Free, Hybrid Community Event to Address the Connection of Food, the Environment and Cancer

Community members encouraged to attend and learn more about how food and the environment can effect the development of cancer

The Karmanos Cancer Institute Office of Cancer Health Equity and Community Engagement (OCHECE) and the Genesee County Cancer Action Council (CAC) is partnering with the Wayne State University Center for Urban Responses to Environmental Stressors, the Wayne State University Faith Community Research Network, and McLaren Flint to host a hybrid event in Flint titled, “Navigating from Planet to Plate: Understanding the Connection Between Food, Environment and Cancer” on Thursday, June 20. Community members will learn more about the food that we eat, the environmental exposures, and the impact that these two have on cancer occurrence, treatment and survivorship.

“We live in an imperfect world where there is so much we cannot control. However, the more we can educate ourselves about our choices, the better the chances we have to live within a healthier body, mind and soul for our best possible journey through our lives,” said Jeanette Hildreth, member of the Genesee County CAC. 

“Navigating From Planet to Plate” is from 5 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 20. The event is open to in-person attendees at Queens Provisions, located at 421 Garland St. in Flint. Participants may also attend virtually – a link will be provided after online registration.

One featured topic for the event on June 20 is the exposure of processed foods and supermarket access. Hildreth and her fellow CAC members have invited Steven Korzeniewski, Ph.D., MS, MA, associate professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Services. Dr. Korzeniewski will show the difference in incidences and mortality of cancer, and the relation to environmental factors using 3-D maps. Also presenting at the event is Gina Delisi, RDN, CNSC, clinical dietician at the Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Flint. Delisi will focus on foods that contain carcinogens with research-based evidence on specific additives and chemicals, such as alcohol and processed meats. Her presentation will include a list of foods linked to increased cancer risk and offer substitutes or recommendations for healthier choices.

"Our Genesee County CAC members are inspired to help the greater Flint area community, and Genesee County as a whole, understand the links between what we eat, our environment and cancer,” explained Mikayla Harrison, OCHECE research assistant and co-facilitator for the Genesee County CAC. “It is through educational opportunities such as these that they can help empower their neighbors to make informed decisions that may reduce cancer risk and improve overall health."

The Genesee County CAC started in 2018 as an expansion of Michigan Cancer HealthLink. Michigan Cancer HealthLink brings together community members and cancer researchers to develop research ideas and educational and service-based programs. Based on an existing model established in New York, CACs are groups of cancer survivors, caregivers and advocates, reflecting diverse neighborhoods, communities and populations. CAC members use their personal experiences with cancer and knowledge of their respective communities to set research priorities and inform Karmanos’ cancer research agenda. The Genesee County CAC is made up of cancer survivors, caregivers and advocates living in Genesee County.

Attendees must register for both in-person and virtual participation. Visit to register. For questions, contact Mikayla Harrison at or 313-576-9691.

Go to to learn more about the Karmanos Cancer Institute Office of Cancer Health Equity and Community Engagement.