Georgetown Announces New Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention To Address Health Disparities in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON (April 10, 2023) — The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center will open on Monday, April 17 at 1010 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, D.C., building on a longstanding partnership between Georgetown and Ralph Lauren on cancer research and care. A part of Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, the facility, located in Ward 8, will focus on reducing disparities in health care affecting the city’s underserved communities through patient navigation — or individualized health care guides — community educators and more. This Center, made possible by a grant from The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, is aimed at helping residents get the cancer care they need by bringing comprehensive cancer resources to underserved communities in southeast Washington (Wards 6, 7 and 8), where they have been historically lacking.
The Ralph Lauren Center will begin operations following a special dedication with patients, staff and dignitaries. Services at this newly remodeled facility in the southeast corner of the District build upon the programming and impact of the previous practices of the Capital Breast Care Center (CBCC) to expand beyond the breast cancer-focused services offered at this site by the CBCC, which has been a fixture in the community for 15 years. The new Center will now offer comprehensive cancer resources to the diverse populations disproportionately impacted by lung, colorectal, prostate and other cancers — from screening to treatment, when necessary. The Center will also include a wider array of cancer-focused services, targeted outreach and education in collaboration with MedStar Health, Georgetown’s academic health system partner.
The Center will support early detection as well as diagnostic and preventative measures and, when necessary, connect individuals to Georgetown University’s academic health system partner, MedStar Health, for specialized care or to participate in clinical trials. The Center will also provide tailored community outreach, engagement and educational programming to vulnerable populations east of the Anacostia River (Wards 6, 7 and 8), where they have been historically lacking.
“We’ve been working at this location and in this community with breast cancer patients for 15 years, and what we know from that work and those relationships — along with research — is that addressing cancer disparities in communities and meeting people where they are makes a real difference,” explains Lucile Adams-Campbell, PhD, Director of the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention and Associate Director for Minority Health and Health Disparities Research at Georgetown Lombardi. “We are extremely excited to have the opportunity to now expand our focus on breast cancer to address colorectal, lung and prostate cancers, because when we work directly with and in communities most impacted, we see dramatic improvements in early detection, diagnostic, treatment and preventive measures.”
Ralph Lauren has a longstanding history of support and partnership with Georgetown Lombardi. In 1989, Mr. Lauren, alongside Katharine Graham, co-founded the Nina Hyde Center for Breast Cancer Research at Georgetown Lombardi in honor of his close friend and former fashion editor of The Washington Post, Nina Hyde. Over the years, the Ralph Lauren Corporation and Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation have focused a key pillar of their philanthropic efforts on giving to cancer care and prevention causes and organizations.
“More than 30 years ago, I made a personal, unwavering commitment to contribute to the fight against cancer,” said Ralph Lauren, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Ralph Lauren Corporation and Chair of The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation. “Through The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation’s investment in Georgetown Lombardi, our hope is that our work together will help to reduce health disparities in underserved communities by creating improved access to the preventative care so critical for successful treatment and survival. And most of all, make a meaningful difference in the quality of life for those most vulnerable and in need.”
Last year, The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation made a $25 million commitment in new grant funding to expand or establish five Ralph Lauren-named cancer centers in underserved communities across the United States. Recognized by the White House’s Cancer Moonshot initiative, the funding will benefit institutions, including Georgetown Lombardi and Memorial Sloan Kettering Ralph Lauren Center in Harlem, N.Y., that have a National Cancer Institute designation and are dedicated to overcoming health disparities and improving cancer outcomes in their communities. In the coming years, The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation will identify and select three additional grant recipients in collaboration with Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation.
Addressing Disparities Through Patient Navigation
The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Prevention will help to advance health equity in a historically underserved part of the District. The majority of health care facilities in Washington, D.C., are located in the Northwest quadrant, making them unevenly distributed throughout the city. As many as 41% of residents across the nation’s capital aren’t receiving necessary cancer screenings, and health disparities between Black and white patients here are wider than they are in the rest of the country. Ward 8 is one of the most deeply impacted communities by these disparities, with higher cancer rates and lower life expectancies than populations in other parts of the District.
Patient navigators play an important role in educating communities about cancer and helping patients overcome barriers to care and access. Research shows that patient navigators help reduce cancer disparities by guiding patients through the complex and vast health care system. Patient navigators and other community-focused educators have been proven to help eliminate cancer disparities from diagnosis through treatment by assisting patients with:
- Lack of transportation, child care or elder care
- Language barriers
- Medical mistrust
- Fear of what a screening, test or diagnosis will mean
- Logistics navigating a complex system of doctors and appointments amid many other life responsibilities
About The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation
The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation works to make the dream of a better life reality by championing equity and empowering underserved communities around the world. Established in 2001, The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation is committed to making a difference across its core areas of focus: supporting cancer care and prevention, protecting the environment, fostering advocacy & access and strengthening community resilience. It hopes to deliver meaningful change in its communities through its nonprofit collaborations, grant funding and volunteering programs. For more information, please visit: https://corporate.ralphlauren.com/Foundation.
About Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a comprehensive cancer center. A part of Georgetown University Medical Center, Georgetown Lombardi is the only comprehensive cancer center in the Washington, D.C. area. It serves as the research engine for MedStar Health, Georgetown University’s clinical partner. Georgetown Lombardi is also an NCI-recognized consortium with Hackensack Meridian John Theurer Cancer Center in Bergen County, New Jersey. The consortium reflects an integrated cancer research enterprise with scientists and physician-researchers from both locations. Georgetown Lombardi seeks to improve cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention through innovative basic, translational, and clinical research, patient care, community education, and outreach to serve communities throughout the Washington region. Georgetown Lombardi is a member of the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (UG1CA239758). Georgetown Lombardi is supported in part by a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA051008). Connect with Georgetown Lombardi on Facebook (Facebook.com/Georgetown Lombardi) and Twitter (@LombardiCancer).