In the News

Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, quoted in EveryDay Health on health disparities
Black Americans have a 20 percent higher incidence of colorectal cancer than white Americans and are 40 percent more likely to die of it, according to the American Cancer Society. Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, discussed barriers to colorectal cancer screening among Black Americans and understanding this discomfort and mistrust. EveryDay Health also interviewed Gloria Riley, a UCLA African-American patient who had a cancerous polyp removed after her screening colonoscopy. (May 2022)


Heart Behind the White Coat: Diverse Health Hub interviews Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil
Dr. May shares how her upbringing influenced her medical career choice on Heart Behind the White Coat (HBWC). Watch as Dr. May explains how her experiences observing medical missions had an impact in her decision to pursue a career in medicine, places where she connects with patients, and her advice for BIPOC students considering the study of medicine. Dr. May is the director of the Melvin and Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program and assistant professor of medicine. (April 2022)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, awarded 2022 AGA Distinguished Service Award in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) honored Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, with this year’s Distinguished Service Award in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This award honors members who have promoted diversity, equity and inclusion within AGA and the broader gastroenterology community. Dr. May has a strong track record of health equity research in gastroenterology and hepatology and has made significant contributions to AGA and the broader community through advocacy, mentorship and public service. Dr. May is frequently called upon to discuss health disparities in the media and has also spoken to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) on AGA’s behalf on strategies for combating disparities. Her early-career research focus on Black-White disparities in colorectal cancer resulted in several manuscripts that characterized patient, provider, system and health-policy barriers to participation in screening among Black individuals. This work led to the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions in the Veterans Health Administration and in underserved communities to improve colorectal cancer screening rates and colonoscopic follow-up after abnormal stool-based screening. Dr. May has been actively involved in AGA since her gastroenterology fellowship and, most notably, was selected for both of AGA’s prestigious leadership development programs: the AGA Future Leaders Program and AGA FORWARD Program. Dr. May is a board member and co-founder of the Association of Black Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists (ABGH). As the associate director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity, Dr. May continues to address colorectal cancer inequities throughout the U.S. She will be honored at the 2022 Digestive Disease Week®. (March 2022) Read more


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, discussed colorectal cancer on Black News Channel
Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, was interviewed by Tashanea Whitlow, anchor, Black News Channel. Dr. May discusses colorectal cancer risk and prevention among Black Americans, factors leading to low screening participation among Black individuals and ways we can reduce the burden of this largely preventable disease. (March 2022)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, discussed colorectal cancer on Black News Channel
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Dr. May joined Dr. John Torres, medical correspondent on NBC News Facebook Live to talk about updated colorectal cancer screening recommendations, risk factors, the increase in colorectal cancer in younger people and screening options. Dr. May is the director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program. (March 2022)


UCLA Health helps lead new $8M initiative toimprove colorectal cancer screening rates nationwide
UCLA Health has been named a key partner and major grant recipient in an innovative national initiative launched by Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C), Exact Sciences and Providence Saint John’s Health Center, aimed at addressing healthcare disparities in colorectal cancer care and prevention.

The new Colorectal Cancer Health Equity Dream Team will receive $8 million – $6 million from Exact Sciences and $2 million from Providence Saint John’s Health Center -- for an innovative and comprehensive approach that will bring together leading researchers, patient advocates, community leaders, and clinicians to accomplish several goals, including improving colorectal cancer screening in medically underserved communities in three ‘SU2C Zones’:  Los Angeles, Greater Boston, and Great Plains Tribal Communities in South Dakota.
 
As one of the three “Dream Team” partners, UCLA Health will help lead a three-year robust screening, outreach, and training effort in community health clinics in the Los Angeles area, which has a particularly low screening rate for colorectal cancer, the second most common cause of cancer-related death in American men and women combined.
 
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a dramatic drop in participation in colorectal cancer screening,” said Folasade May, MD, PhD, MPhil, a gastroenterologist, health equity expert, and health services researcher at the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity and the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Many individuals have delayed essential medical care like cancer screening, especially in racially diverse and low-income communities where cancer outcomes are the direst. Our goal is to make sure that everyone, regardless of background, gets screened for colorectal cancer.”

