CDC 's REACH Program Celebrates 10 Years Working with Communities to Decrease Health Disparities

May 4, 2010

Washington, D.C. – May 4, 2010 – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program today celebrates 10 years of supporting communities in the fight against racial and ethnic health disparities. Currently, 40 communities nationwide participate in the program, which aims to address health disparities in key areas, including improving overall health in communities, health care settings, schools, and work sites; funding tobacco control and breast and cervical cancer education programs; and contributing to scientific research on issues surrounding health disparities.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) released the following statement today honoring the REACH program’s groundbreaking work on decreasing racial and ethnic health disparities across the country:

“Racial and ethnic minorities face many obstacles to receiving health care services related to cancer prevention, early detection, and high-quality treatment. The statistics are sobering: African American women are 34 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than white women, and the death rate for cancer among African American males is 36 percent higher than among white males. Hispanic women are twice as likely as white women to have a diagnosis of cervical cancer and Vietnamese American women have a five times higher rate of cervical cancer than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States.

“The CDC’s REACH program is turning these numbers around in communities across the country by helping to ensure that more minority populations receive the lifesaving cancer screenings, treatment, and tobacco cessation services they need. In REACH communities that focused on breast and cervical cancer prevention, the percentage of women who reported having a Pap test in the previous year increased from 81 percent in 2002 to 86 percent in 2006. In REACH communities, the rate of cigarette smoking among Asian American men decreased from 42 percent in 2002 to 20 percent in 2006.

“REACH communities empower residents to seek better health, help change local health care practices, and mobilize communities to implement evidence-based public health programs that address their unique social, historical, economic, and cultural circumstances. We applaud this extraordinary program for its work to reduce health disparities in communities across the country.”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

Christina Saull
(202) 585-3250
[email protected]

Steven Weiss
(202) 661-5711
[email protected]

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