The Legorreta Cancer Center believes in the critical involvement of its communities in helping to shape and foster the mission of the Cancer Center. This office will fulfill our obligations to the community through engagement with the diverse communities in our catchment area in and around Providence, RI in order to address their needs in all areas of our work, from basic and clinical research to translational, prevention, and population science research undertakings. It is our objectives to ensure that our communities’ voices inform the high-impact science we conduct and to enable the dissemination of our findings in a bidirectional way. In addition, we will provide the conduit to share evidence-based interventions, consensus guidelines, and policy and public health recommendations through working with community leaders, engagement in social media channels, and harnessing the collaboration with others vested in community health and prevention, including the Lifespan Community Health Institute, the Care New England’s Community Action Board, and Brown University’s Swearer Center. We will accomplish these missions through collaboration, not duplication, and ensure that our activities are intentional and actionable.


To support the Legorreta Cancer Centers at Brown University, and Brown University's affiliated Health Systems Lifespan and Care New England to address the cancer burden in the community including to reduce cancer risk among medically underserved populations.

Past and current activities:

  • Gloria Gemma Flames of Hope Event for breast cancer survivors: table for cancer awareness and information
  • Puerto Rican Bay festival: Collaborative table alongside Lifespan Community Health Institute to raise awareness of cancer and cardiovascular health.
  • Lung cancer screening in the LatinX community: Led by Dr. Hina Khan (Winn CDA award winner)
  • Increasing engagement in clinical research in Black Communities: Led by Dr. Sheldon Holder (Winn CDA award winner)
  • Increasing access to breast and cervical cancer screening using social media among Asian communities: Led by Emily Hsu (Winn CDA winner)
  • Addressing disparities in cancer care among sexual and gender minority communities: led by Don S Dizon MD
  • Advocacy work in collaboration with ACSCAN-RI: Examples include:
    • Lawmakers Addressed Cost of Prescriptions Drugs for Cancer Patients and Others with Chronic Disease
      • On March 27, 2023, Rhode Island lawmakers have taken the first step towards ensuring cancer patients and others with chronic diseases are protected from excessive prescription drug costs.
    • Rhode Island Senate Votes to Remove Barriers to Biomarker Testing.
      • On May 19, 2022, the Rhode Island Senate passed legislation that would ensure biomarker testing is covered by more insurance plans, including Medicaid when patients need it.
  • Work in progress over the past year and a half to bring Multi-Cancer Early Detection (MCED) blood tests to underserved communities.
  • The Papitto Foundation Program is starting this summer with important outreach into the community.
  • LCC-COE Community Advisory Board: Members of our Community Advisory Board, including patients, families, and staff, share a common goal:
  • The dissemination of information and implementation of services that affect our patients and their families
  • To assist patients and their families in becoming informed advocates for their care
  • Providing a voice for patients and their families
  • Developing policies, programs, projects, and services within the patient care environment
  • Provide patients and their families with ongoing opportunities to share their voices, experiences, and perspectives
  • LCC-COE Community Advisory Board members include:
    • Don Dizon, MD
    • Carrie Bridges Feliz, MPH
    • Ryan Strik
    • Joseph Dziobek
    • Maria Gemma
    • Saul Kaplan, MD
    • Amy Nunn, ScD
    • Donna O'Brien
    • Pablo Rodriguez, MD
    • Sharon Rounds, MD
    • Roxanne Wood
    • Scout
    • Wafik El-Deiry, MD, PhD
  • Various through Brown that have been engaging with the community.
    • Personalized Medicine & New Approaches for Cancer Prevention & Treatment - December 14, 2022, link
    • Breast Cancer Research and Patient Advocacy - October 6, 2021, link
    • Structure Impacts: Cancer Health Disparities today. Dr. Robert Winn Invited Legorreta Cancer Center Speaker May 3, 2023, link
    • Looking Beyond the Next Step in Cancer Treatment. The Legorreta Cancer Center presents a conversation with lymphoma survivor Gil Rodgers about his experience in a clinical trial at the Lifespan Cancer Institute - May 11, 2022, link


Don S Dizon, MD

Professor of Medicine, Professor of Surgery
Director of the Pelvic Malignancies Program at Lifespan Cancer Institute
Head of Community Outreach and Engagement at Legorreta Cancer Center
Director of Medical Oncology at Rhode Island Hospital

Email: [email protected]

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