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Accelerators, an innovation in trans-disciplinary team science, are a new model to spark ideas and approaches to redress disparities. We describe the Cancer Care Accelerator, a cross-sector collaboration comprising cancer advocates, patients, clinicians, researchers, public health leaders and funders charged to reduce disparities and the cancer burden in Harlem. We describe the process and early initiatives of this Accelerator which began its focus on key risk factors for cancers with undue burden in Harlem, namely, access and insurance. First, the group helped design a project connecting patients with social distress to a community organization that can address social needs. Plans to expand research and educational in-reach and outreach for cancers that are highly prevalent with disparate outcomes are underway. Early projects focus on discrete achievable outcomes of treatment, screening and education. Subsequent works will utilize community-based cancer needs assessment findings to stimulate new projects. The Accelerator may serve as a model to aid with priority setting, idea generation and implementation for endeavors addressing population-level cancer disparities.
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