Feb. 5, 2024

Statewide partners gather for annual Georgia Cancer Summit

The 2024 Georgia Cancer Summit assembled community organizations, academic institutions, governmental entities and industry partners to address the shared goal of reducing the burden of cancer in the state. With the theme “Advancing Cancer Health Equity Through Evidence and Innovation,” this year's summit brought a capacity crowd to Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Ga., on Jan. 25, with a networking event the evening before.

The annual conference is sponsored by Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, the Georgia Cancer Control Consortium, Georgia Center for Oncology Research and Education (Georgia CORE) and Georgia Department of Public Health and organized by a diverse planning committee.

The summit’s 28 presenters and moderators engaged attendees through interactive talks, panel discussions and small group sessions. Theresa Gillespie, PhD, Winship’s associate director for community outreach and engagement, provided opening remarks, and other speakers included representatives from Mercer University, Augusta University, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Public Health, Georgia State University, Morehouse School of Medicine, Emory Prevention Research Center, Horizons Community Solutions in Albany, Ga., rural health experts and co-chairs of state cancer roundtables and working groups.

“The Georgia Cancer Summit is a rare opportunity to have academic researchers, clinicians, state and federal government professionals, members of community advocacy groups, representatives of the American Cancer Society and cancer survivors all in the same room, sharing evidence, best practices and innovations to promote cancer health equity across the entire state," says Gillespie.

A highlight of the conference was awarding the first annual James A. Hotz, MD, Champion Award, sponsored by Winship and given to the individual or group that has demonstrated extraordinary efforts in cancer prevention and control and health equity in Georgia. The inaugural recipient of the award was Hotz, an Albany primary care physician and long-time advocate for improving cancer outcomes among underserved and rural populations.


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