St. Baldrick’s Foundation awards grants to bring life-saving clinical trials closer to home

November 23, 2020

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation has announced its 2020 grant recipients, and Bon Secours St. Francis Cancer Center is the only South Carolina health organization to make the list.

Despite a difficult fundraising year, St. Baldrick’s awarded 17 new infrastructure grants totaling more than $819,000 to allow institutions across the country to move life-saving research forward. These one-year grants are focused on giving institutions the ability to open, coordinate, and treat more young patients on clinical trials closer to where they live.

Bon Secours will use its $50,000 grant to fund a full-time clinical research nurse coordinator, devoted to patients in its Adolescent & Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Care program. The staff member will help ensure every patient is screened for research trials, which are often their best hope for a cure.

“By expanding the number of clinical trials St. Francis can offer, we make it easier for patients to stay in the community for treatment rather than traveling out of the area,” said Dr. Hal Crosswell, Director of the AYA program at Bon Secours.

In this time of COVID-19, not having to travel to get cutting-edge treatment is critical to giving patients with cancer their best chance at survival. Clinical trials also offer both those in treatment and survivors the possibility of a better future with fewer side effects. This research helps scientists to improve upon the standard treatments of today, making significant strides towards more effective and less toxic cures.

The one-year infrastructure grants are awarded based on the need of the institution and its patients, anticipated results of the grant and local participation in St. Baldrick’s fundraising events and activities. These grants give institutions the resources they need to do more research.

“We can see that our investment in research is yielding results, but there is so much more to do,” said Kathleen Ruddy, St. Baldrick’s CEO. “These clinical trials that St. Baldrick’s is supporting will help research progress further to help more children survive and have a better quality of life after treatment.”

This series of grants brings the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s funding total to more than $19 million awarded in 2020. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $305 million to support the most promising childhood cancer research, no matter where it takes place.


Bon Secours – Greenville

Bon Secours St. Francis – Greenville is part of Bon Secours Mercy Health, one of the 20 largest health systems in the United States and the fifth-largest Catholic health system in the country. The ministry’s quality, compassionate care is provided by more than 60,000 associates serving communities in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia, as well as throughout Ireland. Bon Secours – Greenville provides compassionate medical care to thousands of area residents through Bon Secours St. Francis Downtown and Bon Secours St. Francis Eastside, as well as a network of primary and specialty care practices, and ambulatory care sites across the Greenville region. Consistent with its commitment to serve each patient with dignity, Bon Secours Mercy Health provides nearly $2 million per day in community benefit. The mission of Bon Secours St. Francis Health System is to extend the compassionate ministry of Jesus by improving the health and well-being of our communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved. For more information, visit


About St. Baldrick’s Foundation

As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation is leading the charge to take childhood back from cancer. St. Baldrick’s funds some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts who are working to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join us at to help support the best childhood cancer research, no matter where it takes place.