UVA professor to give talk on cervical cancer elimination strategies in low- and middle-income countries

Dr. Emma Mitchell will present the final Suter Science Seminar this semester, “Cervical Cancer as a Cancer of Disparities: Innovative Technology on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua for Health Equity Through a Community-based Participatory Process,” on Wednesday, April 6, at 4 p.m. Mitchell is an associate professor and director of global initiatives at the University of Virginia School of Nursing.

The campus community is invited to attend the seminar in person in Room 106 of the Suter Science Center. The seminar will be livestreamed on the EMU Facebook Page.

The seminars are free to the public, and made possible by the sponsorship of the Daniel B. Suter Endowment in Biology and the co-sponsorship of supporting programs.

Mitchell will present a case study of a long-term collaboration for cervical cancer control on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Her work centers on the feasibility of this in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs). She argues that the 10-year cervical cancer elimination strategy set by the World Health Organization “can only be successful at the intersection of innovative technology and community-based participatory processes, in order to work toward health equity.”

“Though highly preventable, about 85% of the burden of cervical cancer persists in LMICs,” Mitchell says. “Caused by high-risk genotypes of the Human Papillomavirus (hrHPV), cervical cancer can be prevented through safe and effective vaccination, screening for hrHPV, and effective treatment of pre-cancerous/cancerous lesions.”

Mitchell completed her BSN at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and earned her PhD in Nursing Science at the University of Virginia. Her scholarship centers on cervical cancer as a cancer of disparities. In collaboration with long-term community partners both in far Southwest Virginia and in Nicaragua and Honduras, Mitchell has researched integration of innovative technology to increase access to cervical cancer screening and treatment.

Named in honor of long-time EMU biology professor, Daniel B. Suter (1920-2006), the Endowment in Biology was established in 1986 through the generous donations of alumni and friends and currently consists of over $1 million of invested funds. EMU hopes to double the Suter Endowment in order to more adequately support distinguished faculty and to increase scholarship aid to deserving students.

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