Brawley, McCaskill-Stevens headline 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center is once again hosting the Cancer Disparities Symposium, March 4-5, 2021. The symposium will take place virtually due to COVID restrictions. However, attendees can expect the same level of high-caliber research and an overall dedication to conquering health disparities as in past years.  

Attendees will experience the conference using Whova, the symposium's official web-based app, to view presentations and ask questions in real-time, as well as network with others behind the scenes. 

Symposium directors, Erika Trapl, PhD and Jennifer Cullen, PhD, have secured a line-up of speakers across the spectrum, culminating in keynote addresses from Otis W. Brawley, MD, who will deliver the scientific keynote, and Worta McCaskill-Stevens, MD, MS, who will deliver the community keynote. Both are renowned disparities researchers and leaders in the community - a mix that will appeal to a large audience.

Otis Brawley photo in brown suit jacket

Brawley's work is focused on closing racial, economic and social disparities in prevention, detection and treatment of cancer in the United States and worldwide. He is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University, and leads a broad interdisciplinary research effort on cancer health disparities at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Kimmel Cancer Center. 

Worta McCaskill-Stevens portrait

McCaskill-Stevens is a medical oncologist with expertise in bringing clinical trials to the community. She is Chief of the Community Oncology and Prevention Trials Research Group, which houses the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), a community-based clinical trials network launched in 2014. As NCORP Director, she oversees the program supporting community hospitals, physicians and others to participate in NCI-approved cancer treatment, prevention, screening, and control clinical trials, as well as cancer care delivery studies.

Additional speakers and panelists represent: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, NEOMED, American Cancer Society, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Cleveland Office of Minority Health and Cleveland City Council.  

In addition to research talks and panel discussions, the symposium will also feature poster presentations highlighting academic research and community programs. This is an excellent way to showcase the depth and breadth of work happening in this field. Abstracts are accepted through January 29, 2021

Cover of black book titled Just Medicine

Also new this year, attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an in-depth discussion of the book Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care by Dayna Bowen Matthew. Health disparities have remained stubbornly entrenched in the American health care system―and in Just Medicine, Dayna Bowen Matthew finds that they principally arise from unconscious racial and ethnic biases held by physicians, institutional providers, and their patients. After a brief overview of the session and the book, attendees will have the ability to join facilitated breakout groups for more intimate and in-depth discussion. Everyone will come back together at the end of the session and share key discussion points from attendees.

Registration for the 5th Annual Cancer Disparities Symposium is open. Fee for Faculty, Staff, Students, Commercial/For-profit to attend is $25; Fee is waived for students who submit an abstract for presentation. Visit the Symposium website for details.