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Rabin Martin supported the development of the Alliance for Equity in Cancer Care – a national initiative funded by the Merck Foundation to increase access to high-quality, equitable care for people living with cancer from underserved communities.

In the United States and globally, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, those living in rural areas, low-income individuals, and/or those without insurance are disproportionately affected by barriers to cancer care. Complex interrelated social and economic factors, as well as fragmented cancer services, present significant challenges for many individuals and communities in receiving timely, high-quality cancer care.

The Merck Foundation wanted to make a major investment to address inequities in cancer care by promoting better coordination of care and tackling the social drivers of health. Rabin Martin collaborated with the Foundation to design a new community-focused national effort to advance health equity and improve cancer care for underserved populations.

In co-creating this new initiative, we:

  • Analyzed the disparities in care throughout the U.S.
  • Determined opportunities for the Foundation to make a distinctive impact, aligned with philanthropic priorities
  • Drafted a national Request for Proposal and helped evaluate proposals
  • Supported the convening of an external committee of experts in cancer care and health equity to review proposals
  • Developed communications materials to support the initiative’s launch
A nurse providing cancer care to a patient in a hospital bed in the United States.


The Alliance for Equity in Cancer Care, launched in 2022, is a $20 million, five-year initiative operating in seven cities across the country. Through grants to nonprofit health care organizations working with local community-based groups, the Foundation is supporting evidence-informed, innovative programs that aim to reduce disparities in cancer care and improve patient outcomes.

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Rabin Martin consultants share expert insights on what’s emerging, what’s working, and what’s needed to improve access, outcomes, and equity.

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