City of Hope Announces “Closing the Care Gap — 2022 California Coalition for Cancer Equity (C3E) Health Justice Summit”

Zen Vuong
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Andy Gelb
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Julia Rossen
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June 20 to 22 at the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live

LOS ANGELES  — City of Hope, one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States and a leading research center for diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses, announced today that its Music, Film and Entertainment Industry group has teamed up with its Division of Health Equities Founding Director Rick Kittles, Ph.D., to present Closing the Care Gap — 2022 California Coalition for Cancer Equity (C3E) Health Justice Summit. This landmark two-day event, taking place June 20 to 22 at the GRAMMY Museum at L.A Live, aims to educate, support and explore areas where each of us can contribute toward the goal of achieving health equity. The symposium, made possible with sponsorship support from Bristol Myers Squibb, Genentech and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, will cultivate key interactions between health care experts, researchers, community partners and legislators, along with entertainment industry artists and professionals dedicated to addressing barriers and eliminating disparities unique to California. Event proceedings will be presented to an intimate live audience and will also be streamed online.

Closing the Care Gap will underscore City of Hope’s commitment to democratizing cancer care. The summit will be preceded by a VIP Reception presented in partnership with Founder and CEO at Culture Collective, Jonathan Azu, EVP of Republic Records, Danielle Price, CEO of 50/50 Music Group Management and Co-Founder/Co-Chair, Black Music Action Coalition, Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, and GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter, actress and mental health advocate Michelle Williams. The reception will feature a special performance by GRAMMY Award-nominated singer-songwriter Cory Henry with drummer TaRon Lockett. Summit panelists include Joseph Alvarnas, M.D., Kimlin Tam Ashing, Ph.D., Otis W. Brawley, M.D., M.A.C.P., Melissa Davis, Ph.D., Loretta Erhunmwunsee, M.D., Laura Fejerman, Ph.D., M.S., Sarah Gehlert, Ph.D., Folasade May, M.D., Ph.D., M.Phil., Chanita Hughes-Halbert, Ph.D., Suzet McKinney, Ph.D., M.P.H., Sapna McManus, M.D., M.H.A., Brian Rivers, Ph.D., M.P.H., Karriem Watson, D.H.S., M.S., M.P.H., Karen M. Winkfield, M.D., Ph.D., and Clayton Yates, Ph.D.

“The historic dearth of attention on the health of poor communities of color in this country has led to systematic disparities in health and health outcomes, increased financial insecurity and toxicity, and a general lack of trust for biomedical research and the health care community,” remarked Kittles. “Much of the disparities in health that we see can be eliminated if we end racism, remove structural barriers to care and stop implicit bias in the medical field. Removing these barriers and providing focused prevention strategies could positively change the landscape of health in this country.” 

Azu added, “There is nothing I am more passionate about than breaking the barriers that prevent those who look like me from gaining access to screenings and treatment that could save their lives. I am honored to join City of Hope in this fight.”

While exciting scientific advances are transforming cancer care, too many communities are being left behind. Diverse communities face unique obstacles to the pursuit of advanced cancer care, and rates of death and disease are disproportionately higher among communities of color. City of Hope’s vision for democratizing cancer care includes a keen focus on health equity. We are deepening our engagement in underserved communities, expanding access to genetic testing and increasing diversity in clinical trials. Philanthropic partners can help City of Hope provide innovative, compassionate care to more people and contribute to City of Hope’s goal of democratizing cancer care to extend world-class care to more patients, families and communities regardless of their racial, ethnic or socioeconomic status. 


Tuesday, June 21: California Coalition for Cancer Equity (C3E) Symposium
City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer center, and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center will partner to bring scientific sessions and discussions on health equity issues led by some of the most prominent physicians, researchers and health care experts.

Wednesday, June 22 — 9 a.m. PDT/Noon EDT: Closing the Care Gap
The entertainment industry will host national experts in a series of discussions on how we leverage public private partnerships in addressing the root causes of health inequity through the lens of "health justice."

Future Event Sponsorship Inquiries: [email protected] 

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About City of Hope’s Music, Film and Entertainment Industry Group
Inspired by the guiding humanitarian principles of City of Hope and motivated by the institution's commitment to innovative medical research and compassionate patient care, a group of key industry executives founded the nonprofit’s Music, Film and Entertainment Industry group in 1973.

In its 47-year history, the group has raised more than $130 million for City of Hope and has honored some of the most important figures in the music and entertainment industry. The dedication and determination of this group has earned it a revered place within a nationwide network of volunteer groups and chapters who give their time to support City of Hope’s research, treatment and educational programs.

About City of Hope
City of Hope's mission is to deliver the cures of tomorrow to the people who need them today. Founded in 1913, City of Hope has grown into one the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the U.S. and one of the leading research centers for diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses. As an independent, National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, City of Hope brings a uniquely integrated model to patients spanning cancer care, research and development, academics and training, and innovation initiatives. Research and technology developed at City of Hope has been the basis for numerous breakthrough cancer medicines, as well as human synthetic insulin and monoclonal antibodies. A leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy, such as CAR T cell therapy, City of Hope’s personalized treatment protocols help advance cancer care throughout the world.

With a goal of expanding access to the latest discoveries and leading-edge care to more patients, families and communities, City of Hope’s growing national system includes its main Los Angeles campus, a network of clinical care locations across Southern California, a new cancer center in Orange County, California, scheduled to open in 2022, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America. City of Hope’s affiliated family of organizations includes Translational Genomics Research Institute and AccessHopeTM. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About City of Hope’s Division of Health Equities
The Division of Health Equities has a strong commitment to eliminating disparities in health. To achieve health equity requires holistically addressing its determinants — social, biological, cultural, economic, geographic, political and physical environmental conditions. The division is a home for researchers, community health educators and staff who facilitate the translation of scientific knowledge into community practice to reduce and eliminate inequities in cancer outcomes.

Under the direction of Rick Kittles, Ph.D., we provide special attention to the needs of those at greatest risk of poor health. Our goal is to ensure that all people have opportunities to attain their full health potential that enable them to lead optimal lives.