October 2020 Panel

Banner for October 13th Research and Practice Discussion



Breast Cancer Research and Women's Health


October 13, 2020

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm on Zoom

Join us for a moderated conversation about current Breast Cancer research, testing and treatment, and the patient experience, with a particular focus on African American health.  Our panel includes researchers, practitioners, and Breast Cancer survivors.

Our Moderator is Dr. Judy Tjoe.

Our Panelists are Rev. Lettie Ar-Rahmaan, Dr. Julie Palmer, and Dr. Monika Sawhney.

Our Moderator

Dr. Judy Tjoe

Judy Angela Tjoe, MD, FACS is a board-certified oncology breast surgeon, as well as certified in breast ultrasound. She recently joined Novant Health as Medical Director of the Breast Surgery Program in the Greater Winston-Salem Market.  She completed her medical school and surgical breast oncology fellowship training at the University of California, San Francisco, the latter in 2001.  She was Clinical Adjunct Professor with the Department of Surgery at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor with the Exercise Science Program in the Physical Therapy Department at Marquette University.  She currently sees patients at the Novant Health Greensboro Breast Surgery Clinic with admitting privileges at Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center.  Her research interests involved predictive biomarkers, as well as understanding the physiological and psychological impact of exercise on the cancer survivor.  On a national level, she is involved with the ECOG-ACRIN Breast Committee and is also a member of the Alliance Breast Committee.  Contact information for Dr. Tjoe is available at Novant's Breast Surgery - Greensboro website.

Our Panelists


Rev. Lettie Ar-Rahmaan

Willetta “Lettie” Ar-Rahmaan, MDiv,  MSIS, is a bi-vocational ordained Baptist Minister. She is employed by IBM as a Software Quality Engineer Manager and is the owner/visionary of On The Move Ministries, LLC. She’s the former pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Newton, NC, and former Minister of Assimilation at First Baptist Church West in Charlotte, NC.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina Central University, a Master of Science in Information Systems from Strayer University, and a Master of Divinity from The Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. 

Lettie received a Technology All-Star award for Women of Color in STEM.  She created and published a devotional journal “Dancing with God” and a 21-Day Prayer Journal “Lord Take My Ordinary Life and Mind” for two women ministries.  Also, her sermon “Breaking the Silence” was published in The African American Pulpit.  She’s trained in transformation church and church vitality through the United Methodist Church. Recently, she became a Connection Matter Congregation Trainer through the Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina. 

Lettie is a childhood sexual abuse survivor and a four-year breast cancer thriver.  She believes through education we can help people heal and promote awareness prevention.  Lettie is the mother of one daughter and grandmother of three young women.

FB & IG @revlettiea, Twitter @revlettie,  #EducateHealPrevent

Dr. Julie Palmer

Julie R. Palmer, Sc.D., M.P.H., Komen Scholar, is Professor of Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health, Karin Grunebaum Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and Associate Director of the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. Dr. Palmer is also Associate Director for Population Sciences and Co-Director of the BU-BMC Cancer Center. Her research interests focus on racial disparities in the occurrence of hormone receptor negative breast cancer and in breast cancer mortality. Dr. Palmer is a founding leader of the Black Women’s Health Study (BWHS), a prospective cohort study of 59,000 African American women who have been followed since 1995. Her breast cancer research within the BWHS includes work on risk prediction models for breast cancer in African American women, identification of childbearing patterns as a contributing cause to the excess incidence of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer in African American women, and investigation of the relationship of type 2 diabetes to breast cancer risk and prognosis. Dr. Palmer received the Komen-funded AACR Distinguished Lecture on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in 2017. Dr. Palmer’s Komen Scholar grant supports work on determining the interrelationships of family history, genetic susceptibility (including BRCA1/2 mutation status), and modifiable factors on prediction of breast cancer risk among African American women.



Dr. Monika Sawhney

Monika Sawhney, PhD, MSW, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Dr. Sawhney received seed funding from W+GRA to support her project, “Women’s health in the Charlotte‐Mecklenburg region– an in-depth exploration of knowledge, awareness, and barriers for preventive services and timely treatment of breast cancer.”  Dr. Sawhney may be reached via email at msawhney@uncc.edu.