Tag Archives: outreach

World Cancer Day 2017—Bringing the Message Home

by ACCC Communications

WCD_LOGO_4C“We can. I can.” This is the campaign slogan of World Cancer Day, an international campaign focused on increasing cancer awareness on the national, organizational, and individual level.

This February 4, 2017, the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) stands shoulder to shoulder with cancer care providers, patients, and families across the globe in recognition of World Cancer Day. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, each year more than 8 million people die of cancer worldwide. By the year 2025, this number is projected to increase to more than 11 million.

With the approach of World Cancer Day, ACCC salutes its members in cancer programs and practices across the country who are embodying the “We can. I can.” call to action every day, not only in caring for patients with cancer, but engaging their communities through outreach, education, and screening events throughout the whole year. Here are just a few recent examples of ACCC member initiatives:

ACCC acknowledges all of its members for their “we can” spirit that connects cancer programs and practices across the country in peer-to-peer learning—sharing knowledge, experiences, and solutions—to the benefit of the patients and the communities they serve.

Reaching Out, Serving Our Communities

One in an occasional blog series on topics from Oncology Issues, the journal of the Association of Community Cancer Centers.

by Susan van der Sommen, MHA, CMPE, FACHE, ACCC Editorial Committee Chair

The words community on a bulletin boardDue to mandates in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and revised Commission on Cancer standards, community outreach programs have become more prevalent in recent years with an enhanced mission of reaching community-dwelling consumers who do not utilize the healthcare system in a manner that is effective for achieving optimal health outcomes. ACCC-member programs play an important role in these efforts, and are actively engaged in outreach initiatives as varied as the populations they intend to reach. Here are just a few examples.

Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio, winner of a 2012 ACCC Innovator Award, launched a Convenient Care Mammography Program aimed at providing mammography to working women on their lunch breaks. The program removes excuses that women often make to avoid getting their annual screenings—from “I’m too busy” to “the timing is not convenient”—by providing a streamlined, time-efficient process, convenient scheduling, and even transportation!

Since 2006, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute, a multi-site cancer program serving southern Idaho, eastern Oregon, and northern Nevada, has been developing community-based approaches to youth-based prevention education programs that address such issues as tobacco use, sun safety, and healthy lifestyle habits.

To better serve its community Klabzuba Cancer Center at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth employs two mobile health coaches with full examination facilities, as well as mammography suites to bring screening services and education to work sites and rural locations, removing barriers to care access. To provide these services, this 2013 ACCC Innovator Award winner has partnered with businesses, government agencies, and other local organizations.

The Bassett Cancer Institute with its flagship site in rural Cooperstown, New York, began a cancer screening outreach program in 2008, which in 2014 won the HANYS Community Health Improvement Award.  Recognizing that the socioeconomic status, geography, and lack of effective public transportation in their eight-county region impacts the ability of patients to access preventive services, the mobile coach, which was constructed with a digital mammography and a self-contained clinical unit, travels to a variety of community-based sites, enabling staff to reach more underserved people with mammograms, clinical breast exams, Pap smears, and colorectal cancer screenings than through routine office visits.

The cover story of the May/June 2016 edition of Oncology Issues highlights Christiana Care’s Community Health Outreach and Education Program, which takes community outreach to a new level by incorporating a tailored approach designed to reach a culturally diverse population in a manner that is comfortable and welcoming.

The American Journal of Preventative Medicine notes that “cultural competence in an individual or organization implies having the capacity to function effectively within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities.”

Christiana Care’s outreach and education program was designed with the inherent understanding that a “one size fits all” or “open our doors and they will come” approach will not always work—particularly with disparate populations. Their solution? Set up shop in the local farmer’s market where more than 75 culturally diverse vendors sell their products. Christina Care’s concerted effort to employ multicultural, bilingual staff and deploy the team in a non-traditional venue where they are guaranteed to reach the population is not only innovative, but also very effective.  Where better to reach a population than in a place where they already come together both for work and pleasure?

According to the Institute of Medicine report, Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion, health literacy is defined as “the degree to which individuals can obtain, process, and understand the basic health information and services they need to make appropriate health decisions.” The same report notes that nearly half of all American adults—90 million people—have inadequate health literacy to navigate the healthcare system. Inequitable delivery of care and the resulting disparities affect the overall health and well-being of individuals in a manner that may ultimately result in a public health concern.

The farmer’s market outreach and education program developed by Christiana Care is a successful formula for ensuring that education and outreach occurs not only within the communities it serves, but also in a manner that speaks to patients—quite literally—in a language they can understand.



On Smoking and Health: The Fight Goes On

by Amanda Patton, Manager Communications, ACCC

PrintSaturday January 11 marks the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health. This landmark report was an opening salvo in a sustained fight to reduce smoking and curb its devastating effects.  While we’ve made remarkable progress—smoking rates among U.S. adults have been cut in half since 1964—tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the U.S.

A study in this month’s Journal of the American Medical Association provides perspective on the powerful impact tobacco control efforts have had on public health in this country.  In the decades since the Surgeon General’s first report, the study estimates 8 million premature deaths from smoking have been avoided.

And yesterday’s report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the decrease in new lung cancer rates among men and women in the United States from 2005 to 2009 is more good news.

Still, the fight goes on. Here are some sobering  facts from the CDC on the economic costs of smoking:

  • During 2000–2004, cigarette smoking was estimated to be responsible for $193 billion in annual health-related economic losses in the U.S. (nearly $96 billion in direct medical costs and an additional $97 billion in lost productivity).
  • Cigarette smoking results in 5.1 million years of potential life lost in the U.S. annually.

And on current estimates of youth tobacco use:

  • Each day in the U.S., nearly 4,000 people younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette
  • An estimated 1,000 youth in that age group become new daily cigarette smokers.

The 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s Report is a renewed call to action on this public health issue. Community cancer centers are important partners in the fight to end smoking and its negative health effects. Across the country, community cancer programs are participating in outreach education to schools and communities on the hazards of tobacco use, as well as providing lung cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment, and smoking cessation support. The recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation for lung cancer screening for those at high risk will further enable community cancer centers to identify and treat tobacco-related lung cancers.

Next week, a 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report (SGR) on smoking and health is slated for release. This new report will highlight the progress that has been made in tobacco control and prevention, present new data on the health effects of tobacco use, and detail initiatives that can end the tobacco use epidemic in the U.S.

The Association of Community Cancer Centers will continue to support its membership in this fight by providing practical resources and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Look for an upcoming article in Oncology Issues on implementing the latest lung screening recommendations in the community setting.

We can all hope that this fight will not last another 50 years.