Community outreach and engagement (COE) activities are important in identifying catchment area needs, communicating these needs, and facilitating activities relevant to the population. The National Cancer Institute–designated cancer centers are required to conduct catchment-wide cancer needs assessments as part of their COE activities. The University of Nebraska Medical Center Buffett Cancer Center undertook a three-year-long process to conduct a needs assessment, identify priorities, and develop workgroups to implement cancer prevention and control activities. Activities were conducted through collaborations with internal and external partners. The needs assessment focused on prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer and involved secondary data analysis and focus groups with identified underrepresented priority populations (rural, African American, Hispanic, Native American, and LGBTQ+ populations). Results were tailored and disseminated to specific audiences via internal and external reports, infographics, and presentations. Several workgroups were developed through meetings with the internal and external partners to address identified priorities. COE-specific initiatives and metrics have been incorporated into University of Nebraska Medical Center and Buffett Cancer Center strategic plans. True community engagement takes a focused effort and significant resources. A systemic and long-term approach is needed to develop trusted relationships between the COE team and its local communities.

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