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Center for Community Engagement and Health Equity

The Center for Community Engagement and Health Equity (CEHE) within Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center, builds on a longstanding commitment to high-quality, expert, and patient-centered cancer care, screening, and prevention across the state of Connecticut. The Center is dedicated to ensuring cancer health equity and improving outcomes, with an emphasis on traditionally underserved neighborhoods. The Center leverages a wide range of approaches to community-engaged research, community outreach, education, policy & advocacy, and access to clinical care.

Five Pillars

  • Analytics
  • Community Engagement
  • Screening and Prevention
  • Clinical Trial Participation
  • Expansion of Catchment-Focused Research
Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, is Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Health Equity. Dr. Nunez-Smith’s accomplished leadership since joining the faculty at Yale in 2006, innovative ideas for expanding our positive impact in our communities, and passionate and determined values will propel our efforts to improve our understanding of and reduce health disparities relevant to cancer care.


Beth Jones, PhD, MPH , Research Scientist and Lecturer in Epidemiology, is Associate CEHE Director for Community Engagement overseeing engagement and outreach across Connecticut to partner with local communities on community-focused interventions and solutions.
Xavier Llor, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Co-Director of the Smilow Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program, and Medical Director of the Smilow Screening & Prevention Program, is Associate CEHE Director for Cancer Screening. Dr. Llor systemizes risk stratification processes to ensure consistency throughout Smilow Cancer Hospital and our Care Center delivery Network, and he directs screening services across the health system and in the community settings. Dr. Llor also works with health system leadership to implement new screening services driven by Yale Cancer Center research findings.
Andrea Silber, MD, Professor of Clinical Medicine (Medical Oncology) has been named Associate CEHE Director for Clinical Research. Dr. Silber is a leader in clinical trial engagement among underserved and under-represented minorities, personal relationship building, and designing patient navigator programs. Dr. Silber works to expand clinical trial participation across the region and build a dedicated team of community-based patient navigators.
Jessica Lewis, PhD, LMFT, Associate Research Scientist in Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases); Deputy Director, Community Engagement and Health Equity, Yale Cancer Center; Co-Founder, Expect With Me, CDE. Dr. Lewis is a licensed family therapist and has directed research projects on health behaviors, health equity, and women’s sexual, reproductive, and mental health at Yale for more than 24 years.
Karen Wang, MD, MHS, Assistant Professor, Biostatistics and Internal Medicine.
Erin Singleton, MPH, Program Manager. Erin is a Research Project Coordinator with the Quality Measurement Group at CORE. Previously, Erin served as a Health Promotion Specialist in Kyrgyzstan for the Peace Corps and worked as a Lead Academic Advisor for the Yale –Bridgeport GEAR UP Partnership. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Elon University and a Master of Public Health degree from Southern Connecticut State University.