Contact: Vicky Agnew
MUSC Hollings Cancer Center
843-792-0376 or firstname.lastname@example.org
RENOWNED RESEARCHER CHANITA HUGHES-HALBERT, PHD, JOINS MUSC TO ADVANCE STATEWIDE INITIATIVES IN CANCER DISPARITIES RESEARCH AND PROGRAMS
Hughes-Halbert Holds the AT&T Distinguished Endowed Chair in Cancer Equity in MUSC's Hollings Cancer Center and the SmartState Center of Economic Excellence Endowed Chair in Cancer Disparities
February 1, 2012, Charleston, SC: Chanita Hughes-Halbert, PhD, one of the country's leading researchers in health disparities research, has joined the Medical University of South Carolina. Hughes-Halbert brings extensive experience and a significant body of novel research in health disparities for cancer and other major diseases.
Hughes-Halbert, a professor in MUSC's Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, has been named to the AT&T Distinguished Endowed Chair in Cancer Equity in Hollings Cancer Center and the SmartState Center of Economic Excellence Endowed Chair in Cancer Disparities. She joins MUSC from the University of Pennsylvania where she was director of Community-Based Research & Health Disparities; and the Community and Diversity Initiative at the Abramson Cancer Center.
"MUSC and Hollings are strongly committed to addressing cancer equity issues in a state with an ethnically diverse population and, as a result, marked disparities in disease and healthcare outcomes across all populations," Hughes-Halbert said. "Hollings is one of the few cancer centers I've seen with disparities as such a priority. MUSC has the potential to serve as a national model on minority health issues."
Hughes-Halbert said her work at MUSC and statewide will include incorporating basic behavioral science exploring how patients make treatment decisions; developing partnerships statewide that increase minority access to care; improving access to technology that enhances delivery of care; and raising health literacy across all populations.
This Cancer Disparities Center of Economic Excellence will increase prostate cancer screening and early detection among African-American men. Despite the fact that prostate cancer mortality rates in South Carolina are three times greater for African-Americans than for Caucasians, African-Americans are significantly underrepresented in prostate cancer clinical trials. A common barrier to the development of new knowledge for medical problems affecting racially and ethnically diverse populations is the ability to enroll diverse patients in medical research.
The SmartState Endowed chairs will conduct prostate cancer clinical trials and examine aspects of obesity and lifestyle modifications as contributing factors to prostate cancer. They will also examine factors that influence the screening and treatment of African-American men. The AT&T Foundation provided a $1 million gift to MUSC to provide free prostate cancer screenings and treatment advice and education to 500 African-Americans in South Carolina.
Undergraduate students from the three HBCUs will participate in research intensive summer internships in the laboratories of senior prostate cancer research scientists at Hollings Cancer Center.
About Hollings Cancer Center
Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer program in South Carolina. The cancer center has more than $35 million in cancer research funding and more than 200 people are currently participating on a cancer clinical trial at Hollings Cancer Center.
Hollings offers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, therapies and surgical techniques and has multidisciplinary clinics that include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, radiologists, pathologists, psychologists and many other specialists seeing patients under one roof. Multidisciplinary care is provided for most adult and pediatric cancers. For more information please visit www.hcc.musc.edu.