Purpose: The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) has been working to strengthen community outreach capacity through Community Health Educators (CHEs) of the NCI National Outreach Network (NON). The NON CHEs, based at academic and cancer centers across the country, strengthen NCI's ability to develop and disseminate culturally appropriate, evidence-based cancer information that is tailored to the specific needs and expectations of underserved communities. Over the past five years, NON CHEs have developed, adapted, and tested community education and outreach interventions that effectively reach underserved communities to address local and regional cancer health disparity issues.
Methods: A subset of NON CHEs have focused on outreach and educational interventions to reduce disparities specifically among Latino populations at high risk of cancer or cancer survivors in community settings from inner cities to rural areas. In 2010, these CHEs, based at more than 12 cancer centers and academic institutions across the country, established a working group to support one another. The NON CHE Latino Working Group shares best practices for disseminating culturally sensitive, evidence-based cancer prevention, screening, and survivorship information tailored to the specific needs of their respective Latino communities. The Latino Working Group's interventions and campaigns targeted breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancers, and also explored and addressed the key issue of research participation by the Latino community. The group utilized various evidence-based programs, such as the Cancer 101 curriculum and the inflatable colon. The NON CHE Latino Working Group conducted needs assessments, gathered qualitative and quantitative data to inform the adaptation of interventions, implemented and evaluated community education and outreach projects, and published findings from their work. They developed multiple educational materials, including one in collaboration with the NCI's Geographical Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program (GMaP) Region 4 program: The Clinical Trials Outreach for Latinos (CTOL): Program Replication Manual.
Preliminary Results: We will present outcomes from the NON CHE Latino Working Group's diverse projects including needs assessment and intervention testing results, review feedback from focus groups conducted in the United States and Puerto Rico, discuss the success of various evidence-based programs put into practice, share information on health education classes focusing on diet and nutrition, and the community's receptivity to participate in research. We will present data collected on over 5,000 Latinos who participated in the different NON CHE programs. The NON CHE Latino WG will also discuss lessons learned, challenges and best practices.
Conclusion: Although Latinos have lower incidence rates of certain cancers, they also suffer from higher mortality rates. Latino communities at risk of developing cancer and affected by cancer are often marginalized due to multiple factors and barriers, including inadequate health education, language barriers, lack of access to healthcare, and mistaken cultural beliefs about cancer. Latinos often do not engage in regular screening procedures resulting in worse health outcomes when compared to the Non-Hispanic White population. Major framework efforts, such as the established NCI/CRCHD NON CHE program, have a major impact in reducing cancer health disparities among this underserved population by offering culturally sensitive interventions that improve delivery of and/or promote practices in cancer education, prevention, screening, treatment and survivorship services.
Citation Format: Sandra L. San Miguel, Alelí Ayala-Marín, Katherine J. Briant, Niyati Desai, Leticia Gatus, Diego Gómez-Aristizabal, Evelyn González, Martha E. González, Natalia I. Heredia, Nadia Lazo, Rosa Ortiz, Lizette Rangel, Yonaira Rivera, Janet Sanchez, Mayra Serrano, Rose A. Treviño Whitaker. National Outreach Network Community Health Educators: An effective framework to reduce cancer health disparities among Latinos. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Eighth AACR Conference on The Science of Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; Nov 13-16, 2015; Atlanta, GA. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2016;25(3 Suppl):Abstract nr A31.