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Web Forum #1: Bridging Researchers and Impacted Communities for Health Equity in Breast Cancer

#healthequity #zerobreastcancer #breastcancer

Cancer is often a greater burden on communities of color, people with disabilities, and those with lower income. By engaging people who are impacted by cancer, research can be more relevant and improve health equity. In this webinar, panelists discuss how cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and other advocates provide critical expertise and perspectives to help shape research and benefit our communities more quickly and directly.

Zero Breast Cancer has been facilitating community involvement in breast cancer research, outreach and education throughout its 25 years. This webinar is the first in our Advancing Health Equity in Breast Cancer series. Learn about other webinars: Contact us at

Moderator Catherine Thomsen, MPH, joined Zero Breast Cancer in 2014 to promote health and wellness and prevent cancer, after seven years facilitating efforts to engage advocates in cancer research and to fund studies of disparities and environmental risk factors with the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP). Previously, she was the epidemiologist for the State of Oregon’s environmental and occupational health programs and coordinated an interagency pesticide poisoning prevention program. She received her Master’s in Public Health from Portland State/Oregon Health & Sciences Universities and her BA in international relations from Pomona College. She studied in France and spent more than three years in rural and urban Costa Rica with the Peace Corps and USAID.

Panelist Kim Rhoads, MD, MPH, Kim Rhoads, MD, MPH, is the Associate Director of Community Engagement for the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (HDFCCC) and an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health where she studied healthcare policy and management with an emphasis on minority health disparities and leadership. Dr. Rhoads founded the Stanford Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program (now called Community Outreach and Engagement). She earned her MD from UCSF School of Medicine and a MS in Health and Medical Sciences from UC Berkeley. Although she no longer practices clinically, she is double boarded in general and colorectal surgery.

Panelist Ysabel Duron is a pioneering, award-winning Latina journalist, a cancer survivor, and for the last 20 years, one of the nation’s leading authorities in Latinx/Hispanic cancer education and advocacy. As a TV news anchor, she covered her own cancer battle on air. In 2003, she founded Latinas Contra Cancer, a nonprofit organization advocating for and serving the Latino community. Ms. Duron founded The Latino Cancer Institute (TLCI) in 2017, creating a nationwide network to develop and share best practice programs, increase global cancer research collaboration, and drive policy to solve the issues and burden of Latinx/Hispanic cancer. She serves as a patient/community advocate on multiple California and national boards, including NIH’s All of Us Study, and at multiple universities.

Panelist Jasmine Wong, MD, is a breast cancer surgeon at the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center in the UCSF HDFCCC and San Francisco General Hospital. She supports the WISDOM Study (Women Informed to Screen Depending On Measures of risk), a multicenter clinical trial that came about after years of stakeholder engagement (including advocates) to determine the best approach to breast cancer screening. Dr. Wong received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and her medical degree from the St. Louis University School of Medicine. After her general surgery residency at Loma Linda University, she completed a fellowship in breast surgical oncology at UCSF before joining the faculty. Her research interests include ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and the immune system.


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