VUMC Radiologist Awarded CERC Partnership Development Mini Grant

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s (VUMC) Department of Radiology, in partnership with the Mid-South Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS) in Nashville, was recently awarded a $2,390 Partnership Development Mini Grant through the Meharry-Vanderbilt Community Engaged Research Core (CERC).

VUMC’s Lucy Spalluto, M.D., Assistant Professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences, and ACS grant partners Debbie Thomas and JD Frattini, developed a proposal for the grant as a result of a patient recommendation during one of Spalluto’s routine breast ultrasound examinations. 

“I love that this project began with direct patient care, involves both academic and community partners, and ultimately aims to give back to the patients in the form of improved patient care,” said Spalluto.

Through the combined research and efforts of VUMC and ACS, the project will identify barriers and opportunities for improving mammography utilization in the community’s medically underserved population.

“The grant provides us with the chance to work with, and learn from, a diverse group of partners so that we can better understand those barriers and work towards eliminating them,” said Frattini.

The funds awarded through the grant will enable VUMC and ACS to engage community stakeholders in the process of designing a patient- and community-centered intervention to improve screening mammography utilization, and ultimately foster relationships with other organizations united in the fight against breast cancer. 

“We can all agree that early detection through screening saves lives,” said Thomas. “Working together on this initiative will maximize our impact and ensure screening mammography is available for the medically underserved population in our community.”

Lucy Spalluto, center, pictured with ACS grant partners Debbie Thomas, left, and JD Frattini, right.