The Comprehensive Cancer Center established the Office of Community Engagement and Cancer Disparities (OCECD) in 2010 as part of a renewed and expanded commitment to serve local communities through research, education, and outreach programs.
Mission: The mission of the OCECD is serve as a bridge between the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, academic and community stakeholders to promote equitable collaboration and eliminate cancer disparities through community capacity building, participatory research, advocacy, and innovative education and training.
Vision: We seek to work with key stakeholders and community members who are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of their local communities with regards to cancer prevention and risk reduction, access to quality cancer care, promoting community centered collaborative research, and supporting those at risk or living with a cancer diagnosis.
The OCECD, under the direction of Karen Kim, MD, has formed strategic alliances with UChicago units and other healthcare organizations, as well as community, ethnic, and faith-based groups to create innovative programs that will increase access to care, reduce risk factors for cancer, reduce tobacco use, increase participation in cancer research, and improve the quality of life for cancer patients and survivors.
Dr. Kim was joined by Nita Lee, MD, in 2015 as Associate Director to help continue the expansion of community outreach and efforts.
The Comprehensive Cancer Center has a global presence, attracting cancer patients from around the world; however, our most important commitment is to the people of the Chicago metropolitan area and, particularly, the residents of surrounding neighborhoods including Bronzeville, Grand Boulevard, Hyde Park, Kenwood, Washington Park, and Woodlawn. Maintaining a vibrant, two-way conversation with our South Side neighbors helps Comprehensive Cancer Center members better understand and meet patient needs.