Anne Marie Murphy, Ph.D. was named the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force (the Task Force) in April 2010. Dr. Murphy brings over two decades of accomplishments in healthcare system reform and combating healthcare inequities.
The Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force was born in 2007, after publication of disturbing data showed that survival from breast cancer for African American women in Chicago had not improved at all over the past 20 years. At a time when breast cancer treatments had dramatically improved and mammography had become better at finding breast cancer early, survival for White women had improved substantially but no improvement in the death rate was found for Black women. Today Black women in Chicago are 62% more likely to die from breast cancer compared to White women. However, this disparity varies widely across the United States. In New York City, the latest data shows a much lower disparity of 27% compared to Chicago’s 62% disparity. This geographic variation suggests that Chicago has more barriers or systemic problems for women of color accessing highest quality care.
Dr. Murphy has dedicated her professional life to improving access and quality of health care for all. In 2009, under her leadership and with generous funding from Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Avon Foundation for Women, the Task Force’s project the Chicago Breast Cancer Quality Consortium became the nation’s first federally designated Patient Safety Organization dedicated exclusively to breast health and the elimination of racial health disparities in breast cancer. This community wide collaborative has collected breast cancer quality data from institutions all across Metropolitan Chicago. Over 80% of hospital affiliated mammography and treatment sites are participating. This is the largest voluntary effort of data collection across the continuum of breast care in a large, racially diverse metropolitan area with significant African American population and includes data not only from academic medical centers but also from public, safety net and community based facilities. The overall aim is to improve quality of care across the board and in so doing to reduce the death rate from breast cancer from those who are currently not benefiting from the advances made over the last 20 years. We believe that every woman should have an equal chance at survival from breast cancer.
Prior to joining the Task Force, Dr. Murphy was the State of Illinois’ Medicaid Director where she oversaw the creation of the nation’s first universal healthcare program for uninsured children – the All Kids program. She also led the transformation of the State’s Medicaid program to a medical home program and instituted disease management in the Medicaid program along with many other quality improvements. Dr. Murphy championed the improvement of women’s health by expanding the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program to all uninsured women with both federal and state funds. Illinois is the only state to cover all uninsured women and she also improved access to the Illinois Healthy Women’s program, which provides family planning services to uninsured women. Later she became the State’s Director of Health Programs at the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Governor’s health policy advisor. Dr. Murphy has a deep understanding of both health policy and what it takes to implement healthcare reform so that it truly benefits patients.
Before coming to Illinois, Dr. Murphy was a healthcare advisor to Senator Richard J. Durbin, Senator Paul Simon and Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She has a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. mod (Hons) in Natural Sciences from the Genetics Department at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.