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DIA 2021 Global Annual Meeting

The Intersection of Health Equity and Personalized Medicine

Session Chair(s)

Sarah  Krug, MS

Sarah Krug, MS

  • Executive Director
  • CANCER101, United States
We have an imperative to eradicate the social injustices resulting in barriers to health equity, which is one of our basic human rights. Disparities in healthcare are among the most significant forms of inequality that have profound effects on the health outcomes of vulnerable populations. Aside from the systemic changes that need to occur at the point of care, it’s important that we diversify patient engagement efforts across healthcare to ensure that modern advances in science can be applied to all populations equally. A revolutionary approach to patient care, precision medicine is a shift from the traditional practices of reactive medicine to a science that is more proactive and tailored to a patient’s unique genetic, behavioral and environmental profile. However, a future where precision medicine benefits everyone requires that we address health disparities, which encompasses a variation in health outcomes and access to care. Existing health disparities can be exacerbated if the implementation of personalized medicine does not intentionally focus on the underrepresentation of diverse populations and health equity. This session will put a spotlight on the barriers, lessons learned and potential strategies to ensure that all populations have equal access to personalized medicine and its potential to transform healthcare. Engaging underrepresented and underserved populations in the recent and emerging dimensions of personalized healthcare (e.g., diagnostic tests, data, innovative trial designs), presents a new opportunity to ensure the latest innovations reach all patients; approaches and key questions to consider will be discussed. This session will present the following as critical components to alleviate health inequities in the field of personalized medicine: the role of genomic literacy and education; defining community engagement; building trust; and approaches to research and service design.
Learning Objective : Describe the need to balance the potential of personalized medicine to improve health outcomes with the peril that the benefits may not be equitable across populations; Illustrate lessons learned in addressing health equity through the integration of the voice of the patient and patient engagement efforts; Analyze barriers and opportunities to alleviate health inequities in the field of personalized medicine.


Christopher P Boone, PhD, MHA


Christopher P Boone, PhD, MHA

  • Vice President, Global Head, Health Economics and Outcomes Research
  • AbbVie, United States
Faswilla  Sampson, MS


Faswilla Sampson, MS

  • Vice President
  • Personalized Medicine Coalition, United States
Jennifer  Mills, PhD, MPH


Jennifer Mills, PhD, MPH

  • Vice President, Patient and Professional Partnerships
  • Foundation Medicine, Inc., United States