American Cancer Society Awards $24,000 Training Grant to Georgia Social Worker
Atlanta, GA—May 30, 2013– The American Cancer Society, the largest non-government, not-for-profit funding source of cancer research in the United States, has awarded a two-year grant totaling $24,000 to Tracy R. Howk, MSW, a social worker at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOI). The Training Grant in Clinical Oncology Social Work is among 175 national research and training grants totaling $79,073,250 awarded for fiscal year 2013. The grants will fund investigators at 93 institutions across the United States; 164 are new grants while 11 are renewals of previous grants. The grants will go into effect July 1, 2013.
For more than 65 years, the American Cancer Society has funded research and training of health professionals to investigate the causes, prevention, and early detection of cancer, as well as new treatments, cancer survivorship, and end of life support for patients and their families. Since its founding in 1946, the American Cancer Society’s extramural research grants program has devoted more than $3.9 billion to cancer research and has funded 46 researchers who have gone on to win the Nobel Prize.
With the support of the American Cancer Society, researchers like Tracy Howk are focusing on new discoveries to help achieve the Society’s mission to save lives and end suffering from cancer. The social work department at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta prepares social work graduate students for careers in healthcare. Within The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, students learn to conduct in-depth psychosocial assessments of pediatric oncology patients and families with a focus on coping and identification of potential barriers to treatment. Students are able to follow their patients and families in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, which allows for strong continuity of care. Skills learned include illness-adjustment counseling, crisis intervention, advocacy, support group facilitation, referrals to concrete services, support at the end-of-life, and bereavement follow-up.
The American Cancer Society’s research and training program emphasizes investigator-initiated, peer-reviewed proposals, and has supported groundbreaking research that has led to critical discoveries leading to a better understanding of cancer and cancer treatment. Grant applications are ranked on the basis of merit by one of several discipline-specific Peer Review Committees, each of which includes 12 to 25 scientific advisors or expert reviewers. The Council for Extramural Grants, a committee of senior scientists, recommends funding based on the relative merit of the applications, the amount of available funds, and the Society’s objectives. No member of the American Cancer Society’s Board of Directors or National Assembly may serve on a Peer Review Committee or as a voting member on the Council for Extramural Grants.
The Council also approved 71 research applications for funding totaling $37,074,750 that could not be funded due to budgetary constraints. These “pay-if” grants represent work that passed the Society’s multi-disciplinary review process and are beyond the Society’s current funding resources, so are available for funding by individual donors who wish to fund research that would not otherwise be funded. In 2012, 10 million donor dollars were donated to fund 32 “pay-if” grants.
For more information about the American Cancer Society Research Program, please visit cancer.org/research.