Conference to focus on health disparities in cancer

By Alex Branch

Rebecca Garcia, PhD

National experts, local officials, community leaders, faculty and students will come together June 8-9 to discover ways to reduce cancer disparities at UNT Health Science Center’s 12th annual Texas Conference on Health Disparities, hosted by the Texas Center for Health Disparities.

The conference, “Evidence-Based Approaches to Reducing Cancer Health Disparities,” will focus on breast, colorectal and prostate cancers.

African Americans and Hispanics in Texas are twice more likely to die from cancer than non-Hispanic whites.

“This disparity in cancer is seen not just in Tarrant County but across the country,” said Jamboor K. Vishwanatha, PhD, Regents Professor and Director of the Texas Center for Health Disparities. “Each session will be very interdisplinary and interactive because those are the approaches it will take to make progress solving these disparities.”

Mayor Betsy Price and Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks will be among the local officials who will attend the conference.  The keynote speaker is Rebecca Garcia, PhD, Chief Prevention and Commuincation Officer for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

Between 400 to 450 people are expected to attend the conference. Attendees will learn about the latest basic, clinical, community and translational approaches to discover, develop, deliver and disseminate information to eliminating cancer health disparities, according to conference organizers.

Past conferences have focused on women’s health, genomics, obesity, breast cancer and other major health disparities.  The conferences are particularly impactful to UNTHSC students by exposing them to the many different health disparities that afflict underserved communities and inspiring students to serve those communities after graduation.

“Our students learn an incredible amount during these two days,” Dr. Vishwanatha said. “It’s a unique educational opportunity for everyone who attends.”

For information about the conference, contact Rosalba Zamaguey at 817-735-0670

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