Hoosiers Outrun Cancer is one of the largest and oldest races in the state. File photo

Editor’s note: The following is a press release from the Cancer Support Community. Bloom has republished it here with edits for style and clarity.

To expand the variety, frequency, and the number of cancer patients and family members who receive support with needs beyond clinical care, Bloomington Health Foundation (BHF) has awarded a $260,000 grant to Cancer Support Community Central Indiana (CSCCI) to establish Cancer Support Community South Central Indiana.

The new satellite program will be headquartered in Bloomington and serve patients throughout the 11-county region including Monroe, Morgan, Owen, Brown, Orange, Greene, Daviess, Martin, Washington, Jackson, and Lawrence counties.

The grant provides one-year startup funding for two personnel positions and will offer in person programmatic services when they can be safely held, potentially in late 2021. Last year BHF, CSCCI, and IU Health South Central Region collaborated to bring virtual versions of these services to the area amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Those services are ongoing and can be accessed through the CSCCI website.

Funding for the grant comes from past monies raised through the annual community event Hoosiers Outrun Cancer. Also included in the agreement is three-year licensure of the event, which will fund the program moving forward.

“It is wonderful to witness after 21 years of incredible community support for Hoosiers Outrun Cancer, that this beloved event will have even a broader vision for supporting those impacted by cancer,” says BHF Interim President and CEO Heather Robinson. “We are honored to partner with CSCCI to bring critical services beyond clinical care to our area that will be free to cancer patients and their families.”

Cancer Support Community is a global non-profit network consisting of 175 locations, including the 26-year-old affiliate in Indianapolis. Their centers provide support through wellness classes, counseling, a toll-free helpline, educational resources, and more.

“We have cared for tens of thousands of Hoosiers in Central Indiana for more than 25 years and it is our honor to work alongside local leaders like BHF to continue that legacy and expand our

services to our friends in South Central Indiana,” says Eric Richards, President and CEO of CSCCI.

Mary, a current program participant in Indianapolis, says, “What happens every week I walk into a group is pure magic. I find spiritual strength when treatment has drained me of physical strength. I am refueled and re-energized through my support group and through the wellness activities and the education programs and the people. The whole place is magical.”

A local advisory committee comprised of seven individuals, three selected by BHF and four appointed by CSCCI, will oversee operations of the South Central program. Additionally, CSCCI is currently working to establish relationships with regional healthcare leaders for further program expansion. Those details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Cancer Support Community Central Indiana will be hiring a full-time program manager and full- time development manager to support its efforts. Qualified and interested individuals can learn more or submit their resume to [email protected].

The 22nd Hoosiers Outrun Cancer 5k walk/run is set for September 25th. Registration will soon be available at HoosiersOutrunCancer.org.