Caterpillar Inc. has pledged $1 million to the Southern Community Cohort Study, a project to help understand why African-Americans and residents of the U.S. Southeast are at greater risk of developing and dying from cancer than other groups.
The study is a collaborative effort between Vanderbilt University, Meharry Medical College, the International Epidemiology Institute and federally-funded community health centers throughout the Southeast. The study has received a $22 million federal grant, which was about $6 million short of its initial proposal. The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center has committed to raise the shortfall through private philanthropy.
The pledge from Caterpillar is the largest private gift thus far.
The study also will provide information for the study of other significant health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke, all of which also disproportionately affect African-Americans and Southerners.