Goal. The Community Outreach Program (COP) draws on the vast expertise of an established network of community-academic partners who place high value on the mutual goal of improved community health through engagement, dialogue and collective problem-solving approaches, and builds on a significant history of successful community partnerships for cancer prevention control and a strong outreach infrastructure created by the Tampa Bay Community Cancer Network (TBCCN). As outlined by the RFA, a Community Health Educator (CHE) is an integral part of this program, assists with NCI-coordinated activities as part of the National Outreach Network, and contributes to the dissemination of high quality evidence-based health promotion messages, NCI cancer materials, programs and tools. Figure 1, illustrates COP key components, which are elaborated upon in upcoming sections.
Specific aims are: 1. To contribute to a robust and sustainable health promotion and community outreach infrastructure through community collaborations, academic partnerships and capacity building. To accomplish this aim we propose to: 1) conduct a comprehensive needs assessment among community and academic partners to generate key priorities for education and outreach within the context of community and academic partners'mutually shared goals and needs;2) offer workshops, trainings and tools to bolster community capacity and skills about health related issues to foster sustainability (e.g. grantwriting workshops, developing low literacy materials workshops, and cancer survivorship activities);3) provide seed funding opportunities and small grants for community partners to support small community education, awareness and outreach activities;and 4) increase interactions among members of the Network through activities such as the Community Advisory Group (CAG). These activities ensure that community needs are the guiding framework for health promotion activities and provide a sustainable infrastructure through community partner capacity building and community-based resource allocation activities. 2. To deliver innovative health promotion, education and outreach activities and materials that consider the nexus of culture, language and literacy across the continuum of cancer care including biobanking and clinical trials education. To accomplish this aim we will: 1) conduct culturally tailored, literacy appropriate community-based cancer education and awareness activities within diverse community settings such as health fairs, multicultural festivals, adult education centers, and faith-based institutions;2) conduct 'Ask a Scientist'community-based education sessions whereby community partners and researchers collaborate to deliver innovative cancer education and awareness topics such as cancer prevention, health disparities, recruitment to clinical trials and biobanking;3) develop and implement youth ambassador programs that increase science and health literacy and promote career development;4) develop/adapt evidence-based cancer survivorship education programs for cancer survivors that are linguistically and culturally relevant for our target populations (e.g. cancer camps, education seminars);and 5) enhance and further disseminate low literacy cancer education materials developed in the current CNP (e.g. colorectal photonovella and breast/prostate cancer prevention brochures, biobanking education tools and smoking cessation materials). These activities equip communities with the necessary tools to enhance health from within their communities, specifically focusing on the reduction of health disparities. 3. To utilize novel approaches to disseminate information and research findings to communities, researchers, health care providers and decision makers. Using novel techniques we will disseminate project findings and critical cancer prevention and awareness information to a wide variety of audiences including local, regional and national populations. To accomplish this, we will: 1) utilize print and electronic channels (e.g., web-based technologies, CNP Center website. Cancer P.L.A.N.E.T.);2) collaborate with local media (print and radio) to deliver critical cancer prevention and research messages to broad local audiences; and 3) utilize visual methodologies such as testimonials, storytelling or other creative teaching-learning modalities. These activities will educate the broader community (including community members, health care providers and decision-makers) on health promotion, health disparities and research. This program works synergistically with the other cores to meet its aims, and facilitate achievement of aims. It is anticipated that the efforts of this program will yield an innovative model of community engagement that can be readily exported and transferred for broad application to other settings and populations for reducing cancer health disparities.
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