The Chicago Cancer Health Equity Collaborative (ChicagoCHEC) is a National Cancer Institute U54 comprehensive cancer partnership between the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Northeastern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Our mission is to advance cancer health equity through meaningful scientific discovery, education, training, and community engagement. ChicagoCHEC will: (1) Establish transdisciplinary cancer disparities research programs in behavioral and social science, biomedical, and translational science; (2) Mobilize researchers, educators, community leaders, students, organizations, and patients in innovative cancer education and community engagement programs to improve health outcomes among Chicago’s low-income, minority, and disability communities; (3) Provide training, mentoring, and learning opportunities to recruit and retain minority and underrepresented students in health and cancer research careers; and (4) Support the career development and advancement of minority and underrepresented faculty and scientists.
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have the potential to improve educational access for non-traditional students from underrepresented populations. This Northwestern University course, to be delivered on the Coursera platform in Spring 2015, will help students translate their lived experiences into marketable health care career skills while offering a menu of resources to build their skills in resume writing, job search, interviewing, networking, and professional communications. This menu is not often presented to students from low-income and nontraditional backgrounds, but we seek to change the existing architecture of who can access these essential skills for moving upward in higher education and in seeking employment. By the end of the course, thousands of students will have the roadmap as well as the skills to pursue the next step toward a healthcare career. Although this course is geared toward health professions, the skills taught can be applied to any number of STEM career pathways.
The major goals of the WRHR program are to develop the careers of physician scientists in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The supervised research training will assist junior faculty in their transition into productive, physician scientists in areas related to obstetrics and gynecology and its subspecialties. Funding support is provided by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
NU NEIGHBORS is a partnership between Northwestern University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center and Northeastern Illinois University (the only four-year public institution in the Midwest designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution). In efforts to address cancer disparities that exist throughout Chicago, the partnership: (1) facilitates opportunities for skills training, education, and mentorship amongst faculty and students; (2) builds capacity for inter-institutional cancer disparities research projects; and (3) bolsters the pipeline of underrepresented students interested in pursuing careers in health fields. The NU-NEIGHBORS partnership leverages the strengths and cancer expertise of the private research-intensive institution (RHLCCC-NU) with those of the public teaching-intensive institution (NEIU). The collaboration currently funds two inter-institutional research pilot projects and offers an 8-week long research-intensive summer program for NEIU students. Funding support is provided by the National Cancer Institute.