About Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities
History and Leadership
When DF/HCC was established, its leaders recognized the need to increase innovative research in cancer disparities. At the time, each member institution had its own strategy for assessing patients’ racial/ethnic identity and addressing disparities, and each maintained independent relationships with the communities in which they served. A long-term, integrated effort was needed.
DF/HCC created the Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities (IECD), committing substantial faculty time and financial resources on an ongoing basis to the complexities of cancer disparities. As a centralized initiative, the IECD is transforming how member institutions work together, including how they address cancer disparities in underserved communities. Our goal is to overcome barriers, improve understanding, and facilitate patient access to clinical trials. By bringing intellectual and organizational resources to bear on these issues, the IECD is emerging as a pivotal resource at DF/HCC.
Holly Prigerson, PhD
Dr. Holly Prigerson is the associate director of the IECD and the Director of Psycho-Oncology Research, Psychosocial Oncology and Palliative Care at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She is also an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Prigerson has a long-standing interest in understanding disparities in cancer and identifying strategies for eliminating differences in diagnosis and treatment. One key area of research focus has been disparities in advanced cancer care. She has studied the psychosocial factors that influence the care received by advanced cancer patients and factors that influence family caregivers' adjustment. This has been a focus of her research portfolio since her dissertation work at Stanford.
Currently, she is involved with a wide variety of research projects including bereavement intervention studies and an NCI and NIMH funded multi-site prospective cohort study of advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers (the Coping with Cancer study). This study has generated research projects that have included examination of: ethnic disparities in and mediators of end-of-life care; the effects of clinician's discussions of prognosis on patients' healthcare and the costs of healthcare received in the last week of life; and studies of religious coping and its influence on medical decision-making.
Email: email@example.com. Phone: 617-632-2369.
Deputy Associate Director
Karen Burns White
Karen Burns White, Deputy Associate Director for the Initiative has co-led the Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities at Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in Boston, Massachusetts since 2001. As Deputy Associate Director, Ms. Burns White coordinates the planning and implementation of the Center's efforts to increase minority participation at all levels of the Cancer Center activities. A particular focus for the center is on the reduction of health disparities with an emphasis on cancer-related disparities. Ms. Burns White has co-led the implementation of an integrated structure that involves a multi-prong approach including community engagement, cultural competency, recruitment and retention of minority faculty and training. In 2002, Ms. Burns White secured the first training grant supplement to the existing P30 cancer center grant that established a pipeline program, known as the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experiences (CURE), to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities in cutting edge cancer research. This successful high profile program provides research opportunities for pre-baccalaureate, undergraduate, pre- and post-doctoral, and faculty levels. Under Ms. Burns White's leadership, she and her colleagues have been successful in seeking opportunities to further strengthen and sustain the cancer center’s training portfolio. This is most notable with our increase in NIH and foundation funding to support student training initiatives and the number of students who have benefited by their CURE experiences.
Ms. Burns White has a long history of involvement with civic and community organizations. She serves on the board of directors and leads the grant-making program for the Susan G. Komen for the CURE – Massachusetts Affiliate. She also serves as a member of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Advisory Committee whose primary responsibility is to identify priorities and develop strategies for program development and implementation and to assist in the creation of the new state cancer control plan for period of 2012-2017.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: 617-632-3244.