Drs. Vivian Bea, Onyinye Balogun, and Evelyn Taiwo share a hope for the future: for every patient to have equal access to the highest-quality care. The three physicians are passionate about their work at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where they have built a multidisciplinary program to provide personalized, high-quality care to all patients with breast cancer. Together, they’re working to expand access to the latest clinical trials; they’re proud that 40% of their program’s clinical trial participants are Black women, compared to single digits nationwide. (Fewer than 5% of the patients in trials for 24 of the 31 cancer drugs approved since 2015 were Black, according to a 2018 ProPublica analysis of data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.)
“I’m excited to be a part of something that I think is quite distinct from what you would see in the rest of the country,” says Dr. Balogun, radiation oncologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Drs. Bea, Balogun, and Taiwo sat down with Health Matters to discuss their work to reduce health disparities in Brooklyn and improve outcomes for every patient.