MENLO PARK, CA, February 16, 2021: Equify Health announces today that it was awarded a $750,000 grant from Genentech, in collaboration with Emory University School of Medicine, to develop a groundbreaking platform to reduce cancer health disparities.
The grant will fund equity-centered research with Black patients and oncology providers. The Emory Winship Cancer Center will also serve as a pilot site for the development and implementation of Equify Health’s equity awareness training curriculum.
“I’m honored to be a recipient of Genentech’s Health Equity Innovation Award with Emory School of Medicine,” says Sylvie Leotin, the Founder and CEO of Equify Health. “This award is the culmination of decades of work, the courage to follow an unbeaten path, and perseverance. I am extremely grateful for Genentech’s support and commitment to advancing health equity and look forward to a fruitful collaboration.”
A cancer survivor, polymath, and tech innovator, Sylvie Leotin started Equify Health to turn her cancer experience into an engine for positive change. She realized that her multicultural background and expertise in design and innovation placed her in a unique position to develop new solutions to an old vexing problem. “Blacks have had the highest mortality rates across all major illnesses for more than four decades”, she says. “We can’t use the same tools and expect different results. The healthcare industry is ripe for new thinking and collaborations with creatives and innovators who think differently.”
Equify Health is committed to elevating the experience and status of patients of color in healthcare and medical research. “Health disparities’ efforts have often faltered due to an incomplete, and often flawed, understanding of the needs of Black and Brown patients,” remarks Sylvie Leotin. “To paraphrase philosopher Dogen, it would be like looking at the sky through a straw and thinking we see the whole sky.”
Equify Health is building innovative tools to expand providers’ understanding of the unseen needs of underserved patients. “Empowering providers to empathize with and understand the experience of racially discordant patients is a necessary building block to achieve an equitable health future,” notes Sylvie Leotin.
Equify Health sought out Emory School of Medicine for its prime location in Atlanta, an epicenter for Black lives in the United States, and commitment to health equity and medical excellence. “I cannot think of a better partner to pioneer solutions to improve the experience of Black patients,” adds Sylvie Leotin.
Equify Health will be collaborating with Dr. Keerthi Gogineni, a medical oncologist at Emory School of Medicine who witnesses the impact of health disparities in her practice every day. “Delivering high-quality cancer care requires a laser focus on health equity. We strive for the best possible outcomes for our patients. The collaboration with Equify Health represents an incredible opportunity to educate ourselves, as oncology providers, to empathize with patients, engender trust, and deliver equitable care,” says Dr. Gogineni.