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Cancer Disparities And Economy To Be Addressed At Forum

 Awareness of cancer health disparities, the burden of the current economic crisis on these inequities, and interventions and policy initiatives to improve health disparities will be explored during a three-day forum hosted by the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. The forum will take place May 20-22 at U-M’s Rackham Graduate School Building, 915 East Washington St. in Ann Arbor.

Research studies, including many performed by U-M investigators, have documented persistent and significant disparities in access to health care and disease outcomes, based on factors including race, ethnicity, gender, geography and socioeconomic status. The meeting will center on how these disparities affect care for those with cancer, and the effects of the current economy on cancer care.

“We believe that the economic trouble in Michigan offers a unique position in which to discuss the impact of the economy on cancer health disparities, and may provide valuable lessons and initiatives that can be implemented nationally,” says event organizer Christopher Sonnenday, M.D., M.H.S., assistant professor of surgery and assistant professor of health management and policy at U-M.

The conference is part of the University’s Michigan Meetings, a series of annual interdisciplinary meetings of national and international scope on topics of broad interest and contemporary importance to both the public and the academic community.

Presenters at the conference will include nationally recognized leaders in disparities research, local and regional community leaders, and U-M faculty. Featured speakers include:
•Lovell Jones, Ph.D., director of the Center for Research on Minority Health at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
•Harold Freeman, M.D., president of the Ralph Lauren Cancer Center and senior adviser at the National Cancer Institute
•Christopher Ruhm, Ph.D., a noted health economist from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

“Michigan is a laboratory for the whole country in terms of the economic crisis,” Sonnenday says. “We felt the impact earlier and more substantially than other parts of the country. This is an opportunity to be on the front end of efforts to change things about the health care system that may magnify disparities in care, particularly for cancer.”

“The Economy and Cancer Health Disparities” is free and open to the general public. Full agenda and registration information is at www.DisparitiesandCancerCare.org.
For more information, contact Jean Steppe atjean@steppesolutions.com or 734-214-6430.



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