The Cancer Control and Population Health (CCPH) program is a relatively new program within the Kansas University Cancer Center, developed explicitly to identify better ways to bring cancer control efforts into high risk and underserved communities. The CCPH program is co-led by Edward F. Ellerbeck, MD, MPH and Kimberly K. Engelman, PhD and brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers focused on 1) advancing the science of working with underserved communities in efforts to improve cancer control and reduce cancer-related health disparities;2) identifying new strategies to improve smoking cessation and enhance the delivery of effective smoking cessation services;and 3) developing and testing novel methods to improve the delivery and uptake of effective cancer screening services. Since the creation of the CCPH, program members have made remarkable progress in developing the infrastructure to conduct cancer control research in underserved, regional rural, American Indian, African American, and Latino communities. Paralleling this growth in infrastructure has been a rapid growth in cancer control funding and an increase in program membership. CCPH program activities support both intra- and inter-programmatic interactions through translational research seminars, a visiting scholars program, research symposia, and research interest groups. A strong mentoring program has helped junior faculty procure training grants and minority supplements. CCPH research efforts have led to new discoveries related to the treatment of African American light smokers and the integration of smoking cessation efforts into rural primary care. Applying community based participatory research methods, CCPH researchers developed the first culturally tailored smoking cessation program designed for a heterogeneous American Indian community. The community-based research in the CCPH is strongly supported by a vibrant rural practice-based research network, the American Indian Health Research and Education Alliance, and the Latino Health Initiatives Network. This support has allowed CCPH members to enroll more than 10,000 people from underserved communities into cancer control research studies over the past 5 years. The 23 members of the CCPH program come from 5 departments in 2 schools. Although many members are new to cancer control research, they represent a rich mix of expertise, including psychologists, sociologists, neuroscientists, primary care physicians, oncologists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, anthropologists, economists, pharmacists, communication specialists, and health services researchers. Program members are supported by $11.5 million in total annual funds, including $3.6 million from the National Cancer Institute. CCPH members have published 131 articles since 2006 of which 53 (40%) were intra-programmatic and 38 (29%) were inter-programmatic. In addition, CCPH members have accounted for 52.23% of the usage of the Biostatistics &Informatics Shared Resource and 9.6% of the Biospecimen Shared Resource.
The Cancer Control and Population Health program is identifying better ways to engage high risk and underserved communities in cancer control efforts. Members of this program are focused on advancing implementation science related to cancer screening and developing better techniques to reduce tobacco consumption.
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