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The Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program strives to promote awareness about and access to cancer clinical trials through community outreach and education, financial assistance, and patient navigation.
The Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program is a partnership between Mass General and the Lazarex Cancer Foundation, a charity organization based in California, and works to provide financial assistance for the unique challenges of clinical trial participation.
Learn more about the role of clinical trials as a cancer treatment option and the importance of increasing minority clinical trial participation.
Most people have a variety of questions when learning about and considering clinical trial participation. We asked Mass General cancer clinical trial patients to answer some of the most frequent questions.
Check out the resources that may be available as you or a loved one consider participating in a clinical trial.
There are many reasons why patients participate in clinical trials. Listen to the experiences of clinical trial patients, including those who have received assistance from the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program.
Director, Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program
Dr. Bruce Chabner serves as Director of Clinical Research for the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His main fields of research focus on the biochemistry and pharmacology of folate antagonists, experimental therapeutics, and clinical trial design. He serves as the Associate Director of Clinical Science at Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and has held additional academic appointments, including the position of Director of the Division of Cancer Treatment of the National Cancer Institute from 1982 to 1995. Dr. Chabner received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Yale College (1961) and an M.D., cum laude, from Harvard Medical School (1965). He has authored and edited the standard text, Principles and Practice of Cancer Chemotherapy and Biological Response Modifiers, now in its fourth edition. Dr. Chabner has contributed to the Goodman and Gilman textbook of Pharmacology and has authored chapters for numerous other textbooks of internal medicine, hematology, oncology and pharmacology. Over the years, Dr. Chabner has received awards including Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Omega Alpha, the Public Health Service's Distinguished Service Medal, the Karnofsky Award of the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the Bruce F. Cain Award for Drug Development of the American Association for Cancer Research. In 2006, he was the first recipient of the Bob Pinedo Award for Contributions to Improvement in the Care of Cancer Patients. Dr. Chabner is a senior editor for the Oncologist and serves on the executive advisory boards for some of the industry’s leading innovators in drug development. In 2006, Dr. Chabner received a presidential appointment to the National Cancer Advisory Board at the National Cancer Institute.
Principal Investigator, Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program
Beverly Moy, MD, MPH is the Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is a medical oncologist and clinical researcher focused on cancer disparities, bioethics, and breast cancer clinical trials. Dr. Moy is a co-Principal Investigator of the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program. Dr. Moy has served as Chair of American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Disparities and Ethics Committees, a member of their Breast Cancer Consensus Panel, Cancer Education and Government Relations Committees and is the Breast Cancer Track Leader for their Scientific Program Committee. She serves on the editorial board of the National Cancer Institute Adult Treatment Physician Data Query (PDQ). Dr. Moy received her undergraduate education at the Johns Hopkins University, her medical degree at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, trained in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and completed hematology and medical oncology fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She received a Master’s degree in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Principal Investigator, Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program
Sanja Percac-Lima, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a primary care physician at MGH Chelsea HealthCare Center. Primary focus of her research is improving equity in cancer care in low-income, ethnic and racial minorities. In her role as the Physician Leader for Cancer Outreach Programs at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Center for Community Health Improvement she develops, overseas and evaluates patient navigation (PN) program to improve cancer care in underserved populations. She received the Prevent Cancer Prevention Foundation Laurel for Innovative Programs for developing Colorectal Cancer Screening PN Program at MGH Chelsea Health Center. The program was recognized by National Cancer Institute as one of only 11 evidence based programs to improve CRC screening. As a Co-Principal Investigator on Lazarex –MGH Cancer Care Equity Program she has developed and leads a Comprehensive cancer screening PN for high risk patients at MGH and Lung cancer screening program for current smokers at MGH community health centers. Dr. Percac-Lima received her MD and PhD from University of Zagreb School of Medicine in Croatia. Her education in USA includes: fellowship in medical education at Harvard Medical School, residency in internal medicine at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton MA and fellowship in geriatric medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
Jonathan Jackson, PhD is a cognitive neuroscientist on faculty at Harvard Medical School, investigating the early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), particularly in the absence of overt memory problems. He also serves Massachusetts General Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) and MGH’s Cancer Center Equity Program, specializing in identifying and overcoming barriers to clinical research for people and communities of color. His research focuses on midlife and late-life health disparities in clinical settings that affect Black populations, relevant to both dementia and oncology research. He has also served on the ADRC’s Outreach Recruitment and Education (ORE) Core since 2014 and has become a well-known MGH representative to communities of color and dozens of affiliated organizations, particularly regarding clinical research. Dr. Jackson serves on the leadership team of several organizations focused on community health, as well as city and statewide advisory groups for AD. Dr. Jackson’s initiatives facilitated the ORE Core’s ability to forge ties with community Senior Centers and Councils on Aging, over 40 new churches and community organizations, and to deepen its ties with advocacy groups. He routinely engages with Boston-area communities on matters related to personal health, research, and clinical trial participation, and has given over 90 talks in communities of color since 2014.
