Cancer Health Disparities Institute

Welcome to the fight against Cancer Disparities!

The Cancer Health Disparities Institute (CHDI) at The University of Arizona Cancer Center is working as a collaborative umbrella uniting all Center efforts to address three areas of cancer disparities: research, training and community outreach. 

The National Cancer Institute defines "cancer health disparities" as "differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of cancer and related adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States."

Access to cancer treatment and prevention programs is not equal for everyone in Arizona. Some examples of the disparities in care are:

  • Lack of education in cancer prevention, risk factors and treatment
  • Unequal access to cancer care
  • Financial affordability

For example, CHDI assists researchers in learning how to evaluate the needs of the communities in which they want to work. It also works with local clinics, hospitals and other health organization to help underserved communities raise awareness of cancer prevention strategies and access to cancer care. By working together to lower cancer incidence and death rates, physicians and scientists at the Cancer Health Disparities Institute and the University of Arizona Cancer Center will ultimately save lives that would otherwise be lost to cancer.

Welcome CHDI Assistant Director Francine C. Gachupin, PhD!

Dr. Gachupin is a tribal member of the Pueblo of Jemez in New Mexico. She received her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of New Mexico and her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Washington. She studies primarily chronic diseases and related behavioral risk factors. Much of her training has been at the National Institutes of Health and most of her work has occurred at four separate tribal based epidemiology centers - Portland Area, Aberdeen Area, Albuquerque Area and Navajo Area. She has worked with two tribal comprehensive cancer control programs in the northern plains and the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to her work with the CHDI, Dr. Gachupin is an Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine; and the Assistant Director of the Native American Research and Training Center at the University of Arizona.

Thank you for visiting our page and assisting us in the fight against cancer disparities!

Should you have questions or interest in donating to CHDI toward the mission of combating cancer health disparities, please e-mail Debbie Rodriguez, Administrative Associate for The University of Arizona Cancer Center Health Disparities Institute at rodrigud@email.arizona.edu.