The historical experiences and cultural environment of the cities of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, their suburbs and the surrounding rural counties is important to the context of the mission of the WNYC(2) Center and proposed Community Outreach Program. Puring the 1850's and Civil War era, WNY was a major journey point in the abolitionist movement serving as final American stops on the Underground Railroad for assisting former slaves to escape into Canada. Then with the growth of shipping and the industrial revolution, Buffalo became the home of the most millionaires per capita at the turn of the 20th century. Puring World War II and post-war boom, more African Americans from southern states moved into Buffalo for industrial jobs and then became the predominate subgroup on the Eastside creating a movement of the previous European ethnic groups from urban Buffalo into other parts of Erie and surrounding counties. These historical waves of migration resulted in what has been characterized as the """"""""color line,"""""""" referring to the hierarchical categorization of class and resources by ethnic/racial characteristics or origins that included Irish, Italian and Eastern European immigrants as """"""""nonwhite"""""""" at the turn ofthe century.(1) By the 1980's, the City of Buffalo had lost 23% of its population, thousands of jobs and major industrial employers like Bethlehem Steel, resulting in a loss of 70% of its tax base.^ Many of these displaced workers?White and Black- still live in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Erie and the surrounding counties and embody both the occupational risks from past exposures as well as the economic pressures of unemployment. The resulting sociocultural dynamics are important influences on racial and economic circumstances. This economic decline resulted in social and political repercussions related to fears of class and job displacement such as delayed integration of public schools (1981);patterns for white ethnic flight of Polish, German, and Irish families;development of housing """"""""projects"""""""" for both White and Black residents, and continued de facto segregation of neighborhoods.(2,3) A recent story in the media reported that the City of Buffalo """"""""is the home to the emptiest neighborhood in New York State"""""""" referring to a neighborhood with the most abandoned homes. (4) The Southern Tier, including the county of Chautauqua, was primarily settled in the late 1700's by European immigrants, lending to its primarily white demographic base. In the 1800's however, with multiple stations of the Underground Railroad throughout the county, Jamestown was host to one of the first settlements of 'free colored people.(5) The first African American Episcopal Zion Church in Chautauqua County opened in Jamestown in 1882.(6) WNY is also home to a large per capita population of Hispanic/Latinos in the Punkirk area, migrating from New York City, primarily of Puerto Rican descent. There is a strong migrant presence in the area's agricultural workforce originating from Mexico. The presence of racial inequities in health and healthcare has been well documented nationally. (7) Several factors are suggested as possible causes of these inequities and resulting disparities, including, but not limited to, health care provider bias, stereotyping, and clinical uncertainty.(7 )Likewise, neighborhood dynamics including segregation, gentrification, built environment and poverty impact behavior and disease.(8) The combination of historical processes and their impact on community and environmental level variables have created significant cancer disparities in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Chautauqua and these communities and their resources will provide the solutions. Briefly, the theoretical foundation for our Community Outreach Program plans is built upon addressing disparities at multiple levels following a Socioecological Model.(9) For example, in tobacco, RPCI will continue work at a policy level (e.g., taxes and no-smoking policies), (see Facilities and Resources) and we will enhance the community level involvement with new interventions with Block Club Associations, while working at the institutional/provider level to enhance cessation in our proposed research. (See N4.R01) The interventions to reduce disparities proposed in our Center are focused on building social capital among medically underserved residents of WNY to optimize their ability and interest in using available cancer resources and procedures'"""""""";while expanding the experiences of the RPCI staff to improve understanding of the social and cultural context of vulnerable communities.(10) The concept of social capital as used in our Center is defined as the """"""""benefits and challenges that accrue from participation in social networks and groups(11) and includes the positive attributes of civic engagement and norms of reciprocity and trust (as is often used in public health literature).(12)

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
Program Officer
Banez, Lionel L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
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Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Roswell Park Cancer Institute Corp
United States
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Widman, Christy A; Rodriguez, Elisa M; Saad-Harfouche, Frances et al. (2018) Clinician and Parent Perspectives on Educational Needs for Increasing Adolescent HPV Vaccination. J Cancer Educ 33:332-339
Mahoney, Martin C; Erwin, Deborah O; Twarozek, Annamaria Masucci et al. (2018) Leveraging technology to promote smoking cessation in urban and rural primary care medical offices. Prev Med 114:102-106
Ray, Andrew D; Twarozek, Annamaria Masucci; Williams, Brian T et al. (2018) Exercise in African American and White Colorectal Cancer Survivors: A Mixed Methods Approach. Rehabil Oncol 36:188-197
Soucise, Allison; Vaughn, Caila; Thompson, Cheryl L et al. (2017) Sleep quality, duration, and breast cancer aggressiveness. Breast Cancer Res Treat 164:169-178
Rodriguez, Elisa M; Saad-Harfouche, Frances G; Miller, Austin et al. (2016) Engaging diverse populations in biospecimen donation: results from the Hoy y MaƱana study. J Community Genet 7:271-277
Mahoney, Martin C; Saad-Harfouche, Frances G; Widman, Christy A et al. (2016) Clinician Misperceptions about the Importance of Adolescent HPV Vaccination. World J Vaccines 6:
duPont, Nefertiti C; Mahoney, Martin C; Kahn, Linda S et al. (2016) Developing a Smoking Cessation Intervention for Low Income and Minority Women. J Womens Health Care 5:
Rodriguez, Elisa M; Twarozek, Annamaria Masucci; Erwin, Deborah O et al. (2016) Perspectives on Smoking Cessation in Northern Appalachia. J Community Health 41:211-9
Sly, Jamilia; Jandorf, Lina; Erwin, Deborah O (2015) Who's Missing? Predictors of Attrition Following Participation in Culturally Targeted Educational Breast and Cervical Cancer Outreach Programs for Latinas. J Health Commun 20:851-8
Chambers, Meghan K; Ireland, Anna; D'Aniello, Rona et al. (2015) Lessons Learned from the Evolution of an Academic Community Partnership: Creating ""Patient Voices"". Prog Community Health Partnersh 9:243-51

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