247702 Promoting Breast and Cervical Health through Patient Navigation in the Tongan Community

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ruth Peters, MPH , Department of Health Science, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Leah Leilani Beck, BS , Department of Health Science, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Lupe Fifita, BS , Tongan Community Service Center, Hawthorne, CA
Brian Hui , Tongan Community Service Center, Hawthorne, CA
Vanessa Tui`one , Tongan Community Service Center, Hawthorne, CA
Sora Park Tanjasiri, DrPH , Department of Health Science, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Significance Patient navigation (PN) has the potential to increase chronic disease prevention and control through timely utilization of cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services among Pacific Islander. Tongan Americans, a significantly underserved population in Southern California, possess some of the largest socio-demographic disparities. In order to address this inequity the Tongan Community Service Center/Special Services for Groups formed collaboration with California State University, Fullerton under WINCART (Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training).

Purpose The purpose of the project was to increase cancer screening, treatment and support for Tongan American women ages 40 and above through cancer-related PN services; and to develop, implement, and evaluate a PN program.

Methods The project consisted of: assessment of overarching community and patient-level barriers to screening services; hiring Tongan navigator to bridge the gap between cancer education and improved patient care; implementation of a Tongan PN protocol; building provider relations; promoting navigation services through education and outreach; identifying and recruiting women for screening; providing screening support and PN service to patients and their families through the cancer care continuum.

Results A culturally and linguistically tailored breast and cervical cancer education and navigation program was established. Preliminary results showed an increase in the number of women navigated to screening and treatment, and an increase in access to referral and support services

Discussion The first Tongan PN project in LA County was successful in establishing a framework for patient navigation, including provider-community contacts, increasing access to services and promoting healthy communities.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session the participants will be able to: 1.Identify and address community and patient-level barriers to cancer screening, treatment, and support services among Pacific Islanders, specifically Tongans. 2.Discuss the effects of patient navigation services on increasing breast and cervical cancer education, and access to breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment. 3.Discuss the strengths and challenges of community-academic collaborations in establishing program in uncharted areas of health services.

Keywords: Cancer Screening, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the WINCART Program Manager, I work in close collaboration with the Tongan Community Services Center/Special Services for Groups Patient Navigator to design, implement, assess, and evaluate the project. I am involved in the ongoing planning and strategic meetings to ensure project success, appropriateness of strategies and activities and the overall management of the project.
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.