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GSK announces The HealthTree Foundation’s multiple myeloma programme as first ‘Think Tank’ challenge winner

The Foundation will receive a £70,000 grant to improve access, education and support for underserved communities

GSK

GSK has selected a multiple myeloma programme seeking to address disparities in care as the winner of its ‘Target the Future’ innovation challenge, with the organisation receiving a £70,000 grant.

The winner of the challenge, the HealthTree Foundation, is a non-profit organisation helping multiple myeloma patients to ‘learn more about their health and become their own best advocates’ and was founded by Jenny Ahlstrom in 2012 following her own multiple myeloma diagnosis.

The organisation’s proposal, the ‘HealthTree Equity and Diversity for Multiple Myeloma Program’ will aim to improve access, education and support for underserved communities in minority patients.

GSK’s inaugural ‘Target the Future Think Tank Challenge’ issued a call for innovative ideas to support patients with multiple myeloma. Submissions were gathered from around the world and narrowed down to 20, and then a final three.

Commenting on HealthTree’s winning proposal, Tania Small, VP, global head of Oncology Medical Affairs and head of R&D Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at GSK, said: “The response to this challenge showcased an abundance of innovation, creativity and ingenuity, which we need to address patients’ unmet needs.

“We see great potential in the HealthTree Foundation’s proposal, which goes beyond the science to improve access, equitable care and quality of life for the multiple myeloma community.”

The grant and GSK mentorship and support, as part of the winning package, will help expand two specific HealthTree initiatives. The first, ‘Black Myeloma Health’, will spotlight black patients with multiple myeloma and their experiences through video journaling and the distribution of information about relevant treatments and resources. It will also create distinct online communities enabling black patients and caregivers to come together and support each other.

The second initiative, ‘HealthTree for Myeloma Multiple’, will increase the organisation’s efforts to support hispanic multiple myeloma patients through the deployment of Spanish-speaking patient navigators who will help people get answers along their treatment journey in their native language. It will also create referral forms in Spanish at clinics and translate existing materials so more patients can access and understand information relevant to their care.

Ahlstrom said: “I am alive today because I had the right information and treatments, and we must extend that access to communities of colour. Because of GSK’s support, we can implement a strategy to help our community by providing necessary tools to broaden awareness. We’re ready to make a difference in this underserved population suffering from multiple myeloma.”

Article by
Emily Kimber

1st July 2022

From: Research, Healthcare

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