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Illustration by Brian Stauffer

Cover Story: Exploring Health Disparities

In this special issue of Kansas Medicine + Science, we are taking a closer look at the impact health disparities are having on the health of Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies health disparities as, “preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.” a health care disparity also refers to differences between population groups in health insurance coverage, access to care and quality of care.

Like many aspects of public health, the root causes of health disparities are complex. Health is influenced by so many factors that it can be difficult to pinpoint just why a gap between two groups is so wide. Social drivers — like racism, sexism, ableism, classism or homophobia — can perpetuate inequities by prioritizing one group over another.

As you will read in this issue, the researchers and clinicians at the University of Kansas Medical Center are using innovative approaches to address the health disparities being experienced by populations in Kansas and throughout the country.

Exploring Health Disparities

A new collaboration is helping those who want to share the truth about health care and other issues.

The Rise of Citizen Journalism

The KU Cancer Center is one of eight institutions in the country awarded an NCI grant to bring early-phase cancer clinical trials to patients in underserved and rural communities.

Making Clinical Trials More Accessible

The new Kansas Center for Rural Health is exploring ways to reduce and eliminate health disparities in rural Kansas.

The Crisis In Rural Health Care

Also in this issue

About Kansas Medicine + Science

Illustration by Brian Stauffer
Donna Peck
Grace Reap
Grace Reap
Kristi Birch
Anne Christiansen-Bullers
Donna Peck
Selena Jabara
Elissa Monroe

Brian Stauffer
Dave Cutler
Grace Reap
Douglas A. Girod, M.D.
Chancellor, University of Kansas
Robert D. Simari, M.D.
Executive Vice Chancellor, KU Medical Center
Akinlolu O. Ojo, M.D., Ph.D., MBA
Executive Dean, KU School of Medicine
Sally Maliski, Ph.D., RN
Dean, KU School of Nursing
Abiodun Akinwuntan, Ph.D.
Dean, KU School of Health Professions

Kansas Medicine + Science is published by the Office of Communications at the University of Kansas Medical Center. To view Kansas Medicine + Science online, go to The entire issue is copyrighted and no part may be reproduced without prior permission. Patient photos are used with permission. The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access,, Room 1082, Dole Human Development Center, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas medical center campuses).

University of Kansas Medical Center

Office of Communications
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Mailstop 3013
Kansas City, KS 66160

Media inquiries: 913-617-8698
Staff Contacts