Start: January 2021

Funder: Genentech

Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing racial justice movement, the nation’s health care system is in a period of reckoning regarding its role in perpetuating racial health inequities. Cancer-related health disparities demonstrate the complicated impact of racism exacerbated by policy, health care system, and environmental factors for communities of color. Institutional racism and associated impacts such as social segregation and intergenerational trauma are fundamental causes of these health disparities. Other causes include mistrust of medical providers by communities of color, implicit and explicit biases by providers and health care systems, and racist health care system policies. There is, however, a lack of understanding of effective strategies that health care systems can use to mitigate cancer-related health disparities and confront the institutional racism that drives these disparities.

To address disparities in oncology care and outcomes, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), with support from Genentech, is working with community and health care partnerships from across the country to accelerate opportunities for health care systems to meaningfully collaborate with communities of color. The initiative is also supporting new ways for health care and community partners to collaboratively address institutional bias and racism in cancer care. Over 18 months, the project will:

  • Identify strategies to enhance health care system and community partnerships focused on identifying, co-developing, and testing solutions that address racial and ethnic disparities in oncology care and outcomes; and
  • Highlight mechanisms for health care systems to address institutional bias and racism inherent in cancer care for communities of color and establish measures to track progress.

Participating sites will receive ongoing tailored 1:1 technical assistance and participate in group learning opportunities that support peer-to-peer exchange, discussions of challenges, and exchange of best practices. Throughout the initiative, CHCS will distill lessons from the participating sites and publicly share emerging best practices for health care systems and communities of color to co-create solutions to address health disparities.