Cancer in Maryland, and its impact on the health of minority and underserved rural populations, is a particularly serious health care dilemma. In fact, Maryland now ranks 7th nationally in cancer incidence, and significant disparities are seen between African American and Caucasian populations in stage of diagnosis, access to early detection, cancer screening follow-up, treatment, and health services utilization. The unequal burden of cancer in minority and underserved communities nationally and in Maryland's minority and underserved communities is a compelling crisis that requires intensive scientific, community outreach and translation and application of research. Bowie State University (BSU), a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and its Program In Oncology and the Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center propose to establish a partnership with the overall goal of reducing and eventually eliminating cancer health disparities experienced by minority populations in Prince George's county and Baltimore City, Maryland by increasing the number of minority scientists pursuing successful cancer research careers and developing effective cancer education programs specifically targeting minority students and faculty, and the community.
The specific aims of the BSU-UMSOM partnership are: (1) To collaboratively develop and implement a joint minority cancer research career development training program (""""""""Cancer Research Training Program"""""""") in cancer health disparities research for BSU junior faculty;(2) To collaboratively enhance the science curriculum at BSU through the development, implementation, and evaluation of a cancer health disparities education curriculum (""""""""Undergraduate Cancer Education Program"""""""") to prepare BSU students for mentored undergraduate cancer research training at UMSOM;and (3) To collaboratively develop, implement, and pilot test an enhanced community-based caner outreach education program (""""""""Community Cancer Outreach Education Program"""""""") in price George's County specifically targeting minority, underserved communities (i.e., African Americans). The partnership's objectives blend the existing expertise at the collaborating institutions in the form of high- quality educational programs and a rich source of talent at BSU and the state-of-the-art cancer research, investigator training, and community outreach programs at UMSOM. This partnership is based on prior informal collaborations between members of faculty at BSU and UMSOM. The proposed partnership between BSU and UMSOM will address both community and institutional needs to effectively address cancer health disparities.