Dr. May, who is a national Dream Team co-leader, is committed to empowering healthcare providers who serve Los Angeles and other participating communities by providing tools, strategies, and innovative community engagement approaches that will effectively address screening disparities.

Community partners in the Los Angeles area include several local health centers, including four St. John's Well Child and Family Center health centers: W.M. Keck Foundation Health Center in South Los Angeles, Dominguez Health Center in Compton, Magnolia Place Health Center in East Los Angeles, and S. Mark Taper Foundation Health Center in East Los Angeles. Screening participants will also be sought from faith-based congregations in Baldwin Village and from community health centers in Santa Monica who frequently partner with Providence Saint John's Health Center in community health initiatives.

The national Dream Team’s wide-ranging goals include: establishing and implementing comprehensive at-home stool-based colorectal cancer screening programs at community health centers to increase screening rates to 80% within the SU2C Zones; ensuring patients who have an abnormal stool-based screening test result receive a follow-up colonoscopy; building a biorepository of blood and stool samples for future research to ensure that low income and racial/ethnic minority populations are represented in the development of new screening tests and early detection methods for colorectal cancer; and fostering the careers of a new generation of Black, Latino, and American Indian doctors and researchers who embody the ideals of community engagement, trust-building and disparities research to improve health outcomes for all patients.

“Our Dream Team integrates the traditionally fragmented fields of health disparities research and healthcare. Integrating social science and health equity with clinical translational research will help us achieve our goals and create systems that can be utilized as models long after our grant period is over,” said Dr. May.
 
SU2C plans to expand its existing Health Equity Initiative and will also launch the creation of multiple SU2C Zones, which they hope to extend to other communities and cancer types in the future.

Colorectal cancer incidence and deaths are highest in Black Americans, followed by American Indians/Alaska Natives and are lowest in Asians/Pacific Islanders[i]. People with the lowest socioeconomic status are 40% more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer than those with the highest socioeconomic status. Additionally, screening rates for Americans 50-75 years old are the lowest in American Indians/Alaska Natives (56%), followed by Asian individuals (58%), Latino/Hispanic individuals (59%), Black individuals (66%) and white individuals (69%).

In addition to Dr. May, the multi-disciplinary team includes Jennifer Haas, MD, MSc, at Massachusetts General Hospital and  Anton Bilchik, MD, PhD, MBA, FACS, at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Los Angeles. Additional team members are from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board, and Fight Colorectal Cancer. (2021)


Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States - Here are the top signs and symptoms to look out for
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States. Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director, Melvin and Bren Simon Gastroenterology Quality Improvement Program and assistant professor of medicine and member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses in Parade magazine the prevalence of colon cancer in the U.S. and the top signs and symptoms to look out for in colon cancer. (2021)


Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil, 80% Blog Interview with the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT)
On March 1, UCLA Health became the grand prize recipient of the NCCRT 2021 80% in Every Community Awards, a program designed to recognize individuals and organizations who are dedicating their time, talent and expertise to advancing initiatives that support the shared goal of achieving colorectal cancer screening rates of 80 percent and higher. Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, was interviewed in a recent NCCRT blog on UCLA Health’s multifaceted approach to increasing colorectal cancer screenings despite COVID-19. (2021)


Exploiting marginalized groups for research
STAT News interviewed Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the GI Quality Program, member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and researcher at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research (CPCR), on a study that is sparking outrage over the unusually high number of Black patients it enrolled. (2021)


How to nudge people into getting tested for the coronavirus
New York Times interviewed Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the GI Quality Program, member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and researcher at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research (CPCR), on the impact of a false negative COVID-19 test in the workplace. Yahoo! News syndicated the New York Times article. (2021)


What a delay in colorectal cancer screening can mean and who should be most concerned
Good Morning America interviewed Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the GI Quality Program, member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and researcher at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research (CPCR), on lack of consistent colorectal cancer screenings for lower-income communities and BIPOC communities. ABC News syndicated the Good Morning America story. (2021)


Radio interview: Pausing the administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
KCBS-AM interviewed Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the GI Quality Program, member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and researcher at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research (CPCR), on pausing the administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. (2021)


