About Our Community Network
The Office of Outreach and Health Disparities at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine have received several awards from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer prevention and HPV vaccine education. This collaborative is known as the Community Network for Cancer Prevention.
Led by Maria Jibaja-Weiss, Ed.D. and Jane Montealegre, Ph.D., director and deputy director of the OOHD, the CNCP was established to improve HPV vaccine education, breast, colorectal and cervical cancer screening services and referral; and follow-up processes for medically underserved Harris County residents with abnormal screening tests in those three cancer sites. CNCP’s primary goal is to raise awareness about breast, colorectal and cervical cancer prevention and HPV vaccine awareness.
The CNCP is made up of several institutions in the Texas Medical Center along with several community-based organizations across the greater Houston/Harris County area.
We are a network of partners that include several community-based organizations that are:
- Working to enhance breast, colorectal and cervical cancer prevention and control services for the medically underserved
- Initiating and expanding public dialogues on reducing cancer disparities in specific community constituencies
- See our list of collaborating partners
Our primary goal is to establish a joint collaboration between Baylor College of Medicine, the Harris Health System, and several community-based organizations to reach out to Harris County residents with breast, colorectal and cervical cancer prevention information.
HPV Vaccination among Pediatric Patients in a Safety Net Healthcare Setting
The Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Office of Outreach and Health Disparities was awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas to increase HPV vaccination among pediatric patients at Harris County’s safety-net healthcare system, Harris Health System, using the Community Network for Cancer Prevention model.
The goals of this project are to increase the proportion of pediatric patients at Harris Health System who initiate and complete the HPV vaccine series and promote continuous performance improvement through ongoing process evaluation and reporting. These goals will be accomplished through: training pediatric providers to give strong HPV vaccine recommendations; development and implementation of linguistically- and culturally-appropriate patient/parent education videos; deployment of tiered tracking, patient reminder/recall and patient navigation services; and utilization of evaluation strategies.
The Community Network for Cancer Prevention provides education resources to its partner organizations. These resources have various components to include our community outreach, patient resources, web resources, and resources for healthcare professionals
One of the key components of the CNCP is community outreach. Our collaborative consists of community partners in the greater Houston area who work at several levels to educate and/or provide breast, colorectal and cervical cancer screening services to patients and the greater community. Our outreach efforts consist of our Theater Outreach Program, which includes entertaining, yet educational full-length plays and monologues, the Forum Theater Project, and the development of patient education resources.
Forum Theater is an educational program and communication strategy that is part of the larger cancer prevention efforts of the CNCP. Using an interactive theater model, the purpose of the Forum Theater is to encourage community involvement in healthcare initiatives. A principal strategy is to engage community health workers in framing messages about colorectal and cervical cancer prevention, risk management, and screening that are then communicated at Forum Theater performances in the community.
We have developed several educational tools such as informative videos, a dedicated audio line, and printed materials to encourage patients to get regular cancer screenings for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer. These materials are linguistically and culturally appropriate and are available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. All the materials can be downloaded to any computer.
The Community Network for Cancer Prevention creates patient education materials in various formats (computerized, print, audio, and video) to be disseminated throughout the Harris Health System in its 12 community health centers and two hospitals, as well as through our collaborating organizations. The Harris Health System provides medical services to qualified underinsured and uninsured residents in Harris County, Texas. Currently, our patient education efforts are focused on breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening.
Despite the availability of effective primary and secondary prevention interventions for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer, a large proportion of patients eligible for these services in the Harris Health System system are not receiving recommended screening. The tools we developed serve to instruct patients about the different screening methods for each type of cancer and the importance of regular screening for early detection.
Our approach to bringing patient education and cancer screening services to the underserved residents of Harris County has two main objectives:
- Culturally and linguistically appropriate patient education materials for underserved residents and training materials for community health workers.
- Service delivery that engages the community in identifying needs and barriers to cancer screening services.
To fulfill these objectives, we rely on the electronic medical record (EMR) system in the Harris Health System. As part of the clinic work flow, health practitioners are alerted through health-maintenance modules in the EMRs of patients to identify those eligible and due for breast. colorectal, and cervical cancer screening. Once a patient has been identified, he or she is asked to view in the examination room computer appropriate educational videos before seeing a physician. Case managers then track the number of screenings ordered to ensure that patient follow-up on positive results is timely.