Program Manager, Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program
Emily Poles, MPH is the Program Manager for the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program. She received a BS in Biology and Applied Mathematical Economics from the University of Dayton and her Master’s degree in Public Health at Boston University. She has lived and worked in Thailand, Ghana, Swaziland, and Zambia with underserved populations with a focus on community development, health education, and outreach – including two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. Additionally, she has worked domestically in clinical cancer research, public health research, and community outreach. She is a Boston native whose specific areas of interest include racial and ethnic disparities, social determinants of health, and access to care.
Clinical Research Coordinator, Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program
Salome Kuchukhidze, MPH is the Clinical Research Coordinator at the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program. Salome is committed to research and program implementation focused on providing equitable, high quality care to vulnerable and underprivileged communities in low resource settings both domestically and abroad. Salome graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in Biology and Philosophy and received her MPH from Boston University School of Public Health, Department of Global Health. Salome has worked on HIV care in South Africa and in clinical and health policy design settings in the USA and the Republic of Georgia. She has also implemented healthcare programs in primary care settings serving underprivileged communities in rural India.
Research Fellow, Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program
Ryan Nipp, MD is an oncology fellow in the Dana-Farber / Harvard Cancer Center (DFHCC) currently working at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received his undergraduate education and medical degree at Texas Tech University. He completed his internal medicine residency training at Duke University. He was recently accepted into the Harvard School of Public Health where he will complete a Master's degree in Public Health. To date, his research training includes a Clinical Epidemiology course at Duke and the Clinical Effectiveness course at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Nipp focuses his research on supportive and geriatric oncology. During medical school, he was active in the student chapter of the American Geriatrics Society. Additionally, Dr. Nipp has a specific interest in the financial burden experienced by patients with cancer. Working with Dr. Yousuf Zafar while at Duke, he contributed to a project demonstrating how patients with cancer who experience financial burden alter their lifestyle and medical care. He completed his first year as a DFHCC oncology fellow in 2014, and during his two years of research he will work with Drs. Jennifer Temel and Beverly Moy on supportive and geriatric oncology.
Jeffrey Ashburner, PhD, MPH: Dr. Ashburner is an epidemiologist and research fellow within the Division of General Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. He completed his Master’s and Doctoral studies in Epidemiology at Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. Ashburner has conducted health services and clinical research at MGH since 2006 with content emphasis on population health management, preventive cancer screening, and decreasing disparities in cancer care through the use of patient navigation. He was involved in all aspects of the research process for a demonstration grant examining the use of health information technology to improve comprehensive cancer screening, and with several studies, which utilize health information technology and patient navigators to improve care for vulnerable patients.
Giselle K. Perez, PhD is an Instructor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an Assistant in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the MGH. Dr. Perez is strongly committed to identifying innovative solutions to improve health care equity, quality, and outcomes among vulnerable, underserved and minority groups. Her research broadly focuses on cancer prevention and survivorship research, with a special emphasis on issues related to health disparities and health service access and utilization. Specific interests include the development of integrative mind-body and behavioral interventions to promote health behavior change, treatment adherence, and treatment outcomes for patients throughout the cancer spectrum. Dr. Perez has received a number of awards and funding from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.
AnneMarie McCarthy, PhD is an Assistant in Epidemiology in the Department of Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Instructor at Harvard Medical School. Her research aims to improve breast cancer prevention and early detection, particularly among minority populations. Dr. McCarthy received her doctorate in Cancer Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. McCarthy is a member of the NCI funded Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR) consortium, which supports research aimed at improving the cancer screening process for breast, colorectal, and cervical cancers. Dr. McCarthy has led consortium efforts to document and address racial disparities in cancer screening across cancers. Dr. McCarthy has collaborated with Dr. Percac-Lima in evaluating patient navigation for breast cancer screening.
Advisor Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program
Elyse R. Park, PhD, MPH is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School and a Senior Scientist in the Mongan Institute for Health Policy. Dr. Park is clinical health psychologist and health services researcher who focuses on understanding and improving health-related behaviors across the continuum of patients at risk for cancer through to cancer survivors. She has leadership roles directing behavioral science research at the MGH Tobacco Research & Treatment Center and the MGH Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine. She is also Director of the MGH Clinical Research Program’s Qualitative Core and has extensive mixed methods research experience, developing interventions and surveys for cancer patients and survivors. She has a longstanding interest in examining how racial and ethnic factors affect individuals’ cancer preventive behaviors. She has assessed how culturally-associated cancer beliefs affect women’s breast and cervical cancer screening behaviors, how cultural perspectives affect adherence to repeat mammography recommendations, and racial differences in tobacco use attitudes and behaviors.
If you have any questions or would like to apply to the program, please contact us at:
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