From rotten teeth to advanced cancer, patients feel the effects of treatment delays during pandemic
Kaiser Health NewsWashington PostSeattle Times, California Healthline and Medical Express interviewed Dr. May on the drop in colonoscopy patient visits during the pandemic. Yellowstone Public Radio and Post Register also covered the story. (2021)


Radio interview: Vaccine acceptance in BIPOC communities
KCBS-AM interviewed Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the GI Quality Program, member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and researcher at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research (CPCR), on vaccine acceptance in BIPOC communities. (2021)


Fola P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, is a founding member of the Association of Black Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists (ABGH)
On February 26, 2021, the Association of Black Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists (ABGH) was launched. Founded by a group of 11 physician co-founders and board members, ABGH is a non-profit organization created to improve the disproportionately negative digestive health outcomes in Black communities, foster physician networking, develop the next generation of trainees and promote scholarship. For more information about the ABGH mission, its values, and how to get involved and support their efforts, please visit blackingastro.org or follow the hashtag #blackingastro. (2021)


Let's go there: A conversation about colorectal cancer with Cottonelle®, Deon Cole and BLKHLTH
Cottonelle® Brand hosted a candid round table discussion about colorectal cancer, health inequity, prevention, and stigmas within the Black community. Actor and comedian, Deon Cole led the discussion with health equity researcher at UCLA Health, Dr. Fola May and co-founder and president of BLKHLTH, Matthew McCurdy. Listen to conversation (2021)


Interview with Black News Channel (BNC) Morning Show
Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of GI quality for the UCLA Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, discusses the importance of colorectal cancer screening, especially for members of the Black community. In this interview with Mike Hill and Sharon Reed of the Black News Channel (BNC) morning show on March 25th, Dr. May explains that colorectal cancer disproportionally affects African Americans, due at least in part to social determinants of health and to differences in health care access and quality. Dr. May and the two hosts also discussed the galvanizing effect that Chadwick Boseman’s untimely death due to colorectal cancer was having on the Black community. Watch interview (2021)


ReachMD interview with Dr. Neil Nandi
Racial and ethnic bias prevent patients with colorectal cancer from receiving the highest quality of care. Dr. Neil Nandi is joined by Dr. Fola May, assistant professor of medicine at UCLA, to discuss racial inequities in access to care and screening for patients with colorectal cancer. (2021)


Abnormal stool test result? Don't delay your colonoscopy - U.S. News
Getting a colonoscopy as soon as possible after an abnormal stool test could reduce your risk of colon cancer and death from the disease, researchers say. In a new study, investigators analyzed data from more than 200,000 U.S. veterans, aged 50 to 75, who had an abnormal fecal immunochemical test (FIT) or fecal occult blood test (FOBT). Full story (2021)


Change requires visibility, action and trust
Healio interviewed Daniel Greenwald, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist at Santa Barbara Cancer Care, and Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, research collaborator at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research and member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, on ways to combat health disparities experienced by Black communities. (2021)


California's latest COVID vaccine shakeup: Will it improve equity in the Bay area?
The San Jose Mercury News interviewed Fola P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, research collaborator at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research and member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, on targeting underserved communities for vaccine distribution in California. East Bay Times syndicated the report. (2021)


Fola P. May, MD, PhD, appointed to the expert advisory board of Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program and health services researcher in the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, was recently appointed to the expert advisory board of Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology for a two-year term. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology has been in circulation since 2004 and received a 2019 Impact Factor of 29.848. As a member of the advisory board, Dr. May will serve as a champion for the journal within the medical and scientific communities, provide expert opinions, and contribute journal content ideas. (2021)


Fola P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, quoted on concerns over low vaccination rates and disproportionate deaths in black and brown communities
CNN quoted Dr. May, research collaborator at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research and member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, in a story about disparities in vaccination rates between whites and BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) communities. Dr. May spoke about the vaccination disparity between these groups among health care workers. NBC News interviewed Dr. May on concerns over low vaccination rates and disproportionate deaths in BIPOC communities. ForbesAxiosYahoo! News and The Grio syndicated the NBC News story. Dr. May also commented on the same topic in a Scientific American story. PBS Newshour and Huffington Post syndicated the Scientific American story. Politico also interviewed Dr. May on the concern that patients not connected to a health system may lack the ability to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. (2021)


