COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND ENGAGEMENT The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center (Sylvester) aims to eliminate the burden of cancer throughout its defined catchment area, a four-county region (Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach Counties) commonly known as South Florida. This area is home to more than six million people of diverse ancestry, racial/ethnic identities, and cultural backgrounds. As in the rest of the US, breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers account for the majority of new cancer cases in South Florida. However, there is an excess burden of cervical cancer in the region, particularly among Blacks. Patterns of disease incidence and mortality among South Florida Hispanics vary from that observed for Hispanics living elsewhere in the US. Researchers from Sylvester?s three multidisciplinary research programs are committed to identifying what accounts for this variability. Informed by a strategic planning process, center leadership formalized Sylvester?s Office of Outreach and Engagement (SOOE) in 2016 to establish the necessary institutional and community- based infrastructure to facilitate high impact, translational science reflective of catchment area need and demographic composition. A 25-member Community Advisory Committee (CAC), comprised of stakeholders reflecting South Florida?s multicultural and linguistic diversity, supports this office. Guided by CAC input, the SOOE participated in nearly 2,200 community events throughout the catchment area from 2016 to 2018, engaging approximately 26,000 racially and ethnically diverse individuals in culturally tailored education about cancer and cancer screening. Through the shared efforts of the SOOE and Sylvester?s Behavioral and Community-Based Research Shared Resource (BCSR), nearly 20% of these individuals were successfully recruited to ongoing interventional research studies in this same time period. Currently, 60% of Sylvester?s extramurally funded research portfolio is considered catchment area relevant, addressing a locally prevalent cancer and/or disparate population sub-group, and since 2016, Sylvester annually awards three catchment- focused pilot research projects to ensure further growth in this area of scientific emphasis. Sylvester investigators are leveraging research findings to shape statewide cancer health policy, such as a decontamination policy to reduce cancer risk among firefighters, and engaging in global oncology initiatives to extend Sylvester?s scientific reach and impact. Moving forward, the SOOE?s outreach activities will be largely informed by SCAN360, an interactive web-based platform developed by key Sylvester members, that provides a visual characterization of the cancer burden in South Florida to help investigators match local needs with research opportunities. Planned activities will further expand Sylvester?s outreach and research footprint in South Florida and beyond.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
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University of Miami School of Medicine
Coral Gables
United States
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