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Creating an Equitable Healthcare System for Adolescents and Young Adults Living with Cancer: Overcoming Unique Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual Challenges


This presentation attends to the health disparity and its related factors among adolescents and young adults (AYAs) diagnosed with cancer. AYA cancer survivors, including those receiving active cancer treatment and post-treatment survivorship care, is an age-defined group that experiences disproportional impact by their cancer diagnosis and numerous unique biopsychosocial challenges. The presentation will start by offering an overview of AYA cancer survivorship at the national level, followed by a focused discussion on key disparities that exist in this population. Efforts at the national level and local level, i.e., University of Michigan, will be discussed. A multi-level approach will be introduced to achieve health equity among AYA cancer survivors, including an example of a Curtis Center SPI collaborating with the Adolescents and Young Adults Oncology Program at University of Michigan Health.

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Anao Zhang, PhD, MSW

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify salient social determinants of health among adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer.
  2. Describe the unique bio-psycho-social-spiritual challenges confronting adolescents and young adults living with cancer.
  3. Appraise the academic and clinical value of on-going research in reducing health disparities among adolescents and young adults diagnosed with cancer.


  • 1:00 - 1:30pm Salient health disparities that are common among cancer survivors and those are unique to AYAs diagnosed with cancer
  • 1:30 - 2:00pm Clinical and research efforts aim to alleviate health disparity and promote equity among AYA cancer survivors

CE Approval Statement

The University of Michigan School of Social Work, provider #1212, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. The University of Michigan School of Social Work maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 5/15/2020-5/15/2023. Social workers participating in this course will receive 1 synchronous online continuing education contact hour.

Please see the CE Policies page for more information about continuing education.

Event Details

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