This proposal entitled the Chicago Southside Cancer Disparities Initiative (CSCDI) seeks support to form a partnership between the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC), a NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center, and Chicago State University (CSU), a minority serving institution, to develop an infrastructure for cancer education, training and outreach. Abiding to the call for action to increase underrepresented minorities in the health care workforce as a mechanism to reduce disparities and advance research pertinent to the community, it is critical that we develop educational and academic pathways to increase knowledge transfer at the undergraduate and graduate levels. To this end, the CSCDI's objectives are to: 1) Create an Inter-University collaboration to develop, implement and evaluate cancer disparities curriculum to be integrated within selected CSU's current MPH curriculum as well as UC's Pritzker School of Medicine's (PSOM) curriculum. 2) Provide opportunities for community involvement through collaboratively developing and enhancing existing service learning sites(i.e. community organization) at both institutions;3) Train MPH cohorts to engage service learning sites(i.e. community organization) in cancer prevention, health promotion and dissemination of cancer research;and 4) Expand education and training beyond the 4-year grant period by utilizing an NCI mechanism Cancer Education Program (R25E) or other federal agency collaborative research training grant There is a pressing need to improve cancer outcomes in Chicago. Specifically, UCCCC has been a leading institution for groundbreaking cancer research and technological advances. However, impact at the community level has been challenging and research dissemination into communities has been weak. CSU, an urban public University has had a long history of education, leadership and commitment to the Chicago's Southside. CSU has recently developed a new Master of Public Health (MPH) program to focus on minority health and health equity, providing an exciting opportunity for our partnership. However, despite CSU's strengths and reach, their research program and expertise in cancer disparities are tenuous, while cancer disparities on Chicago's Southside are on the rise. CSCDI, therefore, is an innovative and timely partnership that will bridge outstanding minority students and faculty together with nationally recognized educators and researchers in the field of cancer to increase the pool of minority public health professionals interested in studying cancer disparities.
Cancer disparities among minority communities continue to grow. It is time to affect change by diversifying the health professional work force, a critical stp to the continued progress of cancer research, knowledge transfer and the understanding of cancer disparities among marginalized groups. By providing education to a diverse public health workforce, we will improve dissemination, strengthen our reach and collaborate to affect change.