The BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB FOUNDATION engages partners on multi-faceted projects aimed at innovative programs to improve access to specialty care among vulnerable populations across the globe. Programs focus on reducing the burden of disease by providing patients with information and access to care and expanding health care capacity while providing training for health care workers.

Bridging Cancer Care for Minority and Underserved Populations in the U.S.

Although lung cancer prevalence in the U.S. has declined over the past decade, lung cancer still claims more lives than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. Since 2014, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Bridging Cancer Care initiative has been working with partner organizations to expand the current limited scope of community-based resources and survivorship support programs to the underserved populations in the U.S. The Foundation partners with academic institutions and community organizations seeking to advance high-quality care and support for those diagnosed or at highest risk for lung cancer. The primary regions of focus are the southeastern states which have the highest lung cancer incidence and mortality in the country – Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, West Virginia, North and South Carolina and Mississippi.

The Foundation is working with partners on a multi-pronged approach to lung cancer awareness, screening, treatment and support services. It is partnering to increase provider capacity and training on the latest screening techniques to help promote early detection of lung cancer and improve treatment outcomes. Additionally, the Foundation is also working with clinics and hospitals on patient navigation to help patients access treatment if they should receive a diagnosis of lung cancer.

The Foundation also partners with a variety of academic, community and faith-based organizations to address the non-clinical barriers to care including awareness, education, prevention, transportation and tobacco-free policy changes. The initiative also supports the creation of lung cancer support group tools and resources for patients and their families in survivorship.





  • 162 Funded
  • 17 New in 2015


  • 1690 Partnerships contributing to BMSF projects
  • 145 Expert inputs from BMS Company



  • 80% Meeting objectives
  • 82% Depending on community involvement
  • 83% Contributing to improved health equity
  • 72% Enhance skills of health care workers
  • 55% Offering disease screening


  • 1,053,945 Disproportionately affected populations reached
  • 502,370 Patients diagnosed with target disease through screening
  • 131,231 Health workers trained
  • 47 Projects resulting in improved community support structures


  • 87% Projects sustained
  • 53% Projects replicated
  • 86 Peer-reviewed publications
  • 82% Projects resulted in changes in standards of care
  • 41% Projects resulted in changes in health policy


In 2015, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation launched a new grant making initiative to address inequities in access to and utilization of specialty care services by vulnerable populations in the U.S. Specialty care services in health care are the treatment of serious illnesses that fall outside of primary care, e.g. cancer and HIV. The goal of this national initiative is to catalyze sustainable improvement and expansion of specialty care service delivery by safety net providers to achieve better and more equitable outcomes for the people they serve who are living with cancer, HIV/AIDS or cardiovascular disease.

The Foundation is addressing access to specialty care by strengthening health systems as well as patient and community support services. To strengthen health systems, the Foundation is working with partners to expand specialty care delivery capacity through care and mentoring partnerships between primary care providers and local and remote specialists and integrated specialty teams, including telemedicine and telementoring projects.

To enhance patient engagement and community supportive services, the Foundation is partnering to build community outreach and patient navigation services as well as to provide disease and self-care education. In recognition of the many factors that can contribute to successful treatment of serious diseases outside of the clinic or hospital, the Foundation also funds community-based organizations to provide social support for patients such as transportation, psychosocial supports, self and social stigmatization reduction, nutrition and more.

The Foundation includes unique program support features in this initiative. First, issue briefs were written and disseminated to inform the specialty community about inequities in access and barriers to quality care and to call them to action. Second, technical assistance is provided in the areas of policy and advocacy and payer and health system engagement to optimize sustainability of the models of care that are proven effective through grantee projects.

Bridging Cancer Care Europe focuses on improving nurses' skills, knowledge and capabilities to address cancer disparities in Central and Eastern Europe. The Foundation works with partners to improve psychosocial support for cancer patients and their families, provide disease education and screening, expand training for health workers and engage nurses as key members of the medical team.

Veterans Mental Health & Well-Being focuses on community-based solutions to aid in the much-needed response to the mental health and community reintegration needs of veterans, military service members, their families and the families of the fallen.

Delivering Hope helps communities and health care workers in China and India effectively raise awareness about hepatitis B and hepatitis C, inform health policy and national programs, build the capacity of health care providers and communities to address these diseases, and promote disease prevention in the hardest-hit and greatest at-risk populations.