Cancer affects one in three Americans with rippling impacts effecting families and communities. This sobering statistic is the focus of specialized researchers across the country, fighting to make discoveries that can improve and save lives. Which is why funding for just one project or study is so vital when it comes to cancer research – particularly for women researchers – a group that historically, and still today, does not receive equal funding for cancer research.
ResearcHERS, Women Fighting Cancer
Invited to speak at the campaign launch event was Jami Kaliebe, Vice President, Scarlet Health® Delivery. The event gathered female leaders in healthcare from several respected institutions including Mount Sinai, Cornell, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and others as well as women researchers interested in becoming ambassadors of the program. BioReference, Scarlet Health® and GenPath are longtime supporters of the American Cancer Society and firmly stand behind the mission of ResearcHERS. It is a truly unique program that equips women with the power to fundraise in support of women-led cancer research.
As part of Kaliebe’s speech, she noted the shared vision of BioReference, GenPath®, Scarlet Health® and ResearcHERS on improving care for cancer patients and saving the lives of those afflicted by a cancer diagnosis. Kaliebe recognized and honored the research being done, as well as the need researchers in the field have for support, like paid family leave. The American Cancer Society is a strong proponent of paid family leave. However, women researchers are often forced to choose between family needs and their profession. Kaliebe added that women bring an empathetic perspective to the sciences and healthcare, one that is needed for successful research outcomes and cancer patient care. Providing basic paid leave to women researchers will support the smart and talented minds in the laboratories.
Beyond the challenges posed by the lack of paid family leave and the disparities of funding allocation between men and women researchers, these professionals are also patients. Kaliebe spoke to the ways in which Scarlet® is a product and solution that can help improve the everyday lives of caregivers and patients. Women are often the decision-makers in their households, particularly when it comes to healthcare, and one of Scarlet’s defining features is meeting patients where they are. Ultimately, it’s much more than a matter of convenience to have a mobile, on-demand laboratory specimen collection available, but this technology and service also gives patients precious time back with one less medical facility visit. Scarlet can help reduce the burden on patients and caregivers already overwhelmed with appointments, struggling with transportation issues, or concerned about exposure in traditional healthcare settings for an immunocompromised patient.
Looking to the Future
While inspiring and dedicated female researchers make life-saving, valuable advancements in treatment and testing for oncology patients, Scarlet brings testing into their homes to add a more human touch in their medical journey. Kaliebe closed by acknowledging that women-focused programs and initiatives like ResearcHERS generates impact, and even though there is still more progress to achieve, the movement is creating positive changes for the future.