Chair Files

Eliminating Cancer Health Disparities

Here’s a disheartening statistic from the National Cancer Institute: in the United States, white women have the highest incidence rate for breast cancer, but black women are most likely to die from the disease. The Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute at Spartanburg (South Carolina) Regional Medical Center is part of an NCI network of community-based hospital cancer centers working to reduce such health care disparities. With funding from a national grant, GCC conducted a targeted communication outreach program to get more African-American women screened for breast cancer, focusing outreach efforts on faith-based organizations and using mobile mammography. Activities included sending letters to introduce the program to key community leaders, making cold calls to churches to schedule presentations and networking at community and business events. From 2009–2012, as a result of this and other initiatives, the number of screening mammograms at GCC performed on all women increased from 22,420 to 24,557. GCC introduced its mobile mammography unit in 2010 to help reduce screening barriers for all women, but targeted to serve African-American women. In 2012, 17.73% of screenings performed at GCC’s fixed mammography locations were African-American women, whereas the mobile unit’s screening population was 28.13% African-American. GCC’s mobile unit breast cancer detection rate is 7.56 women per 1,000 screened, compared to 4.21 per 1,000 screened at fixed locations.
For more information, contact Lucy Gansauer, program director, at, or DeLisa Dawkins, community outreach coordinator, at Browse this website or visit the Equity of Care website at for more case studies about eliminating disparities in health care.


Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......