Colorectal cancer screenings at home – Stool-based tests could increase access to colorectal cancer screening
Cancer Today interviewed Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, research collaborator at the UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention Control Research and member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, on the noninvasive options available for colorectal cancer screening. (2021)


Fola May, MD, PhD, MPhil, selected Los Angeles' Top Doctors by Los Angeles Business Journal
Each year, Los Angeles Business Journal selects outstanding medical professionals from almost 20 specialties based on their good standing, reputation, thought leadership and success. This year, Dr. May was among the UCLA Health physicians who were honored as being Los Angeles' Top Doctors. (2021)


Will the COVID-19 pandemic help end systemic racism?
Dr. Fola May has focused her career on health inequity research. Now, the coinciding COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests have highlighted pre-existing racial disparities and thrown her research into the spotlight. Article in BioTechniques (2020)


Fola P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, announced board member of Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC)
Dr. May, director of the Melvin & Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, was first involved with Fight CRC as a Medical Advisory Committee member. In 2020, she was asked to become one of the charter members of the Health Equity Committee, a team formed to help shape Fight CRC’s diversity and inclusion culture and better engage employees, survivors, patients and caregivers, and was then appointed a Fight CRC board member. Fight CRC is the leading patient-empowerment and advocacy organization in the United States, providing balanced and objective information on colon and rectal cancer research, treatment and policy. They are champions of hope, focused on funding promising, high-impact research endeavors while equipping advocates to influence legislation and policy for the collective good. (2020)


Fola P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, discusses critical need for Federal funding to support scientific research
In partnership with the American Gastroenterology Association, Dr. May, director of the Melvin & Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, participated in a congressional briefing to explain how increased funding could help curtail the loss of scientists in academic medicine. Lack of robust and sustainable funding has been one of the primary causes for many to leave the field. Watch on YouTube


Dr. Fola May was interviewed by ABC and BBC and wrote an opinion piece for CNN on how Chadwick Boseman's death shed a much needed light on colorectal cancer
The passing of Chadwick Boseman at the age of 43 sent shock waves through not just the Black community, but the entire world. Dr. May was interviewed on the importance of early detection and healthcare disparities that impact colorectal cancer detection and treatment.

CNN opinion piece - Chadwick Boseman's death she a much needed light on colorectal cancer  |  ABC 20/20 News Special “Chadwick Boseman: A Tribute for a King:" Colon cancer and its impact on BIPOC communities |  Dr. May More - Sree's Sunday #NYTReadalong, WITN-TVKNX Radio, and BBC World Service Radio, which was syndicated by NPR stations across the U.S. (2020)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, Recognized as One of "100 in 100" Trailblazing Women at UCLA Health and DGSOM
UCLA marked Women’s Equality Day by highlighting some of the trailblazing women at UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine who are making a difference in our world. Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Program, was recognized as a national expert in cancer prevention research and a champion for health equity. She was recognized for her passion in improving awareness about health disparities and her involvement in advocacy at the state and national level to develop and encourage policy to improve health care delivery. (2020)

More information on UCLA’s “100 in 100” women.


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, Receives 2020-21 Ablon Scholars Award
On behalf of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and the Broad Stem Cell Research Center (BSCRC), Dr. May, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, was selected to receive a JCCC–BSCRC Ablon Scholars Award. The JCCC–BSCRC Ablon Scholars Program is generously funded by the Wendy Ablon Trust. The physician-scientists and other researchers who are selected as Ablon Scholars will expand our understanding of stem cells and help shape future stem-cell-based treatments with an emphasis on cancer and neurological disorders. Dr. May will receive $100,000 per year, for up to three years, to support direct research costs related to population medicine in cancer. (2020)


‘White Coats for Black Lives’ is a Lifetime Commitment for Dr. Fola May
Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, director of the Melvin and Bren Simon GI Quality Improvement Program, was featured in a UCLA Health blog that chronicles her career devoted to addressing racial disparities in health care. Dr. May traces her passion for helping those with little access to health care to trips she made when she was young to Sub-Saharan Africa. She accompanied her father, a surgeon who had originally moved from Nigeria to the U.S. to attend college. On these missions, she helped transport patients, deliver supplies and eventually observe surgeries.

