Community Outreach and Engagement

Community Outreach & Engagement Seminar
Tuesday, June 15, 12:00pm - 1:00pm CDT
What is Community Engagement? Tips and Resources for Cancer Researchers

Debra L. Friedman, MD, MS
Associate Director for Community Science and Health Outcomes; Co-Leader, Cancer Health Outcomes and Control Research Program; E. Bronson Ingram Chair in Pediatric Oncology; Professor of Pediatrics (Pediatric Hematology and Oncology); Director, Pediatric Hematology and Oncology

Black Family Cancer Awareness Week
June 17 - 23, 2021

“National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week: Engaging the Generations” #BlackFamCan is a new community-based initiative of the Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE). In accordance with the January 20, 2021 Presidential Executive Order “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government”, and in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the National Cancer Act, OCE is engaging NCI-designated cancer centers, cancer advocacy groups, patients, social and community organizers, families and friends. 
Don't miss the Breast Cancer Expert Panel on June 17th from 11:00am - 12:00pm, which will feature Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD, professor of Radiation Oncology at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Executive Director of the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance and Professor of Medicine at Meharry Medical College.
Register here:

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center will be providing content throughout the week to feature physicians and researchers, so keep an eye on our social media channels for more information (see bottom of newsletter for channels to follow).
Register to attend the OCE Conversations on Cancer: “National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week: Engaging the Generations” public panel discussion as we launch National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week. 
Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021
Time: 1:00pm – 2:30pm CDT

Learn from thought leaders in cancer research, patient advocacy, and health equity.  The ultimate mission of National Black Family Cancer Awareness Week #BlackFamCan is to increase cancer clinical trial awareness and to build knowledge of and participation in national genetic databases for cancer research.
Please register here:
Zoom details sent upon registration.
This event is open to the public.
See this website for all the different ways you can participate in the #BlackFamCan community initiative!
Let's Celebrate Men's Health
Saturday, June 26, 11:00am - 12:00pm CDT
We will talk about the HPV virus and oral cancer, screening and treatment options.
Guest Speaker: Jennifer Cunningham Erves, PhD, Meharry Medical College
Join Zoom Meeting:
Or call: (312) 626-6799
Meeting ID: 859 3884 4646

Patient and Family-Centered Care

Therapeutic Advances in Myelodysplastic Syndromes & Multiple Myeloma
Tuesday, June 22, 6:00pm-7:00pm CDT

Please join the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and Baptist Medical Group for a free virtual education program for patients and their families! 
Michael Savona, MD
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

Professor of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) and Cancer Biology
Salil Goorha, MD
Baptist Memorial Medical Group
Specializing in Hematology and Oncology, Internal Medicine
During this program, Michael Savona, MD, will provide insights into the use of approved treatment strategies and evolving standard of care with novel therapies in Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS). Following his discussion, Salil Goorha, MD, will discuss new treatment options in Myeloma, with a focus on immune therapies.
Tracy Moore, Patient & Community Outreach Manager, LLS | 615-258-5491

CURE Media Group Educated Patient® Skin Cancer Summit

Saturday, June 26, 10:00am - 2:15pm CDT
This half-day virtual event will educate, inform and challenge the thinking of patients with skin cancer. The program is designed to represent every demographic of patient and all stages of skin cancer, as well as patient caregivers and advocates.
Join speakers including Eva Parker, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to learn: 
  • The basics of different types of skin cancers
  • Potential treatment options with topical medications, surgery and radiation
  • Psychosocial effects of living with cancer
  • Being aware and proactive about the signs and symptoms of skin cancer
Please register HERE!

Educational and Support Resources

Young Adults with Cancer Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center

When most people think of cancer, they may think of a disease primarily affecting young children or the elderly, even though over 80,000 adults under the age of 40 are diagnosed with cancer each year. Having cancer as a young adult feels different because it is different. 
The mission of the new Young Adults with Cancer Program at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center is to support young adults through their cancer journey, and to empower these patients and survivors to address all of their needs. 
We have launched a series of videos featuring some of our young adult patient advocates who have reflected upon their own personal experiences with cancer to further advise the team to form a patient centered perspective: 
Fertility and Family Planning with Cancer featuring Aaron and Meg Grunke
Mental Health During Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment featuring Sarah Denger & Ashley Nicholson
Please visit for more information about the Young Adult Program at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.
Getting a Colonoscopy
When detected early, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer, yet one-third of at-risk adults have not taken the steps to make sure their cancer is caught before it advances. 
While the recommended screening age has been lowered from 50 to 45, younger adults can also be at risk. To overcome stigma and barriers to screening, we have developed a video about identifying signs and symptoms and encouraging early screening. 
Cancer Screenings Save Lives
Some things can be put off - a cancer screening shouldn't be one of them. Whether checking your lungs, colon or any other organ, a cancer screening can detect possible problems early, and help you and your doctor make a plan. At Vanderbilt Health, we’re here to help, and your safety is always our top priority.
Because of COVID-19 screening delays, we have launched a campaign including the following video from Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, CEO of Vanderbilt Health, to encourage patients to get necessary screenings. Screenings save lives, so don't delay!

Clinical Trial Highlights

IMPACT research grants to help underserved patients access clinical trials
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has launched the IMPACT (Influential Medicine Providing Access to Clinical Trials) research grants to increase enrollment of individuals from underrepresented communities in clinical trials. Vanderbilt University Medical Center has received IMPACT funding and is leading one of the first three projects.

Clinical trials are vital to improving cancer treatment, giving newly diagnosed patients access to state-of the-art therapies, and providing a lifeline when other treatments have failed. Yet, clinical trials overwhelmingly fail to represent certain patient populations such as ethnic and racial minorities and those living in rural communities.

To overcome these inequities, LLS created the IMPACT research grants, which will award funding to major cancer research and treatment centers to establish a “hub and spoke” infrastructure to expand access to clinical trials in their region. Each of the hubs or major cancer centers will develop networks of trial sites in local community-based hospitals and clinics with significant underserved populations. The $3.75 million five-year program, designed with a tailored approach to building engagement in underserved communities, is the first undertaking of its kind by a blood cancer organization.
Michael Savona, MD, Professor of Medicine and Cancer Biology, and holder of the Beverly and George Rawlings Directorship, is leading the Vanderbilt project. See the full press release here.
Q&A on Clinical Trials with Dr. Brian Rini
Brian Rini, MD, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and Chief of Clinical Trials at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, is an internationally recognized leader in clinical drug development.
See this Q&A where he answers questions about the importance of patient participation in clinical trials and how to be an integral part of research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. 

Community-Engaged Research

New Lung Screening Guidelines Expand Opportunities for Early Cancer Detection

A lung screening CT scan is a painless and non-invasive procedure that can detect lung cancer early, reducing the risk of death from the disease. Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated its recommendation for screening, a decision that will nearly double the number of people eligible. The Task Force lowered the age for screening from 55 to 50 for longtime current and former smokers, and reduced the smoking history from 30 pack years to 20. Pack years are calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day by the number of years a person has smoked. 

The updated recommendation is especially beneficial to Black people and women, who typically smoke fewer cigarettes than white men. The Task Force cited a 2019 study by Vanderbilt researchers in their decision analysis. The study, published in JAMA Oncology, revealed a striking disparity in eligibility between races. Among smokers diagnosed with lung cancer, 32% of African Americans versus 56% of whites were eligible for screening.

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