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Daily Sports Smile: Patriots, NFL award grant to increase access to cancer screenings

Robert Kraft greets fans during the Dolphins v. Patriots game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Sept. 12, 2021.
Richard Morin
USA TODAY Sports+

Rhode Island's largest network of health centers received a $20,000 donation from the New England Patriots Foundation, American Cancer Society and the NFL to help increase access to breast cancer screenings.

In celebration of National Cancer Survivor Month and through the NFL Crucial Catch's "Intercept Cancer" campaign, the powers came together and presented the grant to Providence Community Health Centers (PCHC).

Andre Tippett, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who now works as the Patriots' executive director of community affairs, spoke at a check presentation ceremony Thursday.

"On behalf of the Kraft Family and the New England Patriots, I want to thank Providence Community Health Center for inviting us to this new, state-of-the-art facility," Tippett said via the Patriots team website. "What a wonderful, wonderful spot. The work that you guys are doing is going to be tremendous and really impact the community in this area."

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Jun 8, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during the New England Patriots minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The grant is designed to assist those with little to no existing access to quality medical care. PCHC Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Andrew Saal told the website the facility's goal is to keep those individuals out of emergency rooms that tend to be crowded and expensive, especially when visiting after infrequent visits to a primary care provider.

The American Cancer Society, which has partnered with NFL for the Crucial Catch Program since 2009, holds that same objective.

"We believe that everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat and survive cancer," Louise Santosuosso of the American Cancer Society told the website.

PCHC is a non-profit health care organization and the only Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Providence, Rhode Island. The Patriots play their home games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, which is just over 20 miles northeast of Providence.