Ahead of the American Society of Preventive Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago, the University of Illinois Cancer Center hosted two pre-conference health equity workshops for attendees that included a bus tour through the Cancer Center’s catchment area of Cook County, a majority minority county that includes Chicago.  

About 75 people registered for the two workshops “Environmental Justice and Cancer Health Equity” and “Social Determinants of Health and Equity in Genetic Services: Risk-Informed Care.”

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The first workshop, held March 15 at Triton College in the River Grove community, was a chance for cancer researchers and local decision-makers to discuss achieving health equity through addressing environmental injustices. As part of the bus tour, attendees visited the west Cook County communities of Maywood, Broadview, Bellwood and Oak Park where the focus was on soil remediation, solar energy, air quality improvement, and flood control measures.

The second workshop, held March 16 at the UI Health Mile Square Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), was an opportunity for networking by researchers leading and interested in equity in cancer genetic services and precision preventive oncology with the aim of increasing uptake of cancer genetic services.

The Cancer Center is part of UI Health, which offers cancer genetic services and hereditary cancer risk assessment at Mile Square. Through the Illinois Cancer Health Equity Research Center (I-CHER), the Cancer Center, along with the Resurrection Project and other partners, has leveraged this novel infrastructure at UI Health to test multilevel solutions for improving underserved populations’ access to low or no-cost risk assessment, genetic testing and risk-based care.

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