Fayanju Awarded ACS/ASBrS Health Policy And Management Scholarship

April 25, 2019
By: Julie Poucher Harbin, Writer, DCI

The American College of Surgeons and American Society of Breast Surgeons has awarded Duke Cancer Institute breast surgeon Oluwadamilola "Lola" Fayanju, MD, MA, MPHS, this year's Health Policy and Management Scholarship. The annual scholarship supports the recipient’s attendance and participation in the Executive Leadership Program in Health Policy and Management at Brandeis University. The course will be held June 2-8, 2019. 

"I hope to use this opportunity to advocate for the medically underserved," said Fayanju, the surgical lead for the Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) clinic at Duke, and chief of breast surgery and director of the Breast Clinic at the Durham VA Medical Center.

Fayanju has a research interest in biologically aggressive breast cancers such as inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), metaplastic breast cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, and lobular breast cancer, all of which, she said, “have poorer prognoses than other forms of the disease and, in some cases, are disproportionately found among women of color and also among women with lower socioeconomic status.” 

She has long been committed, in her research and clinical work, to educating and raising awareness about diversity, inclusion, bias and healthcare disparities. Fayanju has been recognized with two Conquer Cancer Merit Awards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). In 2017 Fayanju was awarded a Duke CTSA KL2 Career Development Award to support her research into disparities in breast cancer outcome and treatment.

In addition to her work at DCI and the Durham VAMC, Fayanju was recently named an associate director of Duke Forge, the university’s center for actionable health data science, where she will be helping promote research on disparities and value-based health care being conducted at Duke.

Fayanju joined the breast cancer surgery group at Duke Cancer Institute in August 2016 following a breast surgical oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She completed her residency in general surgery at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine in 2015 where she also received both her medical degree and a master of population health sciences.