About the Cancer Care Equity Program

Contact the Cancer Care Equity Program

Clinical Outreach Initiative

The Cancer Care Equity Program (CCEP) holds on-site cancer outreach clinics at Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) staffed by a Dana-Farber clinical team, including a Physician Assistant, Nurse Director, Social Worker, Genetics Counselor, and Patient Navigator. Clinical services include:

  • Cancer screening
  • Diagnostic workups and follow-up care
  • Reconnection to cancer care
  • Referrals for second opinions
  • Genetic cancer risk evaluations and testing
  • Cancer survivorship care
  • Provider and community education
  • Patient navigation

Primary care providers at outreach clinic sites can refer adult patients with:

  • New, existing, or past cancer diagnosis
  • Benign hematology diagnosis (neutropenia, anemia, clotting disorders, thrombocytopenia)
  • Breast issues (abnormal mammography studies, lumps, pain, or discharge)
  • Any worrisome (cancer related) symptoms without clear cause (lumps, bumps, bruises, weight loss)

If a patient has an active cancer issue, the CCEP navigates them to Dana-Farber and/or another cancer facility for further care. For benign issues, the CCEP connects patients to specialty care for follow-up. The program’s goal is to reduce disparities in cancer diagnosis and treatment for historically marginalized communities by:

  • Decreasing wait times for diagnosis and treatment of cancer
  • Increasing awareness and knowledge of cancer prevention and treatment
  • Fostering trust with providers and patients
  • Creating a research cohort of patients for observational and interventional studies
  • Increasing enrollment of diverse populations in clinical trials
  • Creating a model for addressing the health disparities gap in cancer care

Community-Focused Patient Navigation

The CCEP’s Clinical Outreach Initiative demonstrates the benefit of community-based cancer care and patient navigation services and strengthens the need to expand services across Dana-Farber sites.

In continuation of this work, the CCEP is piloting a Community-Focused Patient Navigation integration model within Dana-Farber Treatment Centers to address persistent health inequities and barriers to obtaining high quality cancer care for adult patients from historically marginalized populations. Inspired by Dr. Harold Freeman’s principles of patient navigation, the CCEP’s goal is to proactively engage with these patients at point of cancer detection, eliminate barriers to timely diagnosis and treatment, and help navigate health care system complexities and logistics throughout the care continuum.

Cancer Equity Research

The CCEP fosters a supportive, inter-disciplinary environment for cancer disparities research. Research objectives include:

  • Forming a diverse research cohort accessible to researchers from Dana-Farber and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) for observational and qualitative studies
  • Engaging communities in conversations about cancer clinical trials for populations who have been historically excluded/exploited
  • Facilitating cancer disparities research across disciplines

Addressing Inequities in Cancer Care

Dana-Farber's Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH, faculty director for cancer care equity, details health equity research that highlights key findings and recommendations on community outreach and engagement efforts of the National Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Video published: 3/25/21.