September 24, 2013  

Charles R. Drew University CDU/UCLA Cancer Center Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities Hosts

“Building Bridges to Optimum Health--Prevention, Treatment and Control of Cancer in Our Community” Unique Strategy Creates a Bi-Directional Dialogue to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities in LA

LOS ANGELES – (September 23, 2013) – In its ongoing efforts to reduce cancer health disparities in underserved communities, the Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities in the Division of Cancer Research and Training at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) in partnership with UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, is hosting the third annual conference on the prevention, treatment, and control of cancer. The event will take place on Friday, September 27th, from 8:00am-3:30pm at the California Science Center, Loker Conference Room, 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles, 90037. The day consists of panel discussions, presentations, and creates a bi-directional dialogue between community members, academicians, physicians, and students. The overarching objective of the conference is to plan, develop, and execute activities to aid the Los Angeles community in embracing a culture of optimum health and eliminating cancer health disparities by working with community partners.  The event is free and open to the public.
What is truly unique about the CDU/UCLA Cancer Center partnership at CDU is how it facilitates translational research.  Says Loretta Jones, M.A., CEO and Founder of Healthy African American Families (HAAF), and Professor Aziza Lucas-Wright, M.Ed and Community Faculty at CDU, “The most important thing that will happen is that the conference will provide an opportunity for the cancer partnership from the university (CDU) and community to exchange information bi-directionally – i.e. knowledge transfer from university to community and community to university.  This is important because it is a radically new strategy for cancer control and prevention in that it allows the community to help frame the prevention messaging.” 
A highly relevant public health policy to be discussed at the event is centered on the Affordable Care Act and how to use services.  This is extremely timely given that the new health care laws go into effect in October 2013.  Other panel topics and activities to be covered include:

Cancer Survivor panel.

  • Patient Support, Navigation, Advocacy and Social Support panel.
  • Policy and Advocacy to Increase Accessibility of Services panel.
  • Diabetes, Hypertension and other Comorbidities and Cancer panel, which provides clinical trials and research information.
  • Cancer Clinician Panel, which offers prevention, screening and treatment information to the community.
  • Community Partnered Participatory Research panel.
  • Town Hall Q&A.

The event will also kick off Breast Cancer Awareness month in October.  The day-long event includes a free continental breakfast and lunch for attendees.  Raffle prizes and fitness breaks are also part of the program.  Headsets will be made available for Spanish translation of the conference proceedings.

The event organizers recommend that not only community members attend this one-of-a-kind informational event, but also caregivers, families, health care and service providers, students, faith based organizations, researchers and people living with cancer.
“This conference is vital because it will continue to build the trust and confidence between our community partners and our academic partners with the goal and mission to reduce cancer health disparities,” states Dr. Jay Vadgama, Director, Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities, Chief, Division of Cancer Research and Training, Professor of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.  “It will empower our community partners to learn more about the risks for cancer and how to take steps for prevention in our communities. We hope that together, we can provide hope, inspiration, and insight to our participants - whether they are survivors, advocates, community or church members, or researchers and students.”
To register or for more information on Building Bridges to Optimum Health, visit or call 323.292.2002.  For more information about the CDU/UCLA Center to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities please visit or or call 323.563.4853. Parking for the event is free.
The conference is sponsored by:
CDU/UCLA Cancer Center Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities (NIH/NCI Grant # U54 CA143931), Division of Cancer Research and Training at Charles R. Drew University, and Healthy African-American Families II in partnership with Accelerating Excellence in Translational Science AXIS (Grant # U54MD007598), Clinical and Translational Science Institute CTSI (Grant # UL1TR000124), and Project EXPORT (Grant # P20MD000182).





About Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, minority-serving medical and health sciences institution.  Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 550 medical doctors, 2,500 post-graduate physicians, more than 2,000 physician assistants and hundreds of other health professionals.  The only dually designated Historically Black Graduate Institution and Hispanic Serving Health Professions School in the U.S., CDU is recognized as a leader in translational and health inequities research, specifically with respect to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, mental health, and HIV/AIDS.  Recently, the CDU/UCLA medical program was named the “best performer” in the University of California System with respect to producing outstanding underrepresented minority physicians by the Greenlining Institute.  For more information, visit .


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