Massachusetts Medical Society: Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center’s Karen Burns White is honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society

Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center’s Karen Burns White is honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society

Burns White

Waltham, Mass. – March 15th – Karen Burns White, Deputy Associate Director of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center’s (DF/HCC) Initiative to Eliminate Cancer Disparities (IECD) since 2001, has been honored by the Massachusetts Medical Society as the 2017 recipient of the society’s Reducing Health Disparities Award, an honor recognizing an individual who has made outstanding contributions to reducing health disparities due to race, socioeconomic status, age, education, or sexual orientation. 

Ms. Burns White is being recognized for her efforts with DF/HCC’s IECD, which works across seven institutions to improve minority awareness and participation in Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center’s research activities, and in developing the Faith Based Cancer Disparities Network and the Continuing Umbrella of Research Experience (CURE) Program, a program that enhances the pipeline of trainees interested in cancer research. These efforts are significant contributions to Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center’s efforts to reach out to minority populations and reduce disparities in cancer care. 

The Faith Based Cancer Disparities Network is a collaboration of nine churches in the Boston area with a collective membership of 10,000. The program has engaged church leaders in expanding Harvard’s reach into minority communities with the goal of gaining a greater understanding of the interventions that make a difference for minorities.  The CURE program creates opportunities for underrepresented students to engage in cancer research experience, with the hope of increasing the number of minority health care providers and scientists. The program has had great success, with eight of out every ten students participating going on to pursue careers in biomedical sciences.  

A graduate of Northeastern University with a bachelor’s degree in health information management, Ms. Burns White received her master of science degree in health care services from Lesley University.  

She is a member of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Advisory Committee and a member of the Advisory Committee of the College of Nursing and Exercise Science at the University of Massachusetts Boston. From 2008-2012, she served as a board member and chair of the Grants Committee of the Massachusetts affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for CURE Foundation.  Ms. Burns White has been the recipient of several awards for her contributions.

The Massachusetts Medical Society, with some 25,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The Society, under the auspices of NEJM Group, publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and web site, and Journal Watch alerts and newsletters covering 13 specialties. The Society is also a leader in continuing medical education providing accredited and certified activities across the globe for physicians and other health care professionals.  Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country. For more information please visit,, or

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