Kate Hitchcock, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology in the University of Florida College of Medicine, has been appointed vice chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee of NRG Oncology, a nonprofit research organization.
The committee works to develop and implement programs and policy to foster DEI initiatives within NRG that impact its committees and membership. The committee regularly monitors and provides metrics regarding the organization and reports findings to the Board of Directors.
“I am so grateful to have this opportunity to work toward appropriate representation in the future of oncology,” Hitchcock said. “Both our investigators and our patients should look like our country in all its beautiful, strong diversity. It will be my pleasure to help get us there.”
NRG Oncology is supported primarily through grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and is one of five research groups in the NCI’s National Clinical Trials Network. The organization seeks to improve the lives of patients with cancer by conducting multi-institutional clinical and translational research. It focuses on research that emphasizes gender-specific malignancies including gynecologic, breast and prostate cancers and on localized or locally advanced cancers of all types. Its mission is to broadly disseminate study results to inform clinical decision-making and health care policy.
“We are proud of Dr. Hitchcock’s appointment, demonstrating the UF Health Cancer Center’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Luisel Ricks-Santi, Ph.D., associate director for DEI at the UF Health Cancer Center and associate professor in the department of pharmacotherapy & translational research in the UF College of Pharmacy. “Her engagement in the NRG Oncology DEI Committee will help align our efforts with national cancer cooperative groups and contribute to diversifying the cancer research workforce, as well as improving the engagement of underrepresented minoritized populations in clinical trials.”
Earlier this year, Hitchcock was also appointed to a National Clinical Trials Network committee tasked with improving DEI efforts for national leaders in oncology research.