Office of Health Equity

Program Leadership

Nadine J. Barrett, PhD
Nadine J. Barrett, PhD
919.668.2935 Email
Kearston Ingraham, MPH
Patient Navigation Coordinator
Kearston Ingraham, MPH

Recipient Of The 2017 ACCC Innovator Award

Duke Cancer Institute is among 10 cancer centers named by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC)  to receive its 2017 Innovator Award. Duke Cancer Institute, through the Office of Health Equity (OHE), develped a five-step roadmap for conducting health assessments designed to reduce cancer disparities and improve population health through community partnerships. The program includes the development of an engaged and diverse community advisory council, robust and collaborative health assessments, programs and services, research priorities, aligned partnership programming and programmatic evaluations and outcome measures.

Cancer Care As It Should Be
At Duke Cancer Institute we engage with our patients and the community, while eliminating barriers to quality healthcare and research—critical elements to reducing cancer disparities. Duke Cancer Institute's Office of Health Equity has developed an outreach and research platform to link community members to screening and treatment services, while DCI faculty and staff are active in community outreach opportunities. We meet communities where they are and provide resources to promote optimal healthcare outcomes.

Patient Navigation

Duke Cancer Institute has officially adopted Patient Navigation (PN) as a system-wide program housed in the Office of Health Equity to provide education and resources to community members and patients who seek cancer screenings, diagnoses and treatment. Patient Navigations services include, but are not limited to:  

  • Educating community members on cancer risks and screening guidelines;
  • Assisting patients in obtaining financial help for their medical care;
  • Helping patients complete insurance paperwork;
  • Directing patients to healthcare services for further diagnosis and referral for Treatment Navigation, if diagnosed with cancer; and
  • Providing navigation guidance in and through the healthcare system by
    • keeping track of and helping patients get to their medical appointments and
    • talking to patients' medical teams.

Our patient navigators welcome the opportunity to connect health-related organizations with medically underserved populations to coordinate access to cancer screenings. We provide navigation to all, regardless of whether you have health insurance or not. We are here to address your healthcare needs.

We also educate healthcare system personnel as well as the community on structural, cultural, and healthcare system barriers that impact access to and utilization of cancer screening services and resources.

To learn more about our Patient Navigation program, please call 919.684.0409.

Learn about free prostate cancer and other health-related screening, to be offered at two locations in Durham on September 8 and 9, 2018.

Get Involved

Volunteer Opportunities and Internship Service Learning Opportunities

Use your professional skills and lend your talents to strengthen our community in countless ways. If you are interested in volunteering, please call 919.684.0409.

The Office of Health Equity provides internship service learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. The Office of Health Equity partners with local universities to provide:

  • Opportunities to engage in health awareness events in the community.
  • Develop a core of knowledge and related skills to prepare for professional work in public health, health disparities, and community engagement.
  • Transfer and apply the knowledge and theories gained in the classroom to an actual agency setting.
  • Opportunities to network with a broad range of community leaders, faith-based leaders, concerned residents, and community-based organizations.

This program may provide cash incentives provided by the student’s university/college or through OHE, if funds are available. For more information on internship opportunities, please call 919.684.0409.


NIH Collaborative Partnership Grant
The P20 Collaborative Partnership “North Carolina Center University–Duke Cancer Disparities Translational Research Program” provides educational/training opportunities for diverse, under-represented PhD students, postdoctoral fellows, and early stage investigators. Using multimodal training techniques including laboratory cancer disparities translational research, mentoring and career development, and exposure to clinical research operations and minority accrual in clinical research, participants have access to resources that will help them transition to the next phase of their academic or research goals.

Project PLACE (Population Level Approaches to Cancer Elimination)
Funded by The National Cancer Institute (NCI), Project PLACE is a multi-tiered population health assessment at the state, county, systems, and community levels designed to inform short and long term strategies to improve cancer outcomes in NC via population health assessments in key regions of our catchment area. The overarching goal of place is to strengthen DCI’s capacity to extend its current community engagement and collaborations infrastructure to include a robust data platform designed to inform a roadmap for strategic research, outreach, and interventions, and to engage in targeted efforts to increase clinical research participation throughout the catchment area. Salient to this venture is both understanding the needs in a given population and aligning the priorities of partnering organizations to build capacity through strategic collaborations to address cancer disparities and improve population health.

Just Ask: Minority Accrual Program
Duke Cancer Institute’s Just Ask Minority Accrual Program provides investigators and research teams with resources and strategies to raise community awareness and understanding of the benefits of clinical trials and to increase minority participation in cancer research. DCI’s Office of Health Equity meets with research teams to create tailored approaches to best meet their accrual needs. The goal is to ensure that every eligible patient has the opportunity to make an informed decision regarding research participation.