Charting a New Course in Cancer Care:

The Alliance to Advance Patient-Centered Cancer Care

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.

Together, the Alliance partners will work to...

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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.

Through the Alliance, the Merck Foundation aims to improve cancer care and outcomes for vulnerable and underserved populations affected by cancer in the U.S. 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.

With 1.7 million Americans newly diagnosed with cancer each year, there is a great need to improve the quality and delivery of patient-centered care to help address the significant challenges of those facing this diagnosis,” said Julie L. Gerberding, chief patient officer, Merck and chief executive officer, Merck Foundation. “These superb program sites and the National Program Office should accelerate identification and uptake of innovations that benefit patients, improve health communications, and enhance the overall coordination of care.

– Dr. Julie L. Gerberding, chief patient officer, Merck and chief executive officer, Merck Foundation


The Merck Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, 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 $870 million to support important initiatives that address societal needs and are consistent with Merck's overall mission of inventing for life by bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases. For more information, visit