ZERO Prostate Cancer Annual Report 2021

Dear ZERO Friends, Despite the second year of the devastating pandemic and many other challenges for us all, you continued to lean in to build a future with the aim of ZEROing out prostate cancer. Without hesitation, you helped us leap forward to meet the most urgent needs of patients and families. A major milestone was the completion of the merger with support group organization, Us TOO. This historic union brought a combined 55 years of experience serving the prostate cancer community into one patient-centric powerhouse at a time it was needed most. You helped make significant progress in declaring prostate cancer a national priority. With more ZERO Chapters, Us TOO Support Groups, and community events available nationwide than ever before, options to connect and access resources are much more plentiful for those in need. These milestones have only been made possible because of you and your generous support. You are an inspiration to me and a beacon of hope for everyone impacted by this disease. Last year, more than 800,000 patients and caregivers received assistance across all of ZERO’s support programs and platforms. With COVID-19 ongoing, financial barriers remained the most frequent cause of patients not receiving or delaying the care needed in the crisis of their lives. Because of your support, ZERO360, our personalized case management service, surpassed $5.7 million in life-changing debt relief and has served more than 3,600 patients and family members since the program’s inception. Over the past year, lifesaving advancements have been made at the state level because of actions from committed supporters like you. The calls, emails, letters, and meetings you had with state representatives helped advance bills in two new states, Rhode Island and Illinois, to remove co-pays and other cost-sharing fees for prostate cancer screening. This is a big step forward in making prostate cancer testing more accessible. Early detection is the best preventative measure against the disease. All because of you, thousands of lives will be saved.

Yet, there is still much to be done. Serving Black and Brown communities that are hit the hardest by and are at the highest risk of prostate cancer is imperative. We can’t end prostate cancer without eliminating the racial and ethnic disparities in prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship-related health outcomes. And we increased our attention to this pressing problem and kicked off the Black Men’s Prostate Cancer Initiative to provide innovative and customized prostate cancer education forums and resources, as well as support groups specific to meeting the needs of Black men. This initiative is only the beginning of a multi-pronged strategy to address access to care, racial biases, and distrust in the medical system that contribute to these inequities. Each and every one of us impacted by prostate cancer deserve better. We won’t stop until we have put an end to prostate cancer once and for all. It has never been more clear that the status quo is no longer acceptable.

The time is now for big ideas and bold objectives. As you review this report, the ZERO team is about to embark on a new five-year strategic plan (2023-2027) that will propel us closer to ZERO prostate cancer. I can’t wait to share it with you. In the meantime, enjoy seeing the remarkable impact you are making across the country. Every page is filled with hope that comes from you and others standing side by side with us to make sure no one fights alone. You are the heroes in a patient’s journey. With deep gratitude,

Jamie Bearse President and CEO @jamiebearse

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