The Yale Cancer Center (YCC), a part of the Yale School of Medicine, has launched the Center for Community Engagement and Health Equity (CEHE) with the mission to ensure cancer health equity and to improve cancer care outcomes—with a special focus on improving care in traditionally underserved neighborhoods.
“CEHE will leverage a wide range of approaches to community-engaged research, community outreach, education, policy and advocacy, and access to clinical care,” said Charles Fuchs, M.D., M.P.H., director of YCC and physician in chief of Smilow Cancer Hospital (SCH) in a press announcement. “Working with the talented research community at YCC and SCH, the center will expand cancer research that addresses the unique needs of the residents of Connecticut.”
YCC was established 45 years ago, and is the only National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center in the state of Connecticut. The teaching and research hospital, Smilow Cancer Hospital, includes more than 300 faculty cancer researchers including 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 16 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 10 Howard Hughes Medical investigators. Currently, Smilow Cancer Hospital runs 13 multidisciplinary cancer programs and provides care for more than 45% of all cancer patients in the state.
CEHE will be grounded by 5 foundational pillars: analytics; community engagement; screening and prevention; clinical trial participation; and expansion of catchment-focused research.
Beth Jones, Ph.D., M.P.H., Research Scientist and Lecturer in Epidemiology, will serve as Associate CEHE Director for Community Engagement overseeing engagement and outreach across Connecticut to partner with local communities on community-focused interventions and solutions.
Xavier Llor, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Co-Director of the Smilow Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, and Medical Director of the Smilow Screening & Prevention Program, has been appointed as Associate CEHE Director for Cancer Screening. In this new position, Llor will systemize risk stratification processes to ensure consistency throughout SCH and the Care Center delivery network.
Andrea Silber, M.D., Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine (Medical Oncology) has been named Associate CEHE Director for Clinical Research. Silber is a leader in clinical trial engagement among underserved and under-represented minorities, personal relationship building, and designing patient navigator programs.
A national search for a Director of the new CEHE will begin immediately.