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University of Colorado Cancer Center
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

Our Commitment


The mission of the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is to foster an environment that champions health equity and offers the highest level of care to all patients, most especially those populations who have been historically excluded from and mistreated by the healthcare system.


We aim to identify and directly address our current areas of improvement, from hiring practices all the way to clinical trial enrollment. We are committed to making active changes to ensure that the patient population we serve is reflected and represented in our organization at every level.


By focusing on the makeup of our leadership, faculty, and staff, and directly recruiting individuals dedicated to the advancement of our core ideals and the field of oncology, the University of Colorado Cancer Center is committed to positively influencing healthcare in our community and advocating for health equity and access for all. 

To learn more about what Anschutz Medical Campus' Central Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement is doing, please click here.

Charges of the CU Cancer Center DEI Committee

  1. Have Cancer Center leadership that represents the catchment (Colorado) and nationally
  2. Have Cancer Center faculty and staff that represent the catchment (Colorado) and nationally
  3. Do everything possible to recruit trainees to the Cancer Center that represent the catchment (Colorado) and nationally
  4. Ensure the clinical trials population and research activities of the Cancer Center reflect the catchment (Colorado) and nationally

Cancer Center Equity Ambassador

We recognize that many members of the CU Cancer Center community work daily in support of the DEIA mission. Therefore, every month we award a Cancer Center Equity Ambassador certificate to a faculty, staff, or adjunct member whose daily efforts embody the DEIA mission of the CU Cancer Center.

This month we recognize Abe Martinez

Abe is a Cancer Biology graduate student who went out of his way to assist the Cancer Research Experience for Undergraduates (CREU) program with the pairing of students with graduate and medical student "buddies" who got together to talk about applying to various programs during coffee or lunch. Abe hosted a pizza and volleyball event where students enjoyed spending time together. He also took the students hiking and camping. Abe really was a vital ambassador who made the UR students feel seen and heard during the summer.

Know someone who deserves a Cancer Center Equity Ambassador certificate? Fill out the nomination form.

Abe Martinez

Abe Martinez

CU Cancer Center DEI Committee Members



Ian Brooks, PhD
Associate Professor, Biomedical Informatics

Director of Health Data Compass

Adela Cota-Gomez, PhD
Adela Cota-Gomez, PhD
Assistant Director for Education Administration,
Cancer Research Training and Education Coordination (CRTEC) Office
Anesha Henningham
Anesha Henningham 
PRMS Monitoring Coordinator,
Protocol Review and Monitoring System (PRMS) 

Fernando J. Kim, MD, MBA, FACS
Professor, Surgery, UCD

Chief Emeritus of Urology, DHMC

Editor-in-Chief AUA NEWS in Portuguese
Associate Editor of Patient Safety in Surgery Journal

Simon P. Kim, MD, MPH
Simon P. Kim, MD, MPH 
Professor, Surgery 

Associate Program Director 

Site Director 
Division of Urology
Jill Ogawa Lee

Jill Lee, MPH, CCRP
Regulatory Compliance and Quality Program Manager,
Cancer Clinical Trials Office (CCTO)

Jessica McDermott, MD, MSCS
Jessica McDermott, MD, MSCS
Assistant Professor, Medical Oncology 

Deputy AD for Diversity and Inclusion in Clinical Research
Daniel Pacheco, MBA, PMP
Daniel Pacheco, MBA, PMP
Program Manager,
Office of Community Outreach and Engagement
Jill Penafiel
Education and Program Manager, 
Clay Smith, MD

Clay Smith, MD
Professor, Medicine - Hematology

Director, Blood Disorders and Cell Therapies Center, UCHealth 

Medical Director, CU Innovations
Ruth and Ralph Seligman Chair in Hematology 

Adam Stevens
Adam Stevens
CU Anschutz - Medical Student
Ellen Valentine 1
Ellen Valentine, M.Div
Cancer Center Operations Project Coordinator, 
Programs and Membership
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