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Gilead Funds New Orleans Musicians’ Assistance Foundation (NOMC&AF) Innovative Program to Bridge Gaps in Breast Cancer Care and Equity


As we commemorate Black History Month and World Cancer Day on February 4, NOMC&AF is deeply honored that  Gilead Sciences, Inc. has granted us a vital “feather” from their  Toward Health Equity Oncology GrantTM to advance Cultural Engagement to Overcome Breast Cancer in Louisiana as we address barriers to early detection, care and inequities of health including cultural competency training of medical providers.

Breast cancer affects more American women – and more people across the globe – than any other type of cancer. According to the Louisiana Cancer Prevention and Control Programs, breast cancer is the MOST frequently diagnosed cancer among women in our state. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. We must change this! To win, we must address the alarming disparities disrupting care.  By reflecting on the cultural expressions and rituals of our Black Masking Indians and Social Aid & Pleasure clubs; we engage the women of these traditions  as thought leaders, self-advocates and agents of change.

Patient advocacy, navigation and supportive care systems have been shown to be successful ways to address disparities in breast cancer outcomes. Navigating the health care system is not an easy task. By engaging a coalition of advocates, patients gain access to the resources they need to thrive. Our kickoff event in New Orleans will be a John O’Neal Story Circle where the voices of Black Masking Indians Queens discuss their breast cancer journeys and recovery.

This program is independently operated by The New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation (NOMC&AF) in cooperation with our coalition of Health Equity partners including Justice & Beyond, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, the Guardians of the Flame Maroon Society and The Amazons, with grant funding from Gilead Sciences. The grant was awarded as part of the newly created Toward Health Equity Oncology GrantTM.

About the New Orleans Musicians Clinic and Assistant Foundation (NOMC+AF).

New Orleans Musician’s Assistance Foundation is a lifeline for musicians, performers, and culture bearers. The foundation was created to support the mission and patients of the New Orleans Musician’s Clinic by providing cost-efficient access to comprehensive and specialty medical care, community health outreach, preventive healthcare as well as mental health and social services. By providing access to quality physical and mental healthcare, social services, and health equity and racial justice programs, we connect the cultural community to the care and attention they deserve. Learn more about us

NAACP Gilead Event: Every Second Counts

This collaborative effort between the NAACP and the New Orleans Musician Clinic, sponsored by the Gilead Towards Health Equity Oncology Grant, was held on October 27, 2023. The mission of the event was to raise breast cancer awareness and empower the people of color in our community.

We provided valuable information, financial resources, and encouragement. Participating organizations included NOEH, the New Orleans Musician Clinic, and several others. The event featured speakers, organization presentations, and an opportunity to gather information.

Let’s continue to come together to make a difference in breast cancer equity. Your participation and support are essential.

NAACP Gilead Event: Collaborative Summit

The New Orleans Musicians Clinic, sponsored by Gilead Towards Health Equity Grant, presented a collaborative summit at LSU Health Science Center on November 11th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This event focused on local breast cancer awareness through a health equity lens, and included participation from SUNO, Dillard, Xavier, Tulane, and LSU Universities. This gathering explored breast cancer awareness and health equity, and fostered vital discussions, and initiatives.