Charting a New Course in Cancer Care:
The Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care

The Merck Foundation is seeking letters of intent for its new initiative, which aims to improve cancer care and outcomes for vulnerable and underserved populations affected by cancer in the U.S.

A diagnosis of cancer is a life-changing event for both you and your loved ones. Coming to terms with a diagnosis is difficult enough without the additional strain of dealing with an oftentimes challenging and overwhelming health care system. While there have been significant advancements in cancer treatment, many cancer patients still do not receive the help they need.

The Alliance will work to:

care icon

Strengthen patient-centered care, including patient-provider communication, patient engagement, and patient-centered treatment planning.

improve outcomes

Improve patient outcomes, including satisfaction with care and quality of life.

build partnerships

Build sustainable partnerships that advance patient-centered care and reduce disparities in access to high-quality cancer care.

With $15 million in funding from the Foundation over five years, the Alliance will support the implementation of multifaceted cancer care programs in selected communities across the country. Through an independent cross-site evaluation, the Foundation will also evaluate the impact of the Alliance and its programs, with a goal towards understanding and promoting best practices in cancer care.

Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, access to high-quality cancer care continues to be challenging for some patients in the U.S., especially those in vulnerable and underserved populations.

– Julie L. Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., executive vice president & chief patient officer, Merck

Join the Alliance

The Foundation is seeking letters of intent from eligible nonprofit organizations in the U.S. committed to improving cancer care and addressing the needs of vulnerable and underserved populations. Eligible organizations must be designated as a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the U.S. and may include public or private institutions, such as universities and colleges; cancer centers, oncology medical homes and other healthcare organizations; and community-based and nongovernmental organizations.

Organizations will be expected to implement interventions that:

  • Build on organizations’ existing programs and capabilities.
  • Incorporate components at the patient, provider, and healthcare system levels.
  • Apply scientific evidence and promising practices from the field.
  • Involve meaningful collaborations with community partners.
  • Promote sustainable improvements in cancer care delivery and quality.

Eligible organizations are invited to submit a letter of intent (LOI) by June 30, 2016. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by September 15, 2016.


The Merck Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by Merck, a global health care leader, the Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is Merck’s chief source of funding support to qualified non-profit charitable organizations. Since its inception, the Merck Foundation has contributed more than $819 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs and are consistent with Merck’s overall mission to help the world be well. For more information, visit