Public Release: 

GW Cancer Center receives $1 million to promote health equity through training program

With support from the Pfizer Foundation, the GW Cancer Center will train patients and providers on how to improve communications for better health

George Washington University

WASHINGTON (July 18, 2016) -- The George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center received a one million dollar grant from the Pfizer Foundation to advance equitable, patient-centered cancer care by providing resources for patients and health care providers to have improved conversations, including a focus on patient health literacy, and cultural sensitivity.

"We know that health care professionals are pressed for time, always being asked to do one more thing with less time. We also know that patients are often overwhelmed by information and that very few people know how to use information to advocate for their health and health care," said Mandi Pratt-Chapman, principal investigator and associate center director for patient-centered initiatives and health equity at the GW Cancer Center. "We will develop tools to help patients identify their priorities for care and clarify when information is confusing. We will also train patient navigators and clinicians on communication techniques to support patient engagement and understanding of information across diverse and intersecting backgrounds."

Patients will be trained to better self-advocate and share in decision-making. Health care providers will be trained in culturally sensitive practices.

This project will examine ways in which gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and income impact the patient-provider relationship and whether providers who are trained will be more confident and committed to providing culturally sensitive care for those who have different experiences from themselves. Researching this connection will inform strategies to improve cancer health equity for minority populations.

"Productive patient-provider interactions are essential to ensuring that all individuals living with cancer are able to access quality care," said Caroline Roan, president of the Pfizer Foundation. "We are pleased to be working with the GW Cancer Center on this initiative to improve access to patient-centered, equitable oncology care for women."

This grant will build on existing efforts to help patients make informed choices about their health and health care through the GW Cancer Center's Prepared Patient Program. To learn more, visit


Media: For more information or to interview Ms. Pratt-Chapman, please contact Lisa Anderson at or 202-994-3121.

About the GW Cancer Center

The George Washington (GW) Cancer Center is a collaboration between GW Hospital, The GW Medical Faculty Associates, and the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences to expand GW's efforts in the fight against cancer. The GW Cancer Center also partners with the Milken Institute School of Public Health at GW, and incorporates all existing cancer-related activities at GW, serving as a platform for future cancer services and research development. Learn more about the GW Cancer Center at

About Pfizer Foundation

The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. The Foundation is a separate and independent tax-exempt organization. The Foundation's mission is to promote access to quality health care, to nurture innovation, and to support the community involvement of Pfizer people.

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