Having long studied race and health care disparities, Dr. May feels that COVID-19 has amplified those differences in care. She recently contributed to a paper published in the journal Gastrointestinal Endoscopy looking at how the pandemic has impacted colon cancer disparities as health clinics serving low-income patients and people of color have been required to cancel colonoscopies to preserve resources and prevent coronavirus transmission. Another recent publication, in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology, discusses how COVID-19 has exploited baseline disadvantages in health. (2020)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, Published in Nature on COVID-19 Health Inequities and in Healio on How Academic Medicine Can Respond to Racial Injustice in America
Dr. May, director of the Melvin & Bren Simon GI Quality Program, collaborated with colleagues at several other instutions to publish a comment inNature titled COVID-19 and the Other Pandemic: Populations Made Vulnerable by Systemic Inequity. The comment examines the perpetuation of systemic inequity through social determinants of health during COVID-19.

Healio published Dr. May's perspective From Words to Actions to Change: How Medicine, Academia Can Respond to Racial Injustice in America. This piece discusses how we can transition from discussions about race and racism in academia to action that addresses systemic racism. (June 2020)


Public Campaign, System Level Changes Aim to Improve Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates
The UCLA Vatche & Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases and the Department of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA are spearheading an ambitious initiative throughout the UCLA Health system to improve the rates of colorectal cancer screening. The two-pronged effort includes a public-facing campaign to raise awareness among UCLA Health patients and employees of the importance of being screened, as well as a system-level quality improvement initiative aimed at providers and staff. It has already yielded positive results — UCLA Health saw a 6.1% increase in screening rates between July 2018 and July 2019 — along with national acclaim from the American College of Gastroenterology, which recently honored the UCLA Health team with four 2019 SCOPY awards in recognition of its community engagement, education and awareness efforts for colorectal cancer prevention. The UCLA Health Colorectal Cancer Screening Campaign also received a Gold Award for Best Integrated Campaign from the eHealthcare Leadership Awards, which recognizes the best websites and digital communications of health care organizations. Continue to full article (December 2019)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, Receives Greatest Idea Challenge Award / UCLA Innovation Challenge in the Amount of $100,000 for Personalized Cancer Screening
UCLA Health has completed its first Innovation Challenge. More than 300 submissions were received across five categories, and 37 peer-reviewed projects were selected for awards that ranged from gift cards and iPads to grants and seed funding of up to $150,000. Dr. Fola May was the principle investigator on the personalized cancer screening project. The proposed project is the first step in a multi-specialty collaborative effort to improve health outcomes for one of the most common and deadly malignancies in the U.S. through personalized cancer screening and surveillance. The project will reduce the impact of colorectal cancer at UCLA Health by using medical informatics and deep learning tools to automate the identification, evaluation and follow-up of patients at high risk for colon and rectal cancer. Co-investigators include Roshan Bastani, PhD, director, Cancer Prevention and Control, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center; Alex Bui, PhD, director, UCLA Medical Imaging Informatics; Bita Naini, MD, Department of Pathology and Yuna Kang, MD, Department of Pathology. View full list of winners (October 2019)


JAMA Teachable Moment with Anthony Myint, MD, and Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil  - Getting Colorectal Cancer Screening Right
The Teachable Moment series in JAMA Internal Medicine highlights narratives describing cases of inappropriate care that resulted in harm or in which harm was narrowly avoided. In August, Drs. Anthony Myint (GI quality fellow), Elizabeth Aby (internal medicine) and Fola May wrote the Teachable Moment piece describing challenges faced by clinicians in getting patients to engage in colorectal cancer screening and strategies that clinicians can use to maximize patient adherence to colorectal cancer screening recommendations. (September 2019)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, Receives NIH-NCI National Cancer Institute Grant
Dr. May received a R03 award from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. The study is titled, "Follow-up of Abnormal Findings on Colorectal Cancer Screening in a Federally Qualified Health Center: The Role of System-Level Clinical Care Processes" and will investigate barriers and facilitators to colonoscopy after positive fecal immunochemical testing among low-income individuals that seek care at The Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC), one of the largest FQHCs in the nation. The work will inform the development of effective interventions to achieve meaningful improvement in the quality of colorectal cancer care for our most vulnerable populations. (2019)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, Selected by AGA to Promote Diversity
Dr. May was selected as a 2019-2020 scholar by the American Gastroenterological Association for its new program to help promote diversity in the field of gastroenterology. The FORWARD Program (Fostering Opportunities Resulting in Workforce and Research Diversity) is a new initiative funded by the National Institute of Health to develop the leadership and research skills of the scholar physician-scientist. (2019)


