In 1992, Bill Clinton became president, gas cost $1.05 a gallon and Aladdin graced movie screens.

And the stage was set for Redes En Acción.

Under the direction of Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez, the National Hispanic Leadership Initiative on Cancer (NHLIC): En Acción launched in 1992 as the first-ever assessment of cancer risk factors among Latinos.

The multi-site NHLIC: En Acción program, from 1992-2000, developed community outreach programs and implemented state-of-the-art cancer prevention and control strategies to the diverse Latino groups in Brooklyn, Miami, San Francisco, San Diego, San Antonio and Brownsville, Texas.

NHLIC: En Acción led to the creation of Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network in 2000, part of a $60 million effort by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to address the cancer burden in special populations across the nation.

Redes, funded by a five-year, $8.4-million NCI grant, expanded the reach of NHLIC: En Acción into new states and regions to prioritize cancer issues related to Latinos, and promote cancer research, training and public education activities based on these priorities. For the next few years, the network established its infrastructure, conducted regional and national meetings, and developed collaborative relationships to contribute opportunities and advancements in Latino cancer issues.

By 2005, Redes had created the most extensive collaboration of groups ever assembled to address Latino cancer health disparities. Supported by another NCI grant for five years and $7.2 million, Redes continued to expand upon its efforts to fight cancer in U.S. Latino communities. Under the new grant, Redes expanded its network activities as part of NCI’s ongoing efforts to understand why minority groups have higher cancer rates than others, and to eliminate disparities.

In 2010, after a decade of success reducing Latino cancer through research, training and education, Redes received a new five-year, $5.6-million NCI grant to further expand its efforts.

The new grant calls for two new studies - a large-scale randomized controlled trial to improve Latino cancer survivors’ quality of life and a pilot study of an Internet-based tobacco cessation service - the funding of up to three Redes Scholars a year, and online and community outreach programs.