Center for Population Health and Health Disparities

Also known as

CPHHD, or Breast Cancer Care in Chicago


This center is one of five that were originally funded in whole or in part by the National Cancer Institute in 2003. With this renewing grant, the center aims to address questions that have emerged as central issues in understanding the disparity between white women and women of color in the stage at which breast cancer is diagnosed, based on our work to date:

  • How can the apparent disparities in early detection, diagnosis and treatment be addressed in safety-net hospitals?
  • How can community health clinics more effectively identify and monitor patients at risk for aggressive breast cancer? Related to that question, how can patients at elevated risk be engaged to participate in a tailored screening and monitoring program?
  • How do biological factors, specifically DNA methylation, promote aggressive breast cancer disproportionately among women of color?

Three projects and four cores comprise this Center. The cores are: Administration (led by Dr. Richard Warnecke and Dr. Elizabeth Calhoun); Policy and Dissemination (Dr. Carol Ferrans and Marilyn Willis, RN, MS); Data Management and Evaluation (Dr. Timothy Johnson); Training and Career Development (Dr. Faith Davis). The center supports three research projects:

The work of this center is supported further with these supplemental studies:

Our continuing long-range vision is to test and establish interventions that address determinants of population health disparities by approaching them with a multilevel and multidisciplinary population health strategy. To accomplish this we will:

  • Conduct research that impacts the policies that govern access to mammography and management of breast cancer and ensures equal access to the standard of breast cancer care regardless of where it is delivered and who requests it
  • Enable women who are poor and underserved to recognize the need to access the care in ways that ensure the best outcomes
  • Train young scholars in health disparities research incorporating a transdisciplinary research perspective

Research Product(s)

Beating Breast Cancer, an award-winning film created by the Center for Population Health and Health Disparities with Juneteenth Productions to promote early breast cancer detection among African American women

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About this grant

This is a center grant, which supports three projects and four cores. This five-year grant continues the work of the original Center for Population Health and Health Disparities (CPHHD). The contact principal investigator is Dr. Richard Warnecke, who can be reached at

Related publications

See publications supported by this grant on a PubMed list specific to this work. 

Benevolenskaya EV, Islam AB, Ahsan H, Kibriya MG, Jasmine F, Wolff B, Al-Alem U, Wiley E, Kajdacsy-Balla A, Macias V, Rauscher GH. DNA methylation and hormone receptor status in breast cancer. Clin Epigenetics. 2016 Feb 16;8:17. [See abstract.]

Molina Y, Kim S, Berrios N, Calhoun EA. Medical mistrust and patient satisfaction with mammography: the mediating effects of perceived self-efficacy among navigated African American women. Health Expect. 2015 Dec;18(6):2941-50. [See abstract.]

Rauscher GH, Kresovich JK, Poulin M, Yan L, Macias V, Mahmoud AM, Al-Alem U, Kajdacsy-Balla A, Wiley EL, Tonetti D, Ehrlich M. Exploring DNA methylation changes in promoter, intragenic, and intergenic regions as early and late events in breast cancer formation.BMC Cancer. 2015 Oct 29;15:816. [See abstract.]

Mortel M, Rauscher GH, Murphy AM, Hoskins K, Warnecke RB. Racial and Ethnic Disparity in Symptomatic Breast Cancer Awareness despite a Recent Screen: The Role of Tumor Biology and Mammography Facility Characteristics. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Oct;24(10):1599-606. [See abstract.]

Anderson EE, Tejeda S, Childers K, Stolley MR, Warnecke RB, Hoskins KF. Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Among Low-Income Women of Color in Primary Care: A Pilot Study. J Oncol Pract. 2015 Jul;11(4):e460-7. [See abstract.]

Al-Alem U, Rauscher G, Shah E, Batai K, Mahmoud A, Beisner E, Silva A, Peterson C, Kittles R. Association of genetic ancestry with breast cancer in ethnically diverse women from Chicago. PLoS One. 2014 Nov 25;9(11):e112916. [See abstract.]

Joslin CE, Brewer KC, Davis FG, Hoskins K, Peterson CE, Pauls HA. The effect of neighborhood-level socioeconomic status on racial differences in ovarian cancer treatment in a population-based analysis in Chicago. Gynecol Oncol. 2014 Nov;135(2):285-91. [See abstract.]

Dookeran KA, Silva A, Warnecke RB, Rauscher GH. Race/ethnicity and disparities in mastectomy practice in the Breast Cancer Care in Chicago study. Ann Surg Oncol. 2015 Jan;22(1):66-74. [See abstract.]

Silva A, Rauscher GH, Ferrans CE, Hoskins K, Rao R. Assessing the quality of race/ethnicity, tumor, and breast cancer treatment information in a non-SEER state registry. J Registry Manag. 2014 Spring;41(1):24-30. [See abstract.]

Silva A, Rauscher GH, Hoskins K, Rao R, Ferrans CE. Assessing racial/ethnic disparities in chemotherapy treatment among breast cancer patients in context of changing treatment guidelines. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Dec;142(3):667-72. [See abstract.]

Zenk SN, Powell LM, Odoms-Young AM, Krauss R, Fitzgibbon ML, Block D, Campbell RT. Impact of the revised Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food package policy on fruit and vegetable prices. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Oct 30. [See abstract.]

Rauscher GH, Conant EF, Khan JA, Berbaum ML. Mammogram image quality as a potential contributor to disparities in breast cancer stage at diagnosis: an observational study. BMC Cancer. 2013 Apr 26;13:208. [See abstract.]

Rauscher GH, Khan JA, Berbaum ML, Conant EF. Potentially missed detection with screening mammography: does the quality of radiologist's interpretation vary by patient socioeconomic advantage/disadvantage? Ann Epidemiol. 2013 Apr;23(4):210-4. [See abstract.]

Tejeda S, Darnell JS, Cho YI, Stolley MR, Markossian TW, Calhoun EA. Patient barriers to follow-up care for breast and cervical cancer abnormalities. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013;22(6):507-517. [See abstract.]

Tussing-Humphreys LM, Fitzgibbon ML, Kong A, Odoms-Young A. Weight loss maintenance in African American women: a systematic review of the behavioral lifestyle intervention literature. J Obes. 2013;2013:437369. [See abstract.]

Anderson EE, Hoskins K. Individual breast cancer risk assessment in underserved populations: integrating empirical bioethics and health disparities research. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2012 Nov;23(4 Suppl):34-46. [See abstract.]

Rauscher GH, Allgood KL, Whitman S, Conant E. Unequal distribution of screening mammography services by race/ethnicity and health insurance. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Feb;21(2):154-60. [See abstract.]

Rauscher GH, Allgood KL, Whitman S, Conant E. Disparities in screening mammography services by race/ethnicity and health insurance. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2012 Feb;21(2):154-60.