Faculty

Irwin, Kelly, MD, MPH

Founding Director
Collaborative Care and Community Engagement Program
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

Instructor in Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School

Biography

Dr. Kelly Irwin is a psychiatrist and health services researcher at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center and MGH Schizophrenia Program who studies health care disparities in patients with serious mental illness (SMI) and cancer. Dr. Irwin received her MD from Harvard Medical School in 2008 and completed her residency in psychiatry at MGH and McLean in 2012. She is the founding director of the Collaborative Care and Community Engagement Program at the MGH Cancer Center, a clinical and research initiative dedicated to achieving equity in cancer care for people with SMI. Dr. Irwin is interested in understanding why individuals with SMI including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are twice as likely to die from cancer and in developing interventions to improve their cancer outcomes. She is a principal investigator in the Cancer Outcomes Research Program and the MGH Schizophrenia Program. Dr. Irwin’s team is conducting a series of studies focused on improving cancer outcomes throughout the continuum of cancer care for people with SMI. With funding from the American Cancer Society, she developed and piloted an innovative model of proactive psychiatry consultation for individuals with serious mental illness and cancer which was highlighted in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Irwin is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial (BRIDGE) to assess the impact of this intervention on cancer care. Over the past year, Dr. Irwin was awarded funding from the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, the MGH Cancer Center, and MGH Psychiatry, to sustain and grow her research program. Dr. Irwin was recently awarded a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Engagement Award to launch a Cancer and Mental Health Collaborative to build a community network of diverse stakeholders to advance patient-centered research focused on cancer and SMI and create sustainable channels to disseminate research findings.

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