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The International Myeloma Foundation is Creating an Award-Winning Tool for Nurses to Improve Myeloma Patient Outcomes in Underserved Communities

STUDIO CITY, Calif., Nov. 02, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is pleased to announce that the organization has been selected as the winner of the 2023 Sanofi HealthEquity Accelerator Award for its Shared Decision-Making among African American and Hispanic Myeloma Patients program.

The IMF is developing this program and its tools to empower nurses with novel ideas and technology to improve trust and engagement in treatment decisions with African American and Hispanic patients throughout the United States. A program like this is crucial because it will tackle issues of disparities and lack of access to care in African American and Hispanic American communities.

In fact, the incidence of multiple myeloma in African Americans is 2-3 times higher than other ethnicities. Myeloma is the leading hematologic malignancy in this population. Furthermore, African American and Hispanic myeloma patients often experience delays in appropriate diagnosis, coupled with challenges in accessing stem cell transplants, novel therapies, and clinical trials.

“The International Myeloma Foundation is addressing unmet needs and expanding our reach to underserved populations with our Innovative Shared Decision-Making and Navigation tool for nurses,” said IMF President and CEO Yelak Biru.

Biru continued, “Sanofi’s recognition of this project and our work toward health equity in myeloma care reaffirms that we are on the right path—a path where we serve those who need help the most, throughout their myeloma journeys.”

With its new Shared Decision-Making and Navigation Tool for Nurses, the IMF will support those who are often closest to patients in their care journeys. With this tool, nurses will be able to provide personalized care, reduce racial disparities, improve access to care, and ultimately enhance outcomes. The tool will also provide resources in both English and Spanish.

IMF Nurse Leadership Board Member Amy Pierre, RN, MSN, ANP-BC said, “The IMF Nurse Leadership Board is grateful for Sanofi's 2023 HealthEquity Accelerator Award, which recognizes the tireless dedication of nurses and the vital role they play in myeloma care. This award empowers our commitment to advancing equitable healthcare and continuing our mission of providing support to those on their myeloma journeys. Together, we are making a difference for those who struggle most to access quality myeloma care.”

IMF Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Mikhael (Translational Genomics Research Institute, City of Hope — Phoenix) added, “As a clinician on the frontlines of myeloma care and being of African descent myself, I know how important it is for patients to see care providers who understand their unique cultural needs. The International Myeloma Foundation’s Innovative Shared Decision-Making and Navigation tool educates nurses on the frontlines of myeloma care on how to best support African American and Hispanic American myeloma patients. With this tool, the IMF is improving access to care for all; and ultimately, extending lives by doing so.”

Coming in 2024, the Shared Decision-Making Tool will provide infographic-based teaching points, suggested strategies and questions to prompt important conversations, culturally relevant interventions, interactive videos, and considerations of patient preferences and social determinants of health.

Founded in 1990, the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) is the first and largest global organization focusing specifically on multiple myeloma. The Foundation’s reach extends to more than 525,000 members in 140 countries worldwide. The IMF is dedicated to improving the quality of life of myeloma patients while working toward prevention and a cure by focusing on four key areas: research, education, support, and advocacy. The IMF has conducted more than 250 educational seminars worldwide, maintains a world-renowned InfoLine, and in 2001, established the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG), a collaborative research initiative focused on improving myeloma treatment options for patients. In 2012, the IMF launched the Black Swan Research Initiative®, a groundbreaking research project aimed at curing myeloma. The IMF can be reached at (800) 452-CURE (2873). The global website is Follow the IMF on Twitter @IMFmyeloma.


Jason London
Peter Anton

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