This panel was moderated by Dr. Leif Ellisen, program director and professor of medicine at Mass General Cancer Center, and included Dr. Dejan Juric, director of the Termeer Center for Targeted Therapies at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Beverly Moy, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Natasha Mmeje, director of community health & outreach at Susan G. Komen.
Ellisen: So it looks like the first question is for Natasha. Natasha, can you talk about some of the efforts Susan G. Komen has implemented to address the disparities that Dr. Moy has talked about? And are there resources from Susan G. Komen you can recommend for our audience today?
Mmeje: Absolutely, I’d like to just first start off by saying thank you, Dr. Moy, for setting the stage so beautifully to talk about health disparities in this country and what it means around breast cancer. So Susan G. Komen in 2021, sent out a report called “Closing the Breast Cancer Gap, a Roadmap To Save Lives of Black Women in America,” which really exemplifies the points that Dr. Moy mentioned. And we focused on systemic and social determinants of health and, in particular, 10 metropolitan cities or areas that experienced the largest gaps in mortality rates between Black and White women. Dr. Moy talks about those staggering statistics. And according to that report, we found that Black women were often ignored by their health care providers, and they faced significant barriers to receiving the care that they needed due to the legacy of systemic racism that we’ve talked about earlier, as well as implicit bias and below standard care.
So in response to that, Komen has launched our “Stand For Her, a Health Equity Revolution,” which is a bold program that’s set to decrease breast cancer disparities through very focused intervention that bring down barriers. The barriers that actually created these inequities in the first place for black people, some of those things include education that equips Black people with the knowledge about breast health, providing education on things like breast health assessment, screening guidelines and the importance of family health history, in their breast…