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The Winship Cancer Institute’s Health Disparities Initiative

The Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University established a focus on cancer health disparities that would serve as a cross-cutting theme for the center to address the cancer health disparities documented across the state of Georgia, and as a means to facilitate inter-programmatic interactions.

The goals of the Winship Health Disparities Initiative (HDI) are:

  1. to initiate, enable, and sustain research and related activities that address issues relevant to cancer health disparities;
  2. to promote and facilitate Winship inter-programmatic interactions that encompass health disparities;
  3. to build collaborations among other academic, healthcare, community-based, federal and state agencies, and other partners that will contribute to research and other activities that may serve to address and reduce cancer health disparities in Georgia and the region. 

The Winship Health Disparities Initiative project is sponsored by the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Health Disparities Initiative Definitions

For the purpose of the HDI, the following definition of health disparities has been used and applied, as established by the National Cancer Institute (NCI):

The NCI defines "cancer health disparities" as "differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of cancer and related adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States. A population is a health disparity population if there is a significant disparity in the overall rate of disease incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality or survival rates in the population as compared to the health status of the general population.

Reasons for health disparities can include minority or ethnic status, rural populations, un- or under-insured, lack of access, low health literacy, and other documented factors that affect quality of care and outcomes.

Outreach, for the HDI and also using NCI’s definition of outreach in cancer health disparities, is being defined here as: activities that build collaborations across the catchment area to further research goals and position the HDI for future research pursuits, and community-based education and/or interventions that integrate, raise awareness, or are intended to overcomes barriers that contribute to cancer health disparities.

Health Disparities Initiative Personnel and Leadership

The Health Disparities Initiative is co-directed by Dr. Joseph Lipscomb, Rollins School of Public Health, and Dr. Theresa Gillespie, Emory University School of Medicine. Ms. Toni Chociemski, BS, MPH serves as Senior Associate Director for the initiative.

Health Disparities Initiative Funding and Activities

The Health Disparities Initiative leads multiple funded grants, projects, and other activities related to cancer health disparities in Georgia, the Southeast, and in the United States. View Funding & Activities to review a description of each activity.

Cancer Region 3 Collaboration - GMap and BMaP

GMaP (Transdisciplinary Geographic Management Program) and BMaP (Minority Biospecimen/Biobanking – Geographic Management Program) aim to create a state-of-the-art regional network of dedicated centers for support and management of cancer health disparities research, care, training and infrastructure through a geographic management approach. View Cancer Region 3 Collaboration - GMaP/ BMaP to learn more about the program.