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Fox Chase Cancer Center Appoints Community Outreach Program Coordinator

PHILADELPHIA (November 7, 2002) - Fox Chase Cancer Center has appointed Constance "Connie" Sumner RN, MSN of the Germantown section of Philadelphia, to serve as coordinator of Fox Chase's Community Outreach Program. Sumner, a nurse with more than 15 years of experience, is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the program's objective -- to improve cancer care by increasing minority involvement in cancer clinical trials.

Sumner says she accepted this position because she wanted to make an impact on minority communities. "Minorities have the highest cancer incidence and mortality rates in the United States," said Sumner. "Therefore, the importance of encouraging minority participation in clinical trials cannot be overstated, both for the health of our communities as well as for the health and well being of future generations."

In her role as coordinator, Sumner will identify Community Partners, organizations with minority constituencies. Fox Chase partners with these organizations to provide services and products to minority communities to increase cancer awareness, to encourage participation in cancer screenings and clinical trials, and to increase access to the best cancer treatment. Mt. Airy Church of God In Christ in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia was established as the first Community Partner with Fox Chase in 2001.

The Fox Chase Community Outreach Program also participates in health fairs and community events such as 50 Hoops and Safe Circle to further its outreach efforts. The type and nature of the cancer information offered is tailored to the specific needs of each partner.

"The most effective way this program reaches out to the underserved community is through education and screenings," explained Sumner.

Sumner earned her Bachelor's of Science in Nursing in 1994 and a Master's of Science in Nursing Administration in 1999, both from the LaSalle University School of Nursing. She has a variety of experience in the field of healthcare that includes work as a research assistant at Fox Chase, a clinical research coordinator and data manager at MCP Hahnemann, and a staff nurse in the oncology unit of Presbyterian Medical Center.

Sumner is president of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Theta Chapter. She is also a member of the Black Women's Health Project of Philadelphia. She serves on advisory committees for both the American Cancer Society and the University of Pennsylvania's Cancer Education and Career Development program, and is a reviewer for the American Journal of Nursing.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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