Mr. Nashon Hornsby, Assistant Commissioner at the New Jersey Department of Health
Mr. Nashon Hornsby of the New Jersey Department of Health discussed how the Black community has a longstanding mistrust of health systems and public health measures. The healthcare industry has a track record of treating Black patients poorly including a lack of medical care access and a lack of consent for experimentation.
However, Mr. Hornsby emphasized how PHEN is uniquely positioned to bring the message outlining the importance of colorectal cancer screenings for Black men. Further, he detailed the importance of having trusted voices spotlighting prevention and screening in safe and comfortable settings, such as churches.
Ms. Angela Riemer, Vice President of Global Policy and Public Affairs, Oncology at Pfizer
Ms. Angela Riemer outlined how Pfizer has been around for 170 years and has played a role in addressing prostate cancer in the oncology space. Pfizer recently partnered with PHEN to host a town hall meeting broadcast from NYC. Pfizer has also provided a health awareness program to their staff in Rocky Mount, NC, which has a population consisting of 70% African Americans. Furthermore, Pfizer is also partnering with the White House to assist with the Cancer Moonshot Initiative.
Dr. Angelo Moore, Director of the Office of Health Equity (OHE) at Duke Cancer Institute
Dr. Angelo Moore from the Duke Cancer Institute discussed the importance of community and having everybody involved when managing public health. He explained that the Duke Cancer Institute provides a men’s health screening event every year and works with local churches to target men and women as caregivers. At their last event, as many as 200 men underwent PSA screenings. If any men receive abnormal findings after a PSA test, his organization connects these men with the necessary clinical care. Dr. Moore also provides men with PHEN pamphlets and resources at these events.
Dr. Eric Wallen, Urology Program Director and Professor in the UNC Department of Urology at the University of North Carolina
Dr. Eric Wallen spoke on the tragedy of seeing patients too late to receive an early prostate cancer diagnosis due to problems accessing care. He is looking to change that aspect of medical care, which is especially common among Black men. He finds that many African American men fear getting cancer screenings due to doctors not looking like them. As such, Dr. Wallen works to recruit Black medical students to go into the community and provide much-needed education. He promises to keep helping underserved communities get the care they need.