On a Mission: Reducing Health Disparities


Health disparities are defined as differences in health and healthcare between populations.  They are often reflected in racial and ethnic minorities, veterans, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and rural populations.  Disparities within these populations then include illness and disease, vaccinations, screenings, prevention tools and access to primary care.  The University of Illinois Cancer Center is a leader in recognizing cancer health disparities and community-based research to understand the effects of these disparities in the context of cancer.  Though we are committed to and provide care for all disease sites of cancer, our particular research expertise is in breast, lung, prostate and gastro-intenstinal cancers, and reflects the disease sites most affected within the populations we serve.  This enables us to investigate the causes of health disparities in our community and maintain our strong commitment to delivering quality cancer care to all populations.


The Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, is one of ten sites in the country to receive funding to study disparities and obstacles to care among underserved and minority women with breast cancer.  As well, the Center for Excellence in Eliminating Health Disparities, also on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus, focuses on health disparities in prostate and ovarian cancer, community-based breast cancer initiatives, and training and education.  Both Centers are funded by the National Institutes of Health.

In addition to our research, the University of Illinois Cancer Center is actively engaged with its community through education and screening programs, both essential for addressing the imbalance that exists in cancer care and prevention among certain populations.  Click here to access our outreach programs and strategic partnerships.