203399 Improving Health Care in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities: A Case Study of Colorectal Cancer Screening

Monday, November 9, 2009

Carolyn Aldigé , Prevent Cancer Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Judith S. Blanchard, MS , Programs Consultant, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Dee Ann DeRoin, MD, MPH , Community Health & Wellness Consultant, Lawrence, KS
Karen Peterson, PhD , Prevent Cancer Foundation, Alexandria, VA
Erica Childs Warner, MPH , Prevent Cancer Foundation, Alexandria, VA
American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations are significantly less likely than non-Hispanic whites to be screened and to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) at early, more treatable stages and more likely to be diagnosed in later stages. This case study focuses on the work of the Prevent Cancer Foundation to increase CRC screening in Indian Country, (1) working with ten AI/AN teams which developed action plans specific to their communities and (2) developing a Call to Action to increase broad-based support for making CRC screening a priority in Indian Country.

The AI/AN screening project was launched in 2007 with a working meeting which brought together the 10 teams, each with representatives drawn from collaborating organizations and tribal leadership, for discussion and identification of action steps to decrease CRC in their communities by increasing awareness, education and screening. Team outcomes ranged from awareness campaigns and elder luncheons to a men's clinic offering screening. The Foundation facilitated the process, collaborated with national groups and leveraged public and private resources to provide each team a small grant and in-depth technical assistance for one year.

A Call to Action including a Tribal Resolution was developed as a simple, flexible tool to educate and support making CRC screening a priority in Indian Country. The Foundation is working both at the grassroots and national levels to gain signatures and support from other organizations concerned about health disparities and Indian Country.

Successful collaboration has been instrumental in moving these efforts forward with limited resources.

Learning Objectives:
After this presentation, participants will be able to: give a brief overview of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening; describe regional cancer disparities in American Indian/Alaska Native communities; explain the importance of partnerships and collaboration in increasing cancer prevention and screening in underserved populations; and summarize lessons learned for increasing colorectal cancer screening across Indian Country that may be generalizable to other complex health care challenges which require both medical and public health inputs.

Keywords: Cancer, American Indians

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am PI on the CRC screening project and have been fully involved in its planning and implementation. I have worked in cancer prevention/early detection for 0ver 6 years and have extensive experience working with cultural communities on public health issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.