Surbhi Grover, MD, MBA

Dr. Grover is interested in addressing the growing global cancer burden by focusing on public health endeavors and cost-effective clinical initiatives to improve access to care and outcomes of care in developing countries. Her research interests include racial and ethnic disparities in cancer care and outcomes, HIV-related malignancies, implementation and up-scaling of prevention and treatment programs in low resource settings. Since 2011 she has been working with the Botswana-UPENN partnership in developing an oncology program in Botswana. Her research will be focused on epidemiology of HPV related cancers (cervical, head and neck and anal) and treatment outcomes in patients with HIV and malignancies in Botswana.

Overview of current project

University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center – Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana

Dr. Grover and her fellow researchers at Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana developed a multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach to accelerate care and improve communication between healthcare professionals and their patients so that patients would have access to treatment facilities faster. The team established weekly meetings with providers, including radiation oncologists, clinical oncologists, gynecologists, nurse coordinators, and palliative care specialists to discuss patient cases and develop treatment plans in collaboration. Together, the team worked to submit paperwork and other documentation, reducing delays in treatment and simplifying the overall process.

Over the course of six months, the team treated 135 patients. With the implementation of the new MDT approach, they were able to reduce the time between diagnosis and treatment initiation by more than 50 percent, cutting the median delay from biopsy to treatment initiation to 39 days — a significant improvement from the previous average of 108 days.