Anita Kinney, PhD, RN, at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center, has been elected to the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Care Delivery Research Steering Committee. The newly formed committee will guide nationwide research that studies how people get their cancer care and how well they fare as a result of it.
“Cancer care delivery research looks at the bigger picture,” says Kinney. That bigger picture includes helping people understand their cancer risks, urging them to get cancer screening tests, and supporting them to cope with their cancer diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care. It includes healthy people, people with a cancer diagnosis, and families, caregivers, health care organizations and communities. And, it includes studying which treatments and lifestyle behaviors help people survive their cancer better. “The Cancer Care Delivery Research Steering Committee will help guide the science,” says Kinney.
Last August, the NCI changed the way it manages clinical trials because cancer treatment and healthcare systems have gone through extreme changes in the past 50 years. The new NCI system uses a network of seven Research Bases and 46 National Community Oncology Research Program sites. The Research Bases design, develop and conduct clinical trials. The NCORP sites conduct research in preventing, treating and surviving cancer.
Of the 46 NCORP sites, 12 sites are designated as “Minority/Underserved” sites. The NCORP site at UNM Cancer Center is one of these 12. “We want to look at how to better address disparities and ensure health equity,” says Kinney. “There may be opportunities for New Mexico based on research conducted elsewhere in the country.” According to Kinney, underserved groups have cancer care issues that have not been effectively studied. They may not receive adequate information or health care. Or, they may get different care because of their race, sexual preference, age or where they live.
“Cancer care delivery research is a new priority. We are at the forefront of it,” says Kinney. “Our overarching goal is to promote quality care and create better lives for all people at risk for and affected by cancer.”
Anita Kinney, PhD, RN, is a Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Internal Medicine, and is The Carolyn R. Surface Endowed Chair in Cancer Control and Population Sciences at University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She serves as Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the UNM Cancer Center. She also serves as the lead investigator for Cancer Care Delivery Research at the New Mexico Underserved/Minority site. Trained at the University of Pennsylvania, UT-Houston School of Public Health, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Kinney is an international and highly acclaimed expert in cancer prevention and public health. Her overarching research goal is to understand variation in cancer risk; determinants of risk and outcomes; and to use this information to develop effective interventions that facilitate access to quality care, promote cancer equity, informed decision-making and positive changes in health behaviors, cancer prevention care delivery and survivorship. With a particular emphasis on breast, ovarian and colorectal cancers, she is making improvements in reducing cancer risk and the way cancer care is delivered in diverse populations.
The UNM Cancer Center is the Official Cancer Center of New Mexico and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center in the state. One of just 68 premier NCI-Designated Cancer Centers nationwide, the UNM Cancer Center is recognized for its scientific excellence; contributions to cancer research; delivery of high quality, state of the art cancer diagnosis and treatment to all New Mexicans; and its community outreach programs statewide. Annual federal and private funding of more than $72 million supports the UNM Cancer Center’s research programs. The UNM Cancer Center treats more than 60 percent of the adults and virtually all of the children in New Mexico affected by cancer, from every county in the state. It is home to New Mexico’s largest team of board-certified oncology physicians and research scientists, representing every cancer specialty and hailing from prestigious institutions such as M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, and the Mayo Clinic. Through its partnership with Memorial Medical Center in Las Cruces, the UNM Cancer Center brings world-class cancer care to the southern part of the state; its collaborative clinical programs in Santa Fe and Farmington serve northern New Mexico and it is developing new collaborative programs in Alamogordo and in Roswell/Carlsbad. The UNM Cancer Center also supports several community outreach programs to make cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment available to every New Mexican. Learn more at www.cancer.unm.edu.