Be a voice in your community: Apply for Metro-Milwaukee cancer disparities Research and Scholars Program

Program empowers community and researchers to understand and improve health equity, together The Community and Cancer Science Network is recruiting participants for the Research and Community Scholars Program. This program creates opportunities for members of the Metro-Milwaukee community to work alongside Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) researchers to increase understanding of why health disparities exist […]

Be a voice in your community: Apply for Metro-Milwaukee cancer disparities Research and Scholars Program

Program empowers community and researchers to understand and improve health equity, together

The Community and Cancer Science Network is recruiting participants for the Research and Community Scholars Program. This program creates opportunities for members of the Metro-Milwaukee community to work alongside Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) researchers to increase understanding of why health disparities exist and how collaborations between community members and researchers can reduce these disparities.

Cancer disparities are differences in outcomes (e.g., incidence, diagnosis, and mortality) among groups of people. Significant disparities occur based on where people live, their race or ethnicity, and their gender, among other factors.

The program invites two types of participants to submit applications by July 1.

  • Community Scholars: Individuals from Metro-Milwaukee community-based organizations who are actively involved with the community network and have an interest in improving the health of community
  • Research Scholars: Early-career MCW scientists who demonstrate interest in incorporating community perspectives into their research

Together, with the guidance of program creators Rev. Dr. Deborah Thomas, retired Milwaukee Area Technical College faculty member and founder and pastor of House of Grace Kingdom Ministry and MCW’s Dr. Carol Williams, PhD, community members and researchers will learn ways to build equitable and trusting partnerships to counteract the issues of mistrust and misunderstanding contributing to cancer disparities in the Metro-Milwaukee area.

“There’s mistrust in the community as it relates to the healthcare field and biomedical research,” said Rev. Dr. Thomas. “Health researchers may not fully understand this mistrust and how it may prevent some community members from engaging with them. We want to eliminate these misunderstandings and help community members and researchers find ways to address the complex biological and social factors that can lead to cancer disparities.”

Both research and community scholars will participate in lessons and lectures led by experts from the Metro-Milwaukee community and MCW to create a final project to present to other community members and researchers. “We just completed our first cohort of scholars, and it was rewarding for everyone,” said Dr. Williams. “We hope to bring in even more participants and grow the important connections that are needed between community members and researchers so that we can take measurable steps to improve the health of our community.”

The program begins in September 2022 and participants will meet on a bi-weekly basis through May 2023. The program requires participants to have access to consistent internet connection, access to a web-camera and microphone using a smart phone, tablet, or computer. Accommodations may be available if technology access is a barrier.

For more information or to apply, visit the CCSN website or contact Alexis Krause, Program Coordinator, akrause@mcw.edu.

The Medical College of Wisconsin is a member of the Community & Cancer Science Network, a statewide effort focused on addressing Wisconsin’s cancer disparities through integrating community and research perspectives.

The curriculum is fully funded by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment.

About the Medical College of Wisconsin

With a history dating back to 1893, the Medical College of Wisconsin is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and community engagement. More than 1,500 students are enrolled in MCW’s medical school and graduate school programs in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Central Wisconsin. MCW’s School of Pharmacy opened in 2017. A major national research center, MCW is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In the last ten years, faculty received more than $1.6 billion in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, MCW faculty direct or collaborate on more than 3,100 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,650 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 4 million patients annually.