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The mission of the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute® is to establish foundational evidence for health policy and radiology practice that promotes the effective and efficient use of health care resources and improves patient care.

April 28, 2023

Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute Announces Cancer Equity Atlas to Improve Underserved Care

New project selected for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Health Equity Initiative

Reston, VA — The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute® announced that it has been selected as part of the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Health Equity Initiative, a $40 million, three-year commitment, supporting organizations that are developing solutions to advance health equity.  The Neiman Institute is creating the Cancer Equity Atlas (CEA) to identify high-opportunity targets for policies and programs to achieve equitable health outcomes in underserved populations. The CEA will be a graphical, interactive tool used for generating insights across integrated healthcare and community data. It aims to improve equity by identifying not only the extent of cancer disparities in different populations and communities, but to pinpoint the sources of those disparities which will help guide researchers and other stakeholders in developing policies and programs for large scale impact. Sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS) Health Equity Program, the freely available tool is expected to launch in 2024.

“Our Institute has the opportunity to have a larger impact on equity through the power of our data to pinpoint disparities. Our deidentified healthcare data for nearly 40% of the U.S. population – over 70 million Americans per year – will allow us to quantify and map disparities in cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes. This support from AWS will help us further harness the potential of our data, in combination with health system and community data, to guide and prioritize work to improve health equity across the country,” said Elizabeth Y. Rula, PhD, Executive Director of the Neiman Institute.

Cancer outcomes inequity is pervasive among minorities and underserved areas of the United States:

  • Non-Hispanic Blacks in the U.S. have 22% higher cancer mortality than Whites, and nearly twice as high as Whites for prevalent cancers including lung, liver, prostate and cervix. Similar or larger disparities are found in Hispanics, Asians and American Indians.
  • Black women are 42% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women.
  • Black men are 52% more likely to die from colorectal cancer (CRC) than white men. The 19% CRC disparity may be due to fewer screenings.
  • Excess/potentially preventable deaths from cancer in rural areas are often nearly double  that of urban areas.

The Institute will convene an advisory group to identify effective ways to engage community stakeholders, who will help ensure the tool is addressing the highest priority concerns and its utility for guiding community-based initiatives. The CEA will also support enhancing diversity in recruitment to clinical trials and data registries to ensure research advancements are applicable across populations and in specific underserved groups.

“To improve cancer outcomes among minorities and those in underserved areas, it is vital that we identify these communities and better understand obstacles that contribute to inequities. Ultimately, we can use this information to ensure these groups are represented in research that improves cancer outcomes, and to inform real-world solutions to the barriers to healthcare access,” said Etta A. Pisano, MD, FACR, ACR Chief Research Officer. “The Cancer Equity Atlas can help reach that goal.”

The Institute will work with the Radiology Health Equity Coalition, which was created to address systemic challenges to more equitable imaging care and reducing health inequities for people of color, rural populations and other underserved communities and the American College of Radiology® to promote the use of the tool. Ultimately, the CEA will be used to evaluate change over time in equity measures, identify new opportunities for impact, and fuel advocacy efforts.


To learn more about the AWS initiative, visit

For more information on the Cancer Equity Atlas, contact Nichole Gay at


About the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute® is one of the nation’s leading medical imaging socioeconomic research organizations. The Neiman Institute studies the role and value of radiology and radiologists in evolving health care delivery and payment systems and the impact of medical imaging on the cost, quality, safety and efficiency of health care.Visit us at and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.




Nichole Gay
Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute