History Of VN CARES

      In 2001, UC Davis undergraduates and medical students established the Vietnamese Cancer Awareness, Research and Education Society (VN CARES) in response to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) report that revealed Vietnamese American women had the highest incidence rate of cervical cancer – five times greater than Caucasian women. VN CARES is a student-run organization that promotes cancer awareness and provides free cancer screenings to the underserved Vietnamese population.     

VN CARES began working with the Sacramento Vietnamese community to implement three goals:

  1. Inform the community about the prevalent types of cancer that affect the target population – namely breast, cervical, and prostate cancer.
  2. Educate the community about the benefits of performing regular cancer screenings and the available cancer treatments.
  3. Enroll people to receive free cancer screenings.

Payments for screenings and/or follow-up treatments are provided by the Cancer Detection Program (CDP), a program endorsed by the California Department of Health Services.

Women meeting the requirements of this program – low-income individuals of appropriate age with high co-pay, Medicaid/Medicare or no health insurance are eligible to receive free screenings and follow-up treatments at various CDP-certified Sacramento clinics.  To seek out the target population, VN CARES has been holding daily recruitments at local Vietnamese churches, temples, and supermarkets.

VN CARES' Mission Objectives

Short Term:

  • Recruit members who will assist VN CARES in helping the community
  • Promote cancer awareness through outreaches and educational presentations.
  • Recruit, enroll, and assist Vietnamese individuals into cancer preventative care and cancer treatment programs.
  • Gather qualitative and quantitative data about the healthcare services provided to the Vietnamese community

Long Term:

  • Reduce the cancer-related disparities in the Vietnamese community.
  • Ensure that all Vietnamese individuals obtain skills and knowledge to maintain a cancer reducing lifestyle.
  • Participate in the planning and implementation of research activities designed to identify the health care needs of the Vietnamese community.
  • Network with other organizations to achieve common objectives.


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