Dr. Shana Ntiri speaking with a patient.

The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC) shows its commitment to the Maryland community by providing a team-based approach to care, innovative clinical trials, education and support services, and free cancer screenings through the Baltimore City Cancer Program (BCCP).

The Office of Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) was created to further expand upon UMGCCC’s effort in promoting cancer health equity. 

Our goal is to apply community outreach and engagement strategies to inform UMGCCC research and make an impact along the cancer continuum in the catchment area, with a particular focus on eliminating cancer disparities.

Our aims are to:

  1. Describe the UMGCCC catchment area using a data-driven approach and use-needs assessment data to inform and prioritize research
  2. Conduct evidence-based and impactful cancer control activities serving those in the UMGCCC catchment area.
  3. Apply strategies to inform research and support the application of community outreach and engagement throughout the UMGCCC programs

Populations We Serve

UMGCCC serves Baltimore City and the 10 surrounding counties in Central Maryland; about 5.4 million people. Our population has a high percentage of residents disproportionately impacted by cancer, concentrated areas of poverty and gentrification. About 80% of our analytic tumor registry cases come from this area.

Lung, prostate and head/neck cancers have significantly higher mortality here than nationally. Community outreach and education activities serve people in our service area.

A depiction of the different counties in Maryland serviced by UMGCCC

The Community Outreach and Engagement Core Team

Cheryl L. Knott, PhD – Associate Director 

Dr. Knott is a Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health and Community Health in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, Co-Director of the Population Science Program at the UMGCCC, and founding Director of the Community Health Awareness, Messages, and Prevention (CHAMP) research lab, which focuses on cancer-related disparities, particularly those impacting African Americans. Dr. Knott has more than 20 years’ experience in community-based cancer control research, with a strong emphasis on eliminating cancer disparities. 

Email Dr. Knott: cholt14@umd.edu

Shana Ntiri, MD, MPH – Senior Medical Advisor

Dr. Ntiri is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Family & Community Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She also serves as Medical Director for the Baltimore City Cancer Program, a community-based initiative of UMGCCC focused on breast, cervical, and colorectal. She has a demonstrated history of working in the academic medical setting in primary care, community engagement, health disparities and cancer control research.

Email Dr. Ntiri: SNtiri@som.umaryland.edu

Leonore Okwara, MPH – Program Manager

Leonore graduated with an MPH in Epidemiology from Eastern Virginia Medical School and also serves as Program Manager for the CHAMP research lab. She has nearly 15 years of experience managing community-based programs nationwide, leading community outreach efforts, and coordinating behavioral health research focused on cancer, mental health and tobacco. 

Contact Leonore: 301-405-7545; LOkwara@umd.edu