More than 60 multidisciplinary stakeholders involved in clinical care, patient support services, community health centers and clinical health systems, as well as patients and patient advocacy organizations, gathered for a two-day conference called “Innovative Clinical Pathways in Lung Cancer Care for Vulnerable Populations” over the summer.
Organized by the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at BWH and led by Yolonda Colson, MD, PhD (BWH) and Christopher Lathan, MD, MS, MPH (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), the conference was funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as a joint initiative of BWH and DFCI.
By bringing together a multidisciplinary group, the conference aimed to identify factors that contribute to failures in care and health disparities along the full spectrum of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) care and develop solutions to address common failure points and barriers to care. Participants designed different clinical pathways to improve care among vulnerable populations, including low-income populations, racial and ethnic minority groups, patients with disabilities and women. The pathways will be tested and used to inform improvements in health care delivery, quality, and coordination and integration initiatives at the national level.
The steering committee is currently developing recommendations and pilot initiatives for streamlining the pathways for lung cancer care.