CVS Foundation Awards Grant to Hollings Cancer Center to Help Cancer Patients Quit Smoking

Contact: Heather Woolwine

April 24, 2017

CHARLESTON, SC – The MUSC Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) has received a $100,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation to address smoking cessation for oncology patients in the greater Charleston area. The grant will help serve unfunded or medically underserved cancer patients by providing tobacco treatment medications, cessation support, and outreach services to those unable to travel to HCC for repeated in-person visits.

“The commitment from the CVS Health Foundation to promote tobacco cessation for our cancer patients is an extremely positive move that will improve their cancer treatment outcomes,” said Graham Warren, M.D., Ph.D., a board-certified radiation oncologist who helped lead the development of the Tobacco Treatment Program at HCC and MUSC. “The 2014 Surgeon General’s Report clearly demonstrates that continued smoking by cancer patients decreases survival and is associated with increased cancer treatment toxicity. Quitting smoking is the best method to prevent these adverse effects.”

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is one of eight cancer centers across the country to receive this grant through a partnership between the CVS Health Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. The new program will give nearly $1 million in financial support to build new smoking cessation programs or expand existing ones across the country, enabling each cancer institute to reach more at-risk patient populations.

Nine years after a cancer diagnosis, nearly 10 percent of survivors still smoke cigarettes – and more than 80 percent of them smoke daily, according to the American Cancer Society. The 2014 study from American Cancer Society researchers say the findings underscore the tenacity of tobacco cravings and the need for better long-term help. 

"Addressing smoking among at-risk populations, including cancer patients, is a priority for us,” said Eileen Howard Boone, CVS Health Foundation president. “We’re proud to support the Hollings Cancer Center as they offer an innovative smoking cessation program and access to tobacco control experts to lead the improvement of cancer treatment outcomes for patients, and bring us one step closer to the first tobacco-free generation.”

The award is part of CVS Health’s Be The First initiative, a five-year, $50 million commitment to help people lead tobacco-free lives and in turn, deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation through anti-smoking education, tobacco-control advocacy, and healthy behavior programming. For more information, please visit Be The First

About the Hollings Cancer Center

The Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer research program in South Carolina. The cancer center is comprised of more than 120 cancer scientists with a research funding portfolio of $44 million and a dedication to reducing the cancer burden in South Carolina. Hollings offers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, therapies, and surgical techniques within multidisciplinary clinics that include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, psychologists, and other specialists equipped for the full range of cancer care, including more than 200 clinical trials. For more information, please visit Hollings Cancer Center.

About the CVS Health Foundation

The CVS Health Foundation is a private charitable organization created by CVS Health that works to build healthier communities, enabling people of all ages to lead healthy, productive lives. The Foundation provides strategic investments to nonprofit partners throughout the U.S. who help increase community-based access to health care for underserved populations, create innovative approaches to chronic disease management and provide tobacco cessation and youth prevention programming. We also invest in scholarship programs that open the pathways to careers in pharmacy to support the academic aspirations of the best and brightest talent in the industry. Our philanthropy also extends to supporting our colleagues' spirit of volunteerism through Volunteer Challenge grants to nonprofits where they donate their time and fundraising efforts. To learn more about the CVS Health Foundation and its giving, visit Social Responsibility.

Media Contacts:
Joe Goode, CVS Health

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is the state's only comprehensive academic health system, with a unique mission to preserve and optimize human life in South Carolina through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates more than 3,200 students in six colleges – Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy – and trains more than 900 residents and fellows in its health system. MUSC brought in more than $300 million in research funds in fiscal year 2023, leading the state overall in research funding. MUSC also leads the state in federal and National Institutes of Health funding. Learn more about our academic programs.

As the health care system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality and safest patient care while educating and training generations of outstanding health care providers and leaders to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 16 hospitals (includes owned or governing interest), with approximately 2,700 beds and four additional hospital locations in development, more than 350 telehealth sites and nearly 750 care locations situated in all regions of South Carolina. In 2023, for the ninth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health University Medical Center in Charleston the Number 1 hospital in South Carolina. Learn more about our patient services.

MUSC has a total enterprise annual operating budget of $5.9 billion. The nearly 26,000 MUSC family members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, students, affiliates and care team members who deliver groundbreaking education, research, and patient care.