Sylvester Researcher Briefs White House Cancer Moonshot on Reducing Disparities in Care
Patricia I. Moreno, Ph.D., lead of Evidence-Based Survivorship Supportive Care at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – University of Miami Health System, participated in an April 19 White House Cancer Moonshot briefing on efforts to improve detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in at-risk communities through the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative.
“I am thrilled to serve on the scientific advisory board of the National Minority Quality Forum Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative, an initiative designed to support and closely align with the goals of the Cancer Moonshot,” said Dr. Moreno. “This White House briefing highlighted the critical importance of partnering directly with communities to eliminate disparities in cancer care. In order to improve outcomes equitably, we need to address multiple factors, including gaps in screening, medical mistrust, environmental exposures and patient navigation — all of which are central in the Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative.”
The briefing, led by Dr. Gary A. Puckrein, NMQF president and CEO, brought together stakeholders from the oncology community, minority health organizations, cancer experts and patient advocates to discuss earlier detection and treatment of cancer among underserved populations. The focus included environmental injustice, challenges faced by vulnerable and marginalized populations and effective strategies for engaging and educating communities.
Reducing Cancer Deaths, Improving Patients’ Experiences
Attendees also discussed investments needed to reduce health disparities, including improving patient navigation of health resources, patient-provider communication, awareness of cancer screening and treatment options, as well as rebuilding trust between the disenfranchised communities and key health stakeholders.
Last year, the Biden Administration reignited the Cancer Moonshot and set a new national goal: reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50% over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer. The mission of NMQF’s Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative is to move medical standards in the country from late-stage to early-stage detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, improving cancer care and reducing the incidence of cancer deaths for all, with a particular focus on health equity in underrepresented populations.
“Dr. Moreno is uniquely qualified to provide insights and perspectives relative to cancer disparities and inequities in underrepresented and underserved communities,” said Frank J. Penedo, Ph.D., Sylvester’s associate director for Cancer Survivorship and Translational Behavioral Sciences. “Her research seeks to optimize health outcomes across the cancer continuum and focuses on identifying factors that can be targeted to reduce cancer prevention and control disparities among Hispanics and Latinos in the United States.”
“At Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are proud to serve the diverse South Florida community and are deeply committed to improving care for all — from screening to diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Moreno. “Following a diagnosis of cancer, quality of life is critical at every age, stage and phase of care. Our goal is to ensure that every person lives as well as possible beyond a cancer diagnosis.”
Tags: cancer care disparities, cancer disparities, Cancer Moonshot, cancer survivorship, Dr. Frank J. Penedo, Dr. Frank Penedo, Dr. Patricia Moreno, National Minority Quality Forum, NMQF Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center