VCU event on cancer disparities to bring researchers, community members together
Prostate and colorectal cancers affect African American communities at higher rates — both in diagnoses and mortality. A community event in February at Virginia Commonwealth University will focus on these health disparities and engage the community in solutions.
Cancers Below the Belt features speakers from Virginia research institutions, as well as community health advocates. A VCU Massey Cancer Center researcher will moderate. Panelists will speak to advances and gaps in the research and share resources on minority health.
The event is part of the quarterly Health Equity Series, led by the C. Kenneth and Dianne Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research, where VCU and VCU Health experts join forces with community partners and members of the public for presentation, discussion and increased awareness of health disparities in Richmond, Virginia, and beyond. This event is co-hosted with VCU Massey Cancer Center.
The virtual event, conducted over Zoom, is free and open to the public.
Visit go.vcu.edu/equity for more information.
Cancers Below the Belt
When: Feb. 9
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Debbie Cadet, Ph.D., M.S.W., of VCU Massey Cancer Center will moderate the panel of speakers:
- Luisel Ricks-Santi, Ph.D., director of the Hampton University Cancer Research Center
- Terrance Afer-Anderson, writer-producer-director of “The Black Walnut,” prostate cancer survivor and Norfolk native
- Renee Malone, MPH, program director at Hitting Cancer Below the Belt
Ricks-Santi serves as the director of the Cancer Research Center at Hampton University and an associate professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. She is also a member of the Cancer Prevention and Control research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center. She received her Ph.D. from Georgetown University in Tumor Biology and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Howard University in Cancer Genomics and Cancer Disparities research. Ricks-Santi’s passion is research and helping to determine why minorities are affected with worse cancers and what we can do to improve outcomes in underserved and underinsured populations.
Afer-Anderson is the president and chief executive officer of TerraVizion Entertainment Network. He is a seasoned writer, producer and director of stage, television and film projects, having staged more than 50 productions for the stage and screen and authored more than 20 plays, exploring issues as diverse as social and criminal justice, African American history, teen pregnancy prevention, spirituality, HIV/AIDS, drowning prevention and infant mortality. His culminating strategic initiative was the production of The Black Walnut, a feature-length film painting a compelling portrait of the African American prostate cancer disparity.
Malone is the program director for Hitting Cancer Below the Belt (HCB2). With a career that spans 15 years serving populations in need, she joined the cancer prevention and early detection movement in 2010. Malone is particularly passionate about the nutritional, environmental and socioeconomic factors that affect cancer risk and overall wellbeing. Through her work with HCB2, she is dedicated to helping bridge the information and service gaps experienced by many in the community and elsewhere so that all may pursue optimal health as unimpeded as possible.
Cadet is the project director for education and outreach activities related to cancer prevention and control and health disparities at VCU Massey Cancer Center. Cadet has more than 20 years of clinical experience as a social worker at VCU Health. She teaches psychosocial care for patients and families to nurses, medical students, residents, fellows and attending physicians. Her research expertise is in health disparities.
Future Health Equity Series events
Topic: Maternal morbidity and mortality
When: May 11 at 10 a.m.
Topic: Fresh food availability and nutrition
When: Aug. 10 at 10 a.m.