OBJECTIVE: To bring together public and community-based organizations in order to mobilize African American communities and optimize resources to eliminate the disparity in breast and cervical cancer morbidity and mortality between African American and Caucasian women. The target population consisted of rural and urban low-income African American women in Alabama. METHODS: This project was based on community empowerment and coalition development models. The primary goals of the coalition and community building phases were to establish a community-based infrastructure to assess community needs, and analyze breast and cervical cancer screening data in the target population. Based on the results of the assessment, a population-specific community action plan was developed. RESULTS: Eighty-four lay women were recruited to serve as community health advisors. They were also trained to conduct formative evaluations in targeted counties. Their evaluations identified three major barriers to early detection and treatment of breast and cervical cancer: 1) individual, 2) community, and 3) health care provider. Based on their findings, the coalition developed a community action plan that addressed three societal levels of change (individual, community systems, and agents of change). SIGNIFICANCE: This is the first project in Alabama to systematically assess cancer awareness and screening behaviors in largely medically underserved, African American women. A major strength of the program is its partnership with a diverse coalition whose mission is to empower and mobilize residents.
Learning Objectives: "At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: 1. Discuss three strategies to mobilize minority communities. 2. Identify four ways to build community capacity. 3. Articulate the processes involved in developing a community action plan.
Keywords: Cancer Prevention, Community Collaboration
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: This is a collaborative effort between the University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Alabama, and the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA