227002 Banding together to improve community health: Faith-based partnerships help improve breast and cervical cancer navigation in New Orleans

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Melody Robinson, MPH , School of Public Health, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
Rebecca Lynn Majdoch, MPH , Health Initiatives Department, American Cancer Society, Mid-South Division, Inc., New Orleans, LA
Nedra Wardsworth , Health Initiatives Department, American Cancer Society, Mid-South Division, Inc., New Orleans, LA
Introduction: As gaps in health outcomes widen, it has become necessary for public health practitioners to look to non-traditional partners to aid in the delivery of public health initiatives. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and Louisiana Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (LCCCP) agreed that patient navigation was needed in the New Orleans region as its fractured healthcare system was recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Churches in the region began to offer services to congregates that were outside of typical faith-based efforts. Church leaders sought non-traditional health resources. This need was partially met by the COFFEE (Circle Of Friends For Education and Early-detection) program. Methods: ACS and LCCCP identified the need for patient navigation services and resources in the metro region. The faith-based community was identified as a major partner and community resource as churches would provide a strong link to the communities they served. Faith-based groups in the African-American, Vietnamese and Latina communities were identified. Key members were invited to form a community advisory board along with relevant governmental and non-profit groups. Discussion: A volunteer navigation program was implemented in the metro New Orleans area in the three target populations. The program directed women to the services of the Louisiana Breast Cervical Health Program and identified and removed barriers keeping women from receiving provider-recommended health care. It was imperative for the leaders on the advisory board that the community would own the COFFEE program. Conclusion: Partnerships between public health and faith-based groups increases the scope and success of community outreach initiatives.

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objectives for these Abstract include: Discuss engaging non-traditional community partners in public health initiatives Discuss and compare the formulation of building trust relationships in communities Identify gatekeepers in the targeted communities Demonstrate key components to implementing a public health program in undeserved communities

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Adherence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as the program manager for Louisiana Comprehensive Cancer Control Program and I was instrumental in the development of the program and serve on the advisory board for the program
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.