Two University of North Texas Health Science Center programs were awarded about $2.3 million in grants from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The funds will help expand UNT programs on cancer prevention services for refugees and support oncology research training for medical students.
CPRIT gave an estimated $1.5 million to Dr. Amy Raines-Milenkov and $800,000, which will be distributed over five years, to Dr. Jamboor Vishwanatha at UNTHSC. Raines-Milenkov will use the funds to improve access to cancer screenings for refugees through UNT’s Building Bridges Initiative. Vishwanatha will use the money given to the Center for Diversity and International Programs to fund training for students in UNT’s dual DO (or osteopathic)/PhD program.
Under Raines-Milenkov’s direction, the improved Building Bridges Initiative will offer screenings for more types of cancer and broaden testing age groups. According to UNTHSC, the expanded program will also “increase services to various groups, such as the Chin, from Myanmar, and Arabic-speaking populations. Its geographic reach will also widen to serve Denton County, home to many Chin refugees.” The plan will be fully integrated within three years.
“We will continue to seek and serve individuals in our community through a culturally and linguistically appropriate intervention to prevent cancers and save costs,” Raines-Milenkov said in a statement. “As we provide this intervention and research…we’ll gain insight that will help refugees resettle into our community.”
The $800,000 grant will provide financing for two scholarships, according to Vishwanatha. The scholarships will aid two selected individuals for three years. “This is the first such extramural funding for the DO/PhD program at UNTHSC,” Vishwanatha said.