About COEE

A key part Duke Cancer Institute’s overall mission, as a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, is to reduce the burden of cancer and promote health equity, beginning with communities in DCI’s diverse catchment area.

Our Mission & Aims

To reduce the burden of cancer and promote health equity in our catchment area and beyond by harnessing the strengths of our communities, innovative science and transformative partnerships


Study nature, scope, severity and determinants of cancer disparities affecting patients in the DCI catchment

  • Examine key risk factors (molecular, social, epidemiologic, environmental, policy)
  • Make new discoveries in novel therapy
  • Determine why certain cancers affect some communities, population groups more


Build partnerships to develop culturally relevant interventions to reduce cancer disparities

  • Reduce known cancer risk factors
  • Increase screening and early detection
  • Remove access barriers to genetic/genomic testing and clinical trials
  • Improve access to primary care and post-treatment supportive care


Increase awareness through community outreach activities and education                                                  

  • Multi-directional education with community, scientists, and policy makers
  • Develop locally relevant solutions to challenges of health equity

DCI Catchment Area:

3 States, 105 Counties, 10 million lives

DCI reach spans counties in NC, SC and VA
Up to 85% of DCI patients come from catchment counties
0-60% of oncology patients
61-75% of oncology patients
75-85% of oncology patients
85-90% of oncology patients

DCI Catchment Area Demographics

DCI catchment area patient population are uniquely diverse. About 24% are Non-Hispanic Black and 8% are Hispanic. Within our catchment area, about 25% of families have an annual household income of less than $25,000, and 22% reside in rural areas

Continuum of Engagement Activities

At DCI, we engage in a continuum of engagement activities. We conduct extensive outreach to communities in our catchment area, including education, screening, and health fairs to reduce cancer risk factors and promote cancer screening, diagnosis and navigation to timely treatment. We also engage bi-directionally with community partners to co-develop strategies to reduce the burden of cancer in our catchment communities. We are committed to strengthening shared leadership models with community partners to create lasting and sustainable cancer prevention initiatives in our catchment areas

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