New Presidential Initiative to Focus on Mitigating Cancer Disparities


At the 2020 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, AACI President Karen E. Knudsen, MBA, PhD, announced plans for her presidential initiative, which will leverage the expertise of North America's 102 leading cancer institutes to address cancer health disparities. Through a two-phase process, the initiative will convert understanding of cancer disparities across AACI cancer centers into meaningful, measurable actions to improve the lives of people with cancer. 

AACI will distribute a survey to cancer center leaders to identify priority disparities in each of the major cancers and pinpoint geographic areas that have not yet been studied. In early 2021, Dr. Knudsen, enterprise director of Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health, will launch a podcast series with the aim of uncovering current mitigation strategies, developing best practices, and advocating for policy change. The podcast series will initiate meaningful conversations with cancer center thought leaders and other key stakeholders, providing an opportunity for them to drill down on what they would like to achieve and understand how their peer institutions are addressing disparities. 

In phase two, Dr. Knudsen intends to put the knowledge gathered in the first phase into action by presenting the cancer centers' best practices and developing measurable goals for mitigating cancer disparities across AACI's network of cancer centers. 

"We know that AACI has a proven track record as a catalyst to affect change," Dr. Knudsen said during a presentation at the annual meeting. "We are well positioned to work together to play a major part in reducing cancer disparities across North America and beyond."