Homeless Veterans with HCV Diagnosed, Treated via PCP Outreach
Healio reported on UCLA research presented at DDW 2018 on a project to provide hepatitis C treatment to homeless Veterans. Omar Bakr, MD, is a resident in the UCLA IM training program and part of the May Laboratory team. (2018)


Division-Led Team Honored for Video on Colon Cancer Screening
Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, physician and health services researcher, and her team were honored in October at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) for its video designed to promote colorectal cancer screening. The UCLA group won first place in the Best Video by an Academic Center category at ACG’s third annual SCOPY Awards (Service Award for Colorectal Cancer Outreach, Prevention & Year-Round Excellence), which recognizes the achievements of ACG members in their community engagement, education and awareness efforts for colorectal cancer prevention. ACG members are invited to submit examples of projects and programs that demonstrate outstanding creativity and commitment to spreading the potentially lifesaving message of the importance of colorectal cancer screening and prevention. “It’s a great honor to be recognized by the American College of Gastroenterology for our team’s effort to increase awareness about colorectal cancer, and to emphasize that screening is an easy way to save lives,” Dr. May says. In addition to Dr. May, the team that created the video includes Drs. Dean Ehrlich, Shelley Schwartz, and Nasim Assar and Anna Dermenchyan, RN, all from the UCLA Department of Medicine. (2018)

Watch the 2018 SCOPY award video


Colorectal Cancer Screenings Higher in Veterans Who Use VA or Military Health Care
VA Research Currents, research news from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, highlighted a study by a team with VA, UCLA and Duke, showing veterans with health coverage related to their veteran status were more likely to have up-to-date screenings for colorectal cancer than vets who used private health insurance instead. Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, assistant professor-in-residence of medicine at the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases, lead author on the article, applauds VA's efforts to raise screening levels: "Colorectal cancer is common and deadly. But we can prevent disease by screening. The VA has had major success in this area and should be recognized for exceeding national benchmarks in colorectal screening." (2017)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil Receives Seed Grant to Help Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities
Dr. May, assistant professor of medicine in the Vatche and Tamar Manoukian Division of Digestive Diseases and co-director of the Gloabal Health Education Program for the UCLA Center for World Health, received the "CDU-UCLA Cancer Center Partnership to Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities Seed Grant" from Charles Drew University. The project is a partnership with the “To Help Everyone Wellness Centers” in South Los Angeles and aims to investigate the specific patient-, provider-, and system-level barriers to completion of follow-up colonoscopy after a stool-based colorectal cancer screening test is positive. (2017)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, Selected as AGA Future Leaders Program Class of 2018
The American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) relies heavily on the engagement and expertise of volunteer leaders for the development of strategic initiatives and the execution of programs. As such, there is a need to ensure a healthy pipeline of future leaders. The Future Leaders Program provides a pathway within the organization for selected participants to network, connect with mentors, develop leadership skills and learn about AGA’s governance and operations while advancing their careers and supporting the profession. Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, was one the 18 future leaders selected. This is an impressive achievement as this selection is highly competitive. (2017)


Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil, Awarded UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Seed Grant
Dr. May, assistant professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases, was awarded the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Seed Grant which will help fund the project "A Community-Academic Partnership to Improve Colorectal Cancer Screening in South Los Angeles." She will be working with members of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health to address colorectal cancer disparities in ethnic minorities. The support allows a collaboration between the To Help Everyone (T.H.E) Health and Wellness Centers and UCLA to improve colorectal cancer screening uptake among Latinos and African-Americans in the South Los Angeles Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC or Community Health Center) where screening rates are low. (2016)