The Appalachian region has long been considered an area with pronounced health disparities, particularly related to cancer. A transdisciplinary team of community partners and academic collaborators from Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia propose to build on the strong foundation of community based participatory research (CBPR) and implement the next generation of cancer disparities reduction efforts for the low income, medically underserved population of Appalachia. This proposed National Community Network Program will consist of a headquarters site at the University of Kentucky and regional sites at the Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), West Virginia University and the University of Kentucky and will address cancer disparities in a five-state region. Each partnering institution includes a constellation of regional community and academic partners who collectively have built strong CBPR models for cancer research and intervention. Plans for this proposed Community Networks Program have been developed in collaboration with community partners and is structured to include community participation. The ACCN will include an Administrative Core at the University of Kentucky and programs in Research, Training and Community Outreach. The Research Program will include a full research project that will test a faith-based intervention to reduce cancer risks by addressing the problem of obesity, which occurs in epidemic proportions in Appalachia. The full research project will be implemented in all ACCN regions. A pilot project on health communications related to participation in clinical trials is proposed by a promising junior investigator with mentorship by ACCN senior investigators at two universities. The Training program proposes an initiative that will provide structured, mentored experiences for junior investigators and postdoctoral trainees. The Community Outreach program will continue to develop infrastructure and support for community interactions and will include a Community Health Educator to work jointly with the ACCN and CRCHD.
This proposed project focuses on reducing cancer health disparities in Appalachia, a population with high rates of several types of cancer. The project will be planned and carried out with community partners and will be designed with a clear vision of the needs, interests and values of the community. The research will be carried out in partnership with the faith community and will focus on obesity which increases cancer risk.
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