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Danville, CA, June 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Disruptors and innovators in oncology and patient advocacy will gather on Tuesday June 15 from 1 – 3p PDT / 4 – 6p EDT to discuss some of the biggest problems in cancer care leading to inequities, disparities, and barriers to care.

The Disrupting the System IV virtual summit, hosted by Lazarex Cancer Foundation and sponsored by Medidata, will be broadcast live from Washington, DC. More information on the panels, speakers and to register to attend for free: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/disrupting-the-system-iv-tickets-153673177611

Panelists and speakers will take on the issues of cancer health disparities, clinical trial participation, patient access and improving cancer health outcomes. They will also explore solutions to fixing these deep-rooted problems. 


Issues include:

  • Building Trust in Healthcare – exploring successes and solutions including a community-based program that seeks to break down cultural barriers and build bridges to treatment.
  • The Dirty Little Secret in Healthcare – lifting the veil on ‘payer mix’: what it is, how it leads to greater health disparities and why talking about it is an important first step.
  • Truth in Numbers examines how race and ethnicity classification in health care settings are a barrier to equitable healthcare and asks why the FDA does not mandate diversity in clinical trials.

Lazarex Disruptor Awards will be presented to:

  • Dr. Loretta Jemmott, PhD, MSN, RN, FAAN VP, Health & Health Equity, Drexel University
  • Craig Melvin, News Anchor, TODAY; Co-Host, 3rd Hour TODAY; Anchor, MSNBC’s Craig Melvin Reports

“When people think about inequities in healthcare, they often think about lack of insurance or a doctor. But there’s an additional barrier that comes when they do seek out help and receive less than the gold standard of care based on the color of their skin. In some cases, this leads to fear and distrust of the system and people are dying too. Because it’s ingrained into the system there’s no accountability. That’s what we are seeking to change,” explains Marya Shegog, PhD, MPH, the Health Equity and Diversity Coordinator at Lazarex Cancer Foundation.


About Lazarex Cancer Foundation:

The unique mission of Lazarex is to improve the outcome of cancer care—giving hope, dignity, and life to advanced stage cancer patients and the medically underserved by helping with costs for FDA clinical trial participation, identification of clinical trial options, community outreach and engagement. In 15 years Lazarex has assisted over 6,000 patients. Learn more at www.Lazarex.org. Follow us @LazarexCF. 

About Medidata:


Medidata is leading the digital transformation of life sciences, creating hope for millions of patients. Medidata helps generate the evidence and insights to help pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostics companies, and academic researchers accelerate value, minimize risk, and optimize outcomes. More than one million registered users across 1,700+ customers and partners access the world’s most-used platform for clinical development, commercial, and real-world data.

Medidata, a Dassault Systèmes company, is headquartered in New York City and has offices around the world to meet the needs of its customers. Discover more at www.medidata.com and follow us @Medidata.

Interviews available with two of the event moderators:


Dana Dornsife is the CEO and Founder of Lazarex Cancer Foundation.

Dana Dornsife founded Lazarex Cancer Foundation, a nationwide non-profit organization in 2006 when she realized how many patients, including her late brother-in-law, needed financial assistance for the costs that come with FDA clinical trial participation. The unique mission of Lazarex is to improve the outcome of cancer care, giving hope, dignity and life to advanced stage cancer patients and the medically underserved by providing assistance with costs for FDA clinical trial participation, identification of clinical trial options, community outreach and engagement. It is now the only national non-profit in the country that provides reimbursement for travel costs associated with participating in the research. Lazarex Cancer Foundation has helped more than 6,000 patients since its inception.

Marya L. Shegog, PhD, MPH, Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Health Equity and Diversity Coordinator


Dr. Marya Shegog is dedicated to addressing health disparities to achieve health equity for everyone. After serving on the Lazarex Board of Directors for over 6 years, she now brings her skills and knowledge to Lazarex Cancer Foundation as the Health Equity and Diversity Coordinator to continue to aggressively integrate and diversify the story of Cancer. She is a community activist that believes that through collective action, partnership and education across all sectors, health disparities will be eliminated.

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