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Huntsman Cancer Institute’s vision is to deliver a cancer-free frontier. To realize this vision, we continually use evidence-based assessments to measure the impact of our programs through a lens of health-equity, diversity, and inclusion.

We are committed to advancing the standard of cancer care for all communities.

Our National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center designation means we meet the highest federal standards and signifies our commitment to advancing cancer research to reduce the cancer burden. As the Comprehensive Cancer Center for the Mountain West, Huntsman Cancer Institute has become a destination cancer center for all of Utah and the broader region. We achieve this by continuously improving cancer care standards, enhancing access to cancer prevention and screening programs, and training the next generation of the cancer workforce.

Key Areas of Focus

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Office is integral to our guiding principle to put the patient and community first as we strive to reduce cancer burden in our state and region. The EDI office focuses on various key areas:

Establishing strategies and priorities

Establishing strategies and priorities to improve access for patients with cancer across all communities to our programs, including research, patient care, faculty and staff training, and engagement with the broader community in professional workforce development initiatives.

Promoting equity

Promoting equity across all aspects of cancer research, care, hiring, training, and more.

Ensuring discoveries reach all communities

Ensuring our cancer science discoveries reach all communities, with a special focus on programs that address the disparities of the people in the area we serve—Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming, including rural and frontier populations. These programs address distance as a major disparity in access to cancer screening, care, and other essential services. We are committed to meeting federal requirements that mandate access for rural and frontier populations, older adults, and children. The office’s scope goes beyond gender and race or ethnicity, embracing inclusion broadly for all members of the population.

Evaluating research program participation

Evaluating the diversity and inclusivity of those taking part in our region’s largest clinical cancer research program operated by Huntsman Cancer Institute, organized directly under the infrastructure of our Cancer Center Support Grant. This grant requires us to ensure representation across gender, racial and ethnic diversity, rural and frontier status, and age groups. These are important metrics to evaluate whether people in the Mountain West have access to our best care.

More than 300 cutting-edge clinical trials are currently available, with many that are the first or only in the region. Because there are so many new cancer drugs, clinical trials are the best possible care that any person diagnosed with cancer can receive. We are dedicated to ensuring the people we serve have access to these options—particularly when they must overcome burdens like travel and time away from work and family to access them.

Contributing to scientific and medical advancement

Contributing to a range of activities designed to advance scientific and medical insights that will improve our research and clinical programs. These efforts are organized around understanding and serving diverse communities across the Mountain West:

EDI Lecture Series

Educational lecture series on EDI issues in health care. For example, best practices for reaching out to Spanish-speaking populations or considerations in providing cancer care to individuals with disabilities or New American communities. These lectures facilitate connections and offer resources for Huntsman Cancer Institute medical providers and research faculty to provide compassionate cancer care to all communities we serve.

PathMaker Program

Unique nationally-recognized and federally-funded PathMaker training program designed to introduce junior high, high school, and early college students to careers in medicine. These programs are broad and provide scientific training opportunities and laboratory experiences for students and secondary science teachers in Utah. For example, about 70% of participants in the program are from communities outside of Salt Lake City, including rural and frontier areas.


Partnerships with communities and organizations across the state of Utah to reach all groups, including the Association for Utah Community Health Centers, the HPV Vaccination Coalition, and genetic counselors across the region. 

Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Team

Kolawole Okuyemi, MD, MPH

Executive Director
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Department of Family and Preventive Medicine

Anna Marsden, MBA, BS

Senior Program Manager
PathMaker Program
Office of Cancer Training and Career Enhancement

Katty Del Pilar Youd, MA, BA

Program Manager
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Andrew Langi, MPH, MHA, BS

Project Administrator
Clinical Trials

Research Manager
Spencer F. Eccles School of Medicine

Strategic Priorities

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s 2021-2025 Office of EDI strategy will align with the University of Utah’s EDI 4-Pillar Strategic Plan to develop language, values, and practices that will continue our work towards shared equity leadership.

Circle split into four parts with the words Health Equity, Climate, Engagement, and Belonging; around the circle is a ring of arrows reading Create and Implement, Continually Elevate, and Examine and Identify

Land Acknowledgement

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah rests on Indigenous land that reflects the rich history of our state and region. We are committed to honoring, respecting, and protecting the story and the People of this sacred place.

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