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Wilmot Cancer Institute / Wilmot Community Engagement / Who We Are / Message from the Associate Director


A Message from the Associate Director


Ana Paula Cupertino, Ph.D.

The Wilmot Cancer Institute recognizes that disease pattern, clinical presentation, and therapeutic response can vary dramatically based on a number of factors including race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender identity. We believe it is time to say enough is enough, and to go beyond observations and reports by significantly increasing our actions.

The Wilmot Office of Community Outreach & Engagement (COE), aims to reduce the burden of cancer and eliminate cancer disparities through robust, action-oriented collaborations with diverse communities across Wilmot’s 27-county catchment area. The Office of COE was established to ensure that Wilmot’s scientific, clinical, education, training, and outreach activities reflect the priorities of its catchment area and the voices of its diverse communities.

The COE leadership includes Drs. Charles Kamen and Francisco Cartujano as Assistant Directors. Dr. Kamen is responsible for monitoring the epidemiology of cancer types, risk factors, and disparities in the catchment area. Dr. Cartujano is responsible for stimulating, developing, and implementing research on cancer disparities following community-based participatory research principles.

The Office of COE works alongside an active Cancer Community Action Council (CCAC), co-chaired by Karen Hermance and Jeffrey Freeman, MBA. The CCAC is empowered to achieve Wilmot’s mission to inform research priorities and develop opportunities to address cancer disparities. We are thrilled to have a CCAC that consists of 24 members, with membership that spans departments of health, health care systems, school districts, non-profit organizations, advocacy groups, specific communities, and faith-based organizations in the catchment area.

We also provide technical assistance and services for Wilmot members and research programs who wish to include community engagement in research. Ultimately, our goal is to enhance the capabilities of our investigators to conduct community-based participatory research to address cancer disparities.  

As you will see in this website, COE has expanded its outreach in the community and has implemented comprehensive research and service programs. COE is paving the way for much more to come.

Ana Paula Cupertino, Ph.D.

Associate Director
Office of Community Outreach & Engagement
Wilmot Cancer Institute

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