Stand Up To Cancer Names Five National Health Leaders As New Members of Its Health Equity Committee - Stand Up To Cancer

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Posted April 27, 2022

Stand Up To Cancer Names Five National Health Leaders As New Members of Its Health Equity Committee

New members will help committee continue its focus on increasing equity in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and research

LOS ANGELES — April 27, 2022 — Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) today announced the appointment of five national leaders in cancer research and health equity as new members of the SU2C Health Equity Committee. The Heath Equity Committee oversees SU2C’s Health Equity Initiative, which focuses on one of the organization’s core goals: increasing equity in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and research.

Named to the SU2C Health Equity Committee are: Andrew T. Chan, MD, MPH, Daniel K. Podolsky professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of Cancer Epidemiology at Massachusetts General Hospital; Shawna Hudson, PhD, professor and research division chief in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and director of Community Engagement for the NJ Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science; Chanita Hughes Halbert, PhD, vice chair for research and professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences and associate director for Cancer Equity at the University of Southern California’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center; David R. Wilson, PhD, director of the Tribal Health Research Office at the National Institutes of Health; and Robert A. Winn, MD, director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center.

“I’m honored to welcome this esteemed group of experts to our Health Equity Committee, which has been informing and guiding Stand Up To Cancer’s health equity efforts since 2018 thanks to the leadership of our current committee members,” said Russell Chew, president of SU2C. “With this expanded committee and their deep knowledge and experience, I believe our Health Equity Initiative will continue to make a significant impact in overcoming disparities in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment and research in the years to come.”

Disparities in cancer research and treatment have persisted for decades, leading to an increased focus on correcting these inequities. Black Americans have the highest death rate and lowest survival rate of any racial or ethnic group for most cancers. Hispanic Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of disease and experience poor quality of life following a cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, cancer clinical trial participation remains significantly lower for minority groups compared to their population levels in the United States. According to 2020 data from the Food and Drug Administration, 73% of cancer trial participants are white, 14% are Asian, 6% are Hispanic and 5% are Black.

“Working with our new and current committee members will help further the Stand Up To Cancer Health Equity Committee’s mission to ensure that cancer treatments and screenings are available and effective for all,” said Edith A. Perez, MD, professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, chief medical officer of Bolt Biotherapeutics, chair of SU2C’s Health Equity Committee and vice-chair of SU2C’s Scientific Advisory Committee. “Adding new voices to the committee is paramount to our efforts; I’m excited about our work and what we can accomplish together.”

More details about the new Health Equity Committee members:

  • Dr. Chan is the Daniel K. Podolsky professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a professor in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Disease at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is the chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and director of Cancer Epidemiology at MGH. He also co-leads the Cancer Epidemiology Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Dr. Chan leads research in the prevention and interception of gastrointestinal cancer; he is the leader of the SU2C Gastric Cancer Interception Research Team and a co-investigator on the SU2C Colorectal Cancer Equity Dream Team.
  • Dr. Hudson is a medical sociologist and a member of the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She is internationally known for her research examining long-term follow-up care for cancer survivors and transitions between specialist and primary care. Dr. Hudson’s research aims to increase the ability of patients and health-care organizations to understand and use evidence-based guidelines to prevent and control chronic disease.
  • Dr. Hughes Halbert is a nationally recognized leader in cancer prevention and minority health research. She is a translational behavioral scientist who has worked throughout her career to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes that affect patients from underrepresented communities. She especially focuses on African American communities. Dr. Halbert has worked to identify a range of determinants of cancer health disparities and then translate this knowledge into improving health equity among underserved groups.
  • Dr. Wilson was appointed as the first director of the National Institutes of Health’s Tribal Health Research Office in January 2017. In this leadership role, Dr. Wilson unites NIH representatives, resources and research to address tribal health concerns. He works to build a unified NIH presence with which to engage and ensure input from tribal leaders across the nation, and aims to expand training opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Dr. Wilson is a molecular and cellular biologist with a commitment to encouraging underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in science. He also serves as an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health at the Center for American Indian Health.
  • Dr. Winn is committed to community-engaged research centered on eliminating health inequities. He is a principal investigator on several community-based projects funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. He is also a pulmonologist whose lab focuses on lung cancer. He has received national and international recognition for his efforts to empower underserved patient populations, improve health-care delivery and ensure equal access to cancer care. Dr. Winn is also the namesake of The Robert A. Winn Diversity in Clinical Trials Award Program, a $100 million, five-year initiative to increase diversity in clinical trials research.

SU2C established its Health Equity Committee in 2018, a year after it began developing its Health Equity Initiative. The initiative was formally announced in 2020. The initiative focuses on three areas: increasing diversity in SU2C-funded clinical trials, initiating advocacy group collaborations and awareness campaigns, and funding research aimed at improving cancer outcomes and screening rates in medically underserved communities.

Current members of the SU2C Health Equity Committee include: Dr. Perez; John D. Carpten, PhD, professor and chair of Translational Genomics at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California; Elizabeth Jaffee, MD, deputy director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University; Guillermina (Gigi) Lozano, PhD, chair of the Department of Genetics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; John Whyte, MD, MPH, chief medical officer of WebMD; Raymond M. Williams, JD, senior counsel at DLA Piper law firm in Philadelphia, Pa.; and Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD, executive director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance in Nashville, Tenn. SU2C also wishes to honor the remarkable work and life of Health Equity Committee member Cheryl A. Boyce, who passed away in 2020 after surviving for 22 years with multiple myeloma.

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Media Contact:                        

Mirabai Vogt-James
Stand Up To Cancer
mjames@su2c.org

About Stand Up To Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who utilize these communities’ resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of January 2022, more than 2,000 scientists representing more than 210 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.

Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., SU2C conducts rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.

Current members of the SU2C Founders and Advisors Committee (FAC) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C’s CEO, and Russell Chew as SU2C’s President.

For more information, visit StandUpToCancer.org, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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