It's an exciting time to be a part of the College of Health and Human Services. GSU and the University of Illinois Cancer Center are joining forces in research to help reduce cancer-related health disparities across Chicago's Southland.
UI Cancer Center
Joins GSU in Project to Address Cancer Disparities
Governors State University and the University of Illinois Cancer Center have received a joint four-year, $1.5 million grant from the
National Cancer Institute to help both institutions conduct community-based
research to reduce cancer-related health disparities in Chicago’s south
The grant will support the development of an integrated
program for GSU junior faculty that provides training to perform independent
research and to lend career-development support to minority undergraduate and
graduate students at GSU who are interested in health disparities research.
The Southland has seen a “geographic shift” in the areas
with the highest cancer rates, from the city to the suburbs, noted Karriem
Watson, senior research specialist and administrator for community-engaged
research at the UI Cancer Center.
many suburbs don’t have the infrastructure of robust academic and research
cancer centers, or the specialized expertise among their faculty, to address
the growing disparities that exist within their local communities,” Watson said.
“That’s what we hope to build with GSU.”
“Partnering with the UI Cancer Center will increase the
capacity of GSU to serve as a center of health disparities research in a
community that is disproportionately affected by cancer,” said Dr. Rupert Evans, Sr., DHA, MPA, FACHE, Chair and Program Director of GSU’s Department of
Health Administration, as well as co-principal investigator on the grant.
“It will also build our faculty’s ability to pursue larger
federal grants for projects that will address high cancer rates and mortality
in the Southland community," Dr. Evans said.
“The faculty and students have a very organic relationship
with the communities we serve,” said Dr. Catherine Balthazar, Ph.D., Chair of
GSU’s Department of Communication Disorders and also a co-principal
investigator on the grant.
“Because of the trust we have with the community, we can
help bring the opportunity to participate in community-based cancer research
and in clinical trials through our partnership with the University of Illinois
Cancer Center," Dr. Balthazar said.
University has invested substantially in its basic and health science faculty
and programs and is well-positioned to make a dent in bringing down cancer
rates locally,” said Dr. Robert Winn, associate vice president for
community-based practice at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health
Sciences System and director of the UI Cancer Center.
“The University of
Illinois Cancer Center can help by sharing our expertise in cancer research and
delivering community-based cancer prevention and intervention strategies where
they are needed most," Dr. Winn added.
The grant also supports a breast cancer pilot project led by
Dr. Kent Hoskins, associate professor of hematology/oncology in the UIC College
of Medicine and member of the UI Cancer Center, and faculty from GSU with expertise
in behavioral health and health disparities.
“In the past, people in the Southland have not had access to
any type of quality research in helping prevent cancer, especially in minority
women,” noted Dr. Evans. “That’s one of the focuses of this particular grant —
to work on the disparities that exist in the treatment and access to care in
(Pictured, seated, left to right: Dr. Catherine
Balthazar, Chair of GSU’s Department of Communication Disorders and co-principal
investigator on the grant; Chris Gay, Research Associate, University of
Illinois Cancer Center; Regina Schwind, Associate Director of Administration, UIL
Cancer Center; Karriem Watson, Community Engaged Research, UIL Cancer Center;
Dr. Robert Winn, Associate Vice President, Community Based Practice, University
of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System and Director, UIL Cancer
Center; and Aliah Bhatti, MBA,
Financial Resource Associate for the UI Cancer Center.)
(Pictured, standing, left to right: Dr. Alicia Matthews, UIC College of Nursing
and Associate Professor in the Department of Health Systems Science; Dr.
Carolyn Rodgers of GSU’s Department of Addictions Studies and Behavioral Health;
Vickii Coffey of GSU’s Department of Social Work; Dr. Donna Calvin of GSU’s
Department of Nursing; Dr. Zo Ramamonjiarivelo of GSU’s Department of Health
Administration; Jennifer Morehead, Deputy Director of GSU’s Office of Sponsored
Programs and Research; DeLawnia Comer-HaGans of GSU’s Department of Health
Administration; Ebony Jones, Sponsored Programs Specialist in the Office of
Sponsored Programs and Research; Dr. Elizabeth Cada, Dean of GSU’s College of
Health and Human Services and Graduate Studies; and Dr. Rupert Evans, Chair of
GSU’s Department of Health Administration and co-principal investigator for the
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