Health Disparities Committee (HDC) (Special Populations)



Vice Chairs

Working Groups

    Special Interest Groups

    Concept Development
    Leader: Chanita Hughes Halbert
    Co-Lead: Evan Graboyes

    Older Adult Research
    Leader: William Tew

    Research Implementation (Education/Training/Mentorship)
    Leader: Victoria Bae-JumpVictoria Bae-Jump
    Co-Lead: Mylin Torres

    Rural Research
    Lead: Shearwood McClelland
    Co-Leader: Na Tosha Gatson

    Committee Charge

    The NRG NCORP Health Disparities Research (HDR) Committee has transformed from a core educational NRG Oncology committee into a protocol generating committee to develop interventional concepts, and to integrate secondary endpoints in NCORP trials and NRG Oncology treatment trials, all focused on health disparities research and improving cancer care and outcomes for underserved populations. HDR will have the ability to develop concepts and, most importantly, to work in close collaboration with NRG NCORP CPCR and CCDR to co-develop protocols as appropriate. The HDR is a shared committee between NRG NCORP and NRG Oncology NCTN (with co-funding). HDR will continue to build on the significant legacy and ongoing work to focus on the following areas:

    • Focus 1. Develop interventional studies to decrease health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities;
    • Focus 2. Test interventional studies for optimal care of at risk elderly; and
    • Focus 3. Identify optimal access to cancer screening, treatment, symptom management and surveillance of rural populations.

    The overarching goal of NRG HDR is to understand and address health disparities in an effort to reduce the unequal burden of cancer in the United States (U.S.). Biospecimen collection embedded in these trials will assist in generating new knowledge of genetic and molecular biomarkers associated with disparities. The HDR Committee is comprised of multidisciplinary scientists with expertise in each of the focus areas as well as behavioral health, symptom management, community engagement, and social determinants of health.

    Committee Vision Statement

    The Health Disparities Committee can leverage NRG andNCORP networks to elevate and nurture passion for cancer equity, ensuring thatNRG Oncology trials prioritize health and cancer outcomes for all patients, families and communities.

    Health Equity Mentors


     Tara Castellano, MD


    Oluwadamilola Oladeru, MD


    Sonya Reid, MD

    More information about the above mentors and th NRG Health Equity New Investigator Mentor Program for Underrepresented Minority Scholars

    NCORP Pilot Projects Funded

    HDC Pilot Concepts:
    • Breaking Down Sexual Health Barriers in Underrepresented Female Cancer Patients Receiving Pelvic Radiation Therapy (Chin) 

    • Understanding How High Risk Human Papilloma Virus Serotypes Impacts Racial Disparities in Orophayrngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (Watts)
    • Relational Agents in HPV Vaccination (Gogoi)


    Resources that have been recommended by members of the NRG Oncology Health Disparities Committee are available by clicking here (login required).


    Introductory Message from Jennifer Wenzel, PhD, MS, RN Chair, NRG Health Disparity Committee presented during the NRG Oncology Winter HDC meeting (1-28-2021). Click here to view.

    The NRG Oncology Health Equity New Investigator Mentor Program for Underrepresented Minority Scholars. Click here to read the announcement.

    Cultural Competence Workshops  (login required)

    Committee Members

    • Bridget Oppong
    • Chanita Hughes-Halbert
    • Dayssy Alexandra Diaz Pardo
    • Donna White
    • Dorothy Erlanger
    • Edith Mitchell
    • Electra Paskett
    • Evan Graboyes
    • Ikenna Okereke
    • Jeannine Brant
    • Jennifer Griggs
    • Jennifer Shah
    • Jennifer Wenzel
    • John Farley
    • Jolinta Lin
    • Jordan Holmes
    • Kate Yeager
    • Kathie Ann Joseph
    • Kavita Dharmarajan
    • Kevin Albuquerque
    • Krupal Patel
    • Lauren Henke
    • Mack Roach III
    • Martha Duncan
    • Mary Scroggins
    • Mehran Yusef
    • Motolani Ogunsanya
    • Mylin A. Torres
    • Na Tosha Gatson
    • Nina Niu Sanford
    • Noel Arring
    • Oluwole Babatunde
    • Reena Cecchini
    • Samilia Obeng-Gyasi
    • Sarah Tucker Price
    • Shearwood McClelland, III
    • Steven Chang
    • Tiffany Elsea
    • Victoria Bae-Jump
    • Walker Eleanor
    • William Russell Robinson III
    • William Tew
    • Faye Hollowell
    • Adrienne Moore
    • Louise Scott
    • Tom Simon

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