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Dr. Pratt stands in front of a white background where lab instruments illustrated.

How do we improve equity in how we provide cancer care? There are many invisible barriers to healthcare in our diverse communities, so we are continually developing practices that are inclusive of the needs of different cultures, languages, and spiritual beliefs.

With a $2.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute, health equity researcher Rebekah Pratt, PhD., is working with women and organizations in the Somali immigrant community, who face an elevated risk for cervical cancer but have low rates of cervical cancer screening. Pratt, an assistant professor in the Medical School’s Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, is evaluating whether a self-sampling HPV test could increase testing rates among Somali American Women. The project is a partnership with the University of Washington and also serves Seattle’s sizable Somali immigrant population.

UMN Interim Vice President for Research Michael Oakes called the project “important and impactful” and indicative of how University researchers are thinking about health equity and other social justice concerns in line with MPact 2025, the University’s systemwide strategic plan.

Featured as part of the Vice President for Research's FY2021 annual report to the Board of Regents.