GO2 Foundation share a deep passion for helping Veterans and others improve their health and well-being.”

For more information on GO2, please visit: https://go2foundation.org/.

For more information on the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, please visit: https://www.prevention.va.gov.

For more information on OCE’s partnership work, please visit va.gov/healthpartnerships.

External Link Disclaimer: This page contains links that will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.

Posted September 2, 2020