GW Cancer Institute Mission and Focus

The George Washington University (GW) Cancer Institute is housed within the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), founded in 1825 and led by Dr. Jeffrey Akman. More than 80 GW faculty from seven schools at GW, as well as external clinicians, researchers, national advocacy organizations, community-based organizations, FQHCs, patients, caregivers and the general public work with GWCI to achieve its mission. The vision of SMHS is to improve the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities and its mission is to teach, heal and discover. Founded in 2003, GW Cancer Institute’s vision aligns with that of SMHS: A cancer-free world and health care that is patient-centered, accessible and equitable. Our mission is to foster healthy communities, prepared patients, responsive health care professionals and supportive health care systems through applied cancer research, education, advocacy and translation of evidence to practice. GW Cancer Institute organizational values anchor our work: credibility, transparency, inclusivity, innovation and patient-centricity.

We accomplish our mission by:

  • Reaching out to the community in which we are located to raise awareness about cancer prevention, screening, and treatment and to offer access to care. The District of Columbia, where the GW Cancer Institute is located, is ranked highest in overall cancer mortality in the nation.
  • Providing patient-centered support across the cancer continuum through patient navigation, patient education and post-treatment holistic care.
  • Tracking cancer incidence and mortality locally, regionally, and nationally to study why certain cancers appear where they do as a first step toward prevention.
  • Leading the way in the creation and implementation of survivorship programs for people with cancer.
  • Catalyzing collaborative research to reduce cancer health disparities and improve survivor wellness.

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