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Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center

Cancer Prevention

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Office of Outreach and Health Disparities

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The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine established the Office of Outreach and Health Disparities in 2007 to ensure that the large, diverse and underserved population of our catchment area, the larger Houston area, benefit from innovative outreach, education, screening, and primary prevention strategies.

The OOHD believes outreach and engagement with the Houston area communities is vital to promote health equity.  Through the years, the OOHD has implemented multi-pronged approaches to community outreach, education, access to cancer screening and prevention, community-engaged research, policy, and advocacy.

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Community Outreach Calendar of Events Cancelled

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Efforts to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, have resulted in the cancellation of events sponsored by and hosted at Baylor College of Medicine. Additional details will be provided at a later time. 

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Cancer Prevention, Screening, and Treatment Resources

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The OOHD strives to be an educational resource for cancer screening, awareness, and treatment decisions. We offer interactive multimedia programs to explore cancer screening and treatment decisions, free printable educational activities to increase awareness about cancer prevention among school-aged children, and more.

The Office of Outreach and Health Disparities focuses on creating community-based programs and activities that target minority populations to address cancer health disparities affecting those populations.

Under the leadership of Maria L. Jibaja-Weiss, Ed.D., director, and Jane Montealegre, Ph.D., deputy director, the OOHD collaborates with the Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Program to effectively develop and disseminate research-based solutions to prevent and reduce cancer health disparities in the greater Houston community, and throughout Texas.

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Catchment Area

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The DLDCCC is an NCI-designated cancer center. “Catchment area” refers to the geographic area in which a cancer center focuses its activities.  The DLDCCC’s original catchment area was the Houston/Harris County area; however, recently the area served by the Cancer Canter was expanded to include the broader metropolitan region around Houston, a geographic area that includes Harris and 8 surrounding counties.

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OOHD Goals

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  • Conduct implementation science research to integrate evidence-based cancer screening interventions into current health care practice within the greater Houston area
  • Develop and implement targeted strategies for outreach and education of high-risk and medically underserved populations in the greater Houston area
  • Develop and publish culturally and linguistically appropriate cancer prevention education materials for patients and the public
  • Promote knowledge and awareness of cancer prevention and education
  • Maximize collaboration and partnerships with community agencies and schools in underserved areas in order to build capacity to address cancer disparities
  • Promote bi-directional communication and exchange of knowledge between researchers and communities to address cancer disparities
  • Enhance enrollment of underrepresented minorities in clinical trials
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National Outreach Network Community Health Educator Facilitated Initiative

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The OOHD at Baylor's DLDCCC was awarded a three-year supplement grant from the National Cancer Institute to fund a National Outreach Network Community Health Educator facilitated cancer prevention program. As part of the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, the NON strengthens the ability of NCI-Designated Cancer Centers to develop and disseminate culturally appropriate, evidence-based cancer information that is tailored to the specific needs and expectations of underserved communities through CHEs.

The NON CHE program aims to improve the awareness and attitudes of preventing cancer through HPV vaccination in underserved Spanish speaking Latino parents of adolescent children. The program acts as an extension of the Theater Outreach Program and consists of a Spanish language monologue written by a professional playwright and developed with the help of Clinical and Community Advisory Boards.

At each event, the monologue is performed by a professional actress and is followed by a question and answer discussion with the audience and the CHE. Additionally, we will be a part of NCI’s Screen to Save Initiative this year that aims to improve screening rates for colorectal cancer across the country.

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Cancer Prevention, Screening, and Treatment Resources

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The OOHD strives to be an educational resource for cancer screening, awareness, and treatment decisions. We offer interactive multimedia programs to explore cancer screening and treatment decisions, free printable educational activities to increase awareness about cancer prevention among school-aged children, and more.

The Office of Outreach and Health Disparities focuses on creating community-based programs and activities that target minority populations to address cancer health disparities affecting those populations. The programs use a common model involving multi-level strategies to target gaps along the continuum of care.

Under the leadership of Maria L. Jibaja-Weiss, Ed.D., director, and Jane Montealegre, Ph.D., deputy director, the OOHD collaborates with the Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Program to effectively develop and disseminate research-based solutions to prevent and reduce cancer health disparities in the greater Houston community, and throughout Texas.