Barriers to accessing health information and healthcare services have disproportionately affected racial minorities and low-socioeconomic-status groups in the U.S. Such barriers fuel disparities in cancer care. Increasingly widespread cannabis legalization has led to questions about patient knowledge and the drug’s suitability for managing cancer-related symptoms. Michelle plans to investigate the knowledge and beliefs of cancer patients and survivors to assess cannabis-related questions such as reasons for use, perceived health outcomes, barriers to acquisition, and facilitators of access. More specifically, she will create longitudinal studies to look at these trends over time, utilizing advanced statistical techniques to create programs to improve the health of her community. Her work will inform equitable-policy efforts to facilitate access, mitigate costs, improve quality of care, enhance quality of life, and create health educational opportunities to promote person-centered, informed decision-making.
MORE ABOUT MICHELLE
As a first-generation college student, Michelle believes healthcare should be a right and not a privilege. Her interdisciplinary training in epidemiology and community health behavior will make her well-suited to identifying problems related to healthcare knowledge and access to cannabis to better meet the needs of her community.