NCI Plans to Expand Outreach through Community-based Research Programs
NCI recently announced plans to incorporate its community outreach and cancer information dissemination activities as a key component in all of the institute’s community-based research programs, creating an enhanced National Outreach Network.
“NCI is committed to the effective dissemination of cancer information, particularly to underserved communities, and we believe it is a responsibility that should be met by all of our community-based research initiatives,” explained Dr. Sanya Springfield, director of NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) during her July 29 presentation at NCI’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) Partnership Program meeting.
“We anticipate expanding NCI’s outreach capacity through several entities,” Dr. Springfield said. These include the Community Networks Program (CNP), Minority Institution/Cancer Center Partnerships (MI/CCP), Patient Navigation Research Program (PNRP), Minority Based Community Clinical Oncology Program (MB-CCOP), NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), and the NCI-designated Cancer Centers—all programs with a proven track record for community-based research, Dr. Springfield explained.
NCI will incorporate the 33 years of experience it has gained from the CIS Partnership Program, which will end in January 2010, into the institute’s disparities research programs, she continued, “and we will create and maintain a sustainable National Outreach Network within medically underserved communities.” Through integration of community outreach and education activities into its disparities research programs, the institute will be better positioned to more effectively reach communities in need.
The new outreach network will be established in several phases, beginning in September with the hiring of community health educators by organizations involved in NCI’s community-based research programs. “Once implemented, this network of community outreach activities will represent a total of 66 sites across the United States and will ensure broad coverage for NCI’s community outreach effort to some of our most vulnerable populations,” Dr. Springfield said.
NCI will also incorporate Community Outreach Cores within the community-based research programs to fully integrate and sustain the community health educators in the National Outreach Network. “These new cores will provide continued staff and resources for outreach, education, and dissemination, and will support NCI in meeting the cancer control needs of communities,” Dr. Springfield added.
Staff from CRCHD and NCI’s Office of Communications and Education (OCE) will continue to assist community partners with ongoing activities, such as training and technical assistance, explained OCE Director Lenora Johnson. “NCI looks forward to continuing to engage our public and private national partners, current and new, to develop collaborations that effectively address cancer health disparities in our communities,” she said.