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Reducing Cancer Mortalities In Communities Of Color

Healthcare provider helps cancer patient.
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Young female home healthcare professional helps an elderly woman get out of bed by using a walker. The woman is wearing a cap on her head. An iv drip is in the background.

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified health disparities in the U.S., from high blood pressure in under-resourced communities to sharp declines in breast and cervical cancer screenings among Hispanic, American Indian, Black, and Asian Pacific Islander women through the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

The deeply-entrenched inequities have continued to persist over the last two decades, with Black and Latino/Hispanic people persistently reporting the highest rates of poor or fair health, a new Yale study shows.

This hour on Where We Live, we look at cancer disparities among communities of color: Incidence and mortality rates, barriers to screening, and access to treatment.

We also discuss how hospitals and nonprofits are reducing the gap, and enabling access to affordable, farm-grown food in high-risk communities below the federal poverty line.


  • Shelly Hicks - Breast cancer survivor; Charter school advocate; Advocate, Sisters' Journey, a breast cancer support group in New Haven for Black women
  • Dr. Kristen Zarfos - Senior breast surgeon and Medical Director, Comprehensive Women's Health Center at St. Francis Hospital
  • Elizabeth Heubeck - Reporter at the Connecticut Health Investigative Team
  • Xóchitl Garcia - Assistant Program Manager, Farm-based Wellness Youth Program, Gather New Haven

Cat Pastor contributed to this show that originally aired

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Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.
Sujata Srinivasan is a Senior Producer for 'Where We Live,' the flagship news-based, call-in talk show from Connecticut Public Radio, featuring deep dives at the intersection of data-driven narrative and investigative long-form journalism. She's also an editor for the Connecticut Public newsroom.