Steven Patierno, PhD, deputy director of Duke Cancer Institute and professor of medicine (Medical Oncology), pharmacology and cancer biology, and community and family medicine, has received the Diversity Award, one of Duke University's highest honors, in a ceremony led by President Vincent E. Price.
The Teamwork and Diversity Awards are presented every year to employees who champion the values of collaboration, cooperation and communication as a team or demonstrate a respect and value for differing backgrounds and points of view.
For the past quarter century, Dr. Patierno has studied the cancer disparities among racial minority groups. Since arriving at Duke six years ago, he’s helped make closing those disparities an institutional priority.
In his role with the Duke Cancer Institute, Patierno oversees the institute’s Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program, Cancer Supportive Care and Survivorship Center and the Office of Health Equity and Disparities. That’s allowed him to combat the disparities in cancer care for minority populations on the clinical, research and community levels.
He’s also organized outreach efforts in the Durham community and collaboration with institutions such as North Carolina Central University in order to engage minority patients and scientists in solving the cancer care inequality problem.
“I’m grateful I’m at a university and medical center that understands and appreciates how important this topic is and has created space for me to do the things that I love, the things that I’m passionate about and, particularly at this moment, could not possibly be more important,” Patierno said.