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College of Social Work

Owens Serving as Co-Principal Investigator on Lung Cancer Research

July 1, 2019
Chris Woodley •

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer overall and the most common cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the state. The South Carolina lung cancer incidence rate (68.8) is also higher than the national rate (61.9) and ranked 16th nationally. But Assistant Professor Shaun Owens is working with a team of researchers across the University of South Carolina to help lower incidence rates.   

Owens and Assistant Professor Karen McDonnell of the College of Nursing will serve as co-principal investigators on a one-year, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation-funded award to improve screening rates of at-risks individuals for lung cancer. 

Owens, McDonnell and their research team, which includes faculty from the School of Medicine, will work on their grant, “Advancing Quality Lung Cancer Survivorship in South Carolina 2.0.” The group will develop and test an electronic decision aid to enhance shared decision making between healthcare providers and individuals who meet the high-risk eligibility criteria for lung cancer screening. The grant also supports the development of best practices for training providers to engage in lung cancer screening counseling and shared decision-making, based on recommendations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Another objective will be to engage professional clinical leaders, including doctors, therapists and case managers, in educational forums and discussions regarding comprehensive survivorship care for lung cancer patients and their families.   

“I look forward to engaging in this translational research with my colleagues at the School of Nursing and School of Medicine to improve clinical outcomes for survivors of lung cancer and their family members,” Owens said.

About the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation
The mission of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases and conditions, by strengthening community-based health care worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. For more information about the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, please visit or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

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