I am currently in my initial faculty appointment at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland, OH. My clinical areas of interest are the evolving management of primary and metastatic tumors of the gastrointestinal tract. The multi-disciplinary treatment algorithms for these patients are complicated and vary across institutions, providers, and patients. While some therapies are available universally to most patients, there are still dramatic disparities in access to care and survival for these complex malignancies. I have previously investigated the quality of surgical care at safety-net hospitals for the care of poor and disadvantaged patients, earning several awards as well as national presentations and peer-reviewed publications on the topic. I am now studying the impact of patient socioeconomic status on receipt of cancer care. During surgical oncology fellowship training I utilized disease-based surgical datasets to study the impact of socioeconomic status on receipt of multidisciplinary care and outcomes. I also accessed the institutional cancer registry for a large regional hospital network to study barriers to referral and treatment for patients with complex malignancies. Many of these studies are ongoing and inform my current work. To improve the care for complex abdominal malignancies, my future research interests include 1) identifying causes and improving disparities in treatment and survival for patients, and 2) developing evidence-based programs that can cost-effectively expand cancer care at both a hospital system and national level.
My focus is on describing and addressing disparities in cancer care and outcomes in Northeast Ohio. My initial studies will focus on complex GI cancers but I will also expand to study skin and other primary cancer sites. Once we have developed an understanding of our most at-risk patients, I will work to develop and implement programs that will address these disparities and improve cancer care.