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Letter from the Program Director

Thanks to all who attended the Biannual Meeting. We had great participation—thank you all for your contributions. Please take a few moments to read through this newsletter whether or not you were able to make it to the meeting.

For this newsletter, I thought I’d share one of the themes that our team has been considering a great deal as we move forward to center equity. It is hard to ignore racial, ethnic, economic, and geographic differences in access to cancer care and quality of care across our country and worldwide. In addition, other groups, including immigrants, sexual and gender minorized people, people with disabilities, and elderly people, all face unique challenges. Of course, we all have multiple identities, and people can belong to more than one group at risk for worse outcomes. The concept of intersectionality refers to the fact that people and communities may have membership in two or more groups that are historically granted less power. For example, someone with a disability who is from a racial minoritized group is at particular risk of worse cancer and other health outcomes. In addition, it is possible to belong to a group that holds power and to a group that is disempowered.

As we identify opportunities across the state to improve equity, we hope to be particularly aware of this concept of intersectionality and its implications for our patients and their families. Let us know if you have ideas to share about how best to serve the people with cancer in our state and stay tuned for more information on our equity initiatives. In addition, if you want to learn more about intersectionality, email me for a selection of articles and podcasts.

We are so grateful for your commitment to high quality and equitable care for everyone in Michigan.

Dr. Jennifer Griggs
Program Director