National Minority Quality Forum’s Diverse Cancer Communities Working Group Published in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Journal of Oncology Practice

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) announced today that its Diverse Cancer Communities Working Group manuscript has been published in the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Journal of Oncology Practice.

“Development of an Actionable Framework to Address Cancer Care Disparities in Medically Underserved Populations in the United States: Expert Roundtable Recommendations” is authored by national cancer experts from LUNGevity Foundation, CancerCare, Fox Chase Cancer Center/Temple Health, Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, Tufts Medical School, BMS Foundation, and features actionable insights on impactful practices to erase cancer disparities across the care continuum.

“We can improve cancer outcomes for communities of color and rural areas by closing gaps in screening, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship, both in clinical practice and in policy,” said NMQF President and CEO Dr. Gary A. Puckrein, Ph.D. “This evidence-based, expert driven framework can help all stakeholders work together to build a cancer care system that delivers high-quality cancer care to all of America’s diverse populations.”

Karen M. Winkfield, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, who was lead author on the manuscript, agrees.

“This article summarizes recommendations from experts around the country who share ‘real world’ strategies that have successfully moved the needle and improved health equity in their communities,” she said.

“This novel publication will serve as a toolkit to bolster health care and community stakeholder efforts dedicated to patient and community engagement, research and education. While the impetus for this paper was cancer health equity, the current COVID pandemic highlights the need for this work across all areas of health and health care. It is our hope that this important framework will be used to inform, evaluate and implement approaches to making health equity a reality where each of us work, live and play."

Nina Bickell, MD, MPH, Associate Director of Community Engaged and Equity Research at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai, echoed those thoughts.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on communities of color and other vulnerable populations underscores the critical importance of addressing inequities in health care,” she said.

“The pandemic has exacerbated disparities in care for other health conditions, including cancer, so our effort to develop a practical and sustainable cancer care continuum framework couldn’t be more timely. This framework is applicable to high-prevalence cancers in underserved and racial or ethnic minority communities, and we hope it leads to more equitable care and healthier lives for all.”

Ellen Miller-Sonet of CancerCare, who was a senior author on the manuscript, gives sound advice on the tactical implementation of the framework. “The expert working group proposing this framework has provided concrete advice that we hope will ignite multiple stakeholders to persistently press for health equity in cancer care outcomes in vulnerable communities across the US. The group clearly noted that progress in addressing cancer care disparities should be based not only on what is done, but also how it is done. Unless patients can move along the continuum in a way that is patient-centric, personal and respectful of their values, culture and priorities, their care will be suboptimal and health outcomes will continue to suffer.”

To learn more, download the manuscript from the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Journal of Oncology Practice now: https://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/OP.20.00630

Acknowledgement affiliations in alpha order: Admiral Richardae Araojo, PharmD, FDA Office of Minority Health and Health Equity; Nadine Barrett, PhD, MA, Duke Cancer Institute; Nina Bickell, MD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Lynette Bonar, RN, MBA, BSN, FACHE, CEO Tuba City, Regional Health Care Corp.; Simon Craddock Lee, PhD, MPH, University of Texas, Southwestern; Christian G. Downs, MHA, JD, ACCC; Carolyn Fang, PhD, Fox Chase Cancer Center/Temple Health; Tom Farrington, Prostate Health Education Network; Andrea Ferris LUNGevity Foundation; Patti Fine Jewell, Pfizer; Linda Fleisher, PhD, MPH, Fox Chase Cancer Center/Temple Health; Anna Forte, Equal Hope; Elizabeth Franklin, PhD, Cancer Support Community; Marianne Gandee, MA, Pfizer; Quita Highsmith, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; Spencer Hoover, MBA, Henry Ford Cancer Institute; Frederick Johnson, BCPA, Stand up to Cancer; Laura Lee Hall, PhD, National Minority Quality Forum; Scarlett Lin Gomez, PhD, University of San Francisco; Liz Margolies, National LGBT Cancer Network; Marilyn Metcalf, PhD, GSK; Anne Marie Murphy, PhD, Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force; Renee Nicholas, Stand up to Cancer; Gary Puckrein, PhD, National Minority Quality Forum; Christopher Reddick, PhD, Takeda; Nichole Richie, PhD, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group; Lisa Simms Booth, The Smith Center; Mary Stober Murray, MPH, National Minority Quality Forum; Shyrea Thompson, IRIS, LLC; Adrienne Tilbor, DO, Patient3i, LLC; Michelle Vichnin, MD, Merck & Co, Inc. Wendy Selig (WS Collaborative, LLC; lead writer for meeting report) Ify Sargeant, DPhil (Twist Medical; lead medical writer for publication).

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