Nonprofit is collaborating with tech platform provider to enroll people in FCC’s $14.2 billion Affordable Connectivity Program and distribute tablet devices preloaded with cancer support resources
NEW YORK, NY (June 15, 2023) – Equiva Health, an innovator in patient experience and health engagement technology solutions, today announced the expansion of its health equity-focused partnership with the Cancer Support Community (CSC), a nonprofit dedicated to uplifting and strengthening people impacted by cancer that provides $50 million in free support services to patients and families each year. CSC network partner sites in Arizona, Kentucky and California are joining two CSC sites now offering a program developed specifically to improve access to psychosocial oncology care, including education, resources, and support services for individuals in medically under-resourced communities.
With the addition of these three network partners to the previously announced programs in Minnesota’s Twin Cities and San Francisco, CSC expands its potential to reach thousands of impacted individuals across rural and urban settings.
A key component of the program includes efforts to make individuals, healthcare providers and community organizations aware of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and to serve as a conduit to ACP enrollment via Equiva’s broadband partner Infiniti Mobile. Launched by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in late 2021, the ACP provides eligible households with discounted broadband service. A household is eligible if at least one person living in the home is enrolled in an existing federal subsidy program such as Medicaid, WIC and many others.
The ACP also provides discounts toward the purchase of computing devices (desktops, laptops and tablets.) Equiva is enabling CSC to distribute broadband-enabled tablets to enrolled households. Unique to this program versus other ACP initiatives, the devices are preloaded with ready access to CSC’s no-cost virtual cancer support groups, healthy lifestyle education, cancer treatment information and other resources.
In 2022, a projected approximate of 1,918,030 new cancer cases were to be diagnosed, which would be the same as over 5,000 new cancer cases per day. “We’re hearing from healthcare providers that this program will help patients who cannot access the internet or are unable to attend our programs in person,” said Margaret Stauffer, LMFT, chief mission officer of Cancer Support Community San Francisco Bay Area. “Having tablets pre-loaded with access to our support groups, classes, and information will better equip people to navigate the cancer journey and will also help them feel less isolated.”
While 48 million households qualify for the ACP, fewer than 16 million enrolled in its first year. “While we serve thousands of people every year at physical locations, through our online support community and our Helpline, Equiva’s ACP-focused program is allowing us to reach even more impacted individuals through an easy-to-use vehicle for making important cancer resources readily available anytime, anywhere — particularly for those who might be most vulnerable due to disparities in healthcare,” said Debbie Weir, CEO of CSC.
According to Equiva CEO Nir Altman, his company developed its ACP Connect Program in response to calls from the FCC and others to develop new approaches to bolster ACP enrollment. “Healthcare organizations are seeking opportunities to advance care management and health equity initiatives among populations at higher risk of a cancer diagnosis including Medicaid recipients. We created our ACP Connect program to help healthcare entities bridge gaps in the digital health divide, improve outcomes and reduce costs.”
Altman said his organization is unaware of any other ACP program like this in the healthcare sector which maximizes the value of a B-to-B-to-C approach rather than the existing B-to-C model now used by most internet service providers.
“We see this as a win/win/win — for the FCC, for healthcare organizations and, most importantly, for the people they serve who are struggling with health issues due to lack of connectivity and devices,” Altman stated. “The Cancer Support Community positively impacts the lives of millions struggling with complex and burdensome disease. They’re a widely respected organization with a highly innovative leadership team. Equiva is incredibly honored to support CSC in pursuing new approaches to meet the needs of individuals diagnosed with cancer, their loved ones and their medical care providers.”
About the Cancer Support Community
As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC), including its Gilda’s Club network partners, is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. CSC achieves its mission through three areas: direct service delivery, research, and advocacy. The organization’s Institute for Excellence in Psychosocial Care includes an international network that offers the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer, as well as a community of support available online and over the phone. The Research and Training Institute conducts cutting-edge psychosocial, behavioral, and survivorship research. CSC furthers its focus on patient advocacy through its Cancer Policy Institute, informing public policy in Washington, D.C. and across the nation. For more information, please call the toll-free Cancer Support Helpline at 888-793-9355 or visit www.CancerSupportCommunity.org.
About Equiva Health
Equiva’s health relationship management platform helps healthcare organizations drive initiatives to advance health equity, improve health outcomes and drive financial success. Equiva blends aspects of patient engagement, care management, and marketing in a framework that bridges data analytics with education and behavioral science-driven methodologies – to purposefully mobilize intelligence-driven action among consumers, patients, their loved ones, and care team members. A healthcare point solution aggregation and software delivery environment, Equiva’s SaaS platform can securely power any number of health education and engagement solutions via mobile devices (tablets and phones,) kiosks, televisions, digital signage and more. https://equivahealth.com