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

 Cancer Disparities Headers

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 suburbs.

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. 

“But 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. 

 “Governors State 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 minority women.”


 (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 grant.)



Attention Undergraduate Students! 

Explore the Wide, Wonderful World of Health Professions!

Intro to Health Professions (3 credit hours)
HLSC 1050 / Spring 2016
Hybrid:  Lecture on Thursdays, 12:30 – 1:45 p.m.; Tuesdays online
Open to:  Undergraduate Students

   If you’ve ever been interested in what it might be like to have a career in the health professions, have we got the course for you!

HLSC 1050 – Intro to Health Professions – is designed to introduce you to a variety of health professions. The course will emphasize exploring different professions within the context of the broader healthcare system.  

You’ll gain an understanding of the unique and interdisciplinary roles that various professionals play across a wide range of healthcare settings.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting Dr. Darrin Aase at

Register today! 

One of the 3 Best Jobs for Long-Term Success
is a Career in Speech-Language Pathology!


  The average Speech-Language Pathologist makes over $70,000 a year.

— The Chicago Tribune, September 27, 2015

Courses for Future Speech-Language Pathologists


The Department of Communication Disorders has openings in our Bachelor of Health Science courses for Spring, 2016!  Come see if a career using science to help others communicate could be right for you!  Register now!

Spring 2016 

CDIS 2100     Introduction to Sign Language

CDIS 3300     Introduction to Communication Disorders

CDIS 3400     Phonetics

CDIS 3500     Speech and Hearing Science

CDIS 3600     Anatomy and Physiology of Speech and Hearing

   For more information, email 



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