Groesbeck Parham receives humanitarianism and volunteerism award

Parham is being recognized by the Society for Gynecologic Oncology for his work on cervical cancer and selfless dedication to improving the lives of women in Zambia.

Groesbeck Parham, MD, UNC professor of obstetrics and gynecology has been selected to receive the Society for Gynecologic Oncology’s 2014 Humanitarianism and Volunteerism Award. The award recognizes exemplary local, national or international volunteer and outreach efforts in women’s cancer care, research or training.

Parham, who is a U.S. board-certified gynecologic oncologist, has lived and worked in Zambia since 2005. He directs the cervical cancer prevention program at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ), UNC's partner organization in the country. A leader in cervical cancer prevention in resource-constrained settings, Parham's team was among the first to provide such cervical screening and treatment services on a broad scale to HIV-infected women in sub-Saharan Africa. His program has now enrolled more than 150,000 women across 25 Zambian sites, using resource-appropriate "see-and-treat" strategies (visual inspection with acetic acid, enhanced by digital photographs of the cervix). 

He has also worked with the Zambian Ministry of Health to develop strategies for nationwide human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination, including a pilot program to vaccinate 25,000 girls through school-based approaches.

In the award letter, the committee wrote: “Your leadership in the CIDRZ Cervical Cancer Prevention Program to expand cervical cancer screening throughout Zambia, as well as your extensive collaborative efforts to raise awareness of women’s health issues in sub-Saharan Africa, make you the ideal recipient. Congratulations on this honor and thank you for your selfless dedication to improving the lives of women throughout Zambia and beyond.”

The award will be presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s 45th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Tampa, Florida, later this month.