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Methodist le Bonheur Healthcare’s first-ever Cancer Program Specialist, Jeremy Sanders, has a first-hand understanding of the impact of cancer, especially within underserved communities.
“Growing up in 38109, 50% of the people there smoke. My grandparents smoked, my aunts and uncles smoke— a lot of my family smokes. I have watched them succumb to illnesses. I have seen what cancer looks like. Watching family members die before their time makes the work all the more important,” Jeremy shared.
In his new role, Jeremy is working to enhance Methodist’s cancer program to reduce cancer disparities in Memphis and the Mid-South. “My primary goals for the program are to increase information and understanding, dispel fear and ensure everyone knows where to go to get what they need. It’s about education, access and affordability.”
Each quarter, Jeremy will focus his energy and program resources around four primary cancers impacting the Mid-South community: Lung Cancer, HPV/Cervical Cancer, Colon and Prostate Cancer, and Breast Cancer.
Jeremy will seek to support consistency, quality and innovation within every aspect of the program, including educational classes, collaboration with West Cancer Center, the Congregational Health Network and other community-based efforts.
He will also leverage recent grant support from AutoZone Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Memphis and Susan G. Komen Memphis-Mid-South, to enhance the patient experience and increase program capacity through innovative strategies and technology.
“With technology, our navigation team will be able to triage a situation on site. When we see someone in the community, we can start finding out their needs and what resources are best for them immediately,” explained Jeremy.
Looking ahead, Jeremy is confident that Methodist’s cancer navigation program has the resources to impact the health of the community. “The staff and people, the level of expertise, the community partnerships— I don’t think anyone else in this city has that reach. Methodist can truly service and touch everybody.”
Pictured Above: Jeremy Sanders, Methodist Cancer Program Specialist, pictured with John Smith, one of 10 Congregational Health Network Navigators working closely with Jeremy to implement community-level education and navigation to reduce cancer disparities.