Identifier

etd-07032015-223738

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Geography and Anthropology

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The Cancer Centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) form the “backbone” of the cancer care system in the United States. Awarded via a peer-review process and being re-evaluated every 3 to 5 years, an NCI Cancer Center receives substantial financial support from NCI grants. When the quality standard is not compromised, we argue that an additional criterion for improving and promoting equal accessibility should be factored into the designation and planning process of NCI Cancer Centers. With the help of regression and dummy variables, this research evaluates geographic disparities in spatial accessibility of the NCI Cancer Centers across geographic area, divisions and urbanicity. It also evaluates demographic disparities across ethnic and poverty groups. Then this research examines two planning objectives to minimize the inequalities in accessibility. One is to minimize the geographic inequality while the other is to minimize the racial disparities. Two types of optimization scenarios are considered in this exploratory research for the objective of minimizing inequality of spatial accessibility. One is to allocate additional resources to existing NCI Cancer Centers, and the other is to designate new centers from the most likely candidates (e.g., existing academic medical centers or AMCs). Quadratic Programming (QP) and Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) are used to solve different optimization problems. Several scenarios are used to illustrate the impact of optimization on reducing geographic and demographic disparities. Results from the study may inform the public policy decision making process in planning of the NCI Cancer Centers towards equal accessibility.

Date

2015

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wang, Fahui

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