267920 A comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing community health needs around cancer: Lessons learned from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Community Health Needs Assessment

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Lisa S. Wolff, ScD , Research and Evaluation Department, Health Resources in Action, Inc., Boston, MA
Anne Levine, MEd, MBA , External Affairs, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Magnolia Contreras, MSW, MBA , External Affairs, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Valerie Polletta, MS , Research and Evaluation Department, Health Resources in Action, Inc., Boston, MA
Elizabeth Gonazalez Suarez, MA , External Affairs, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Comprehensive cancer centers are in a unique position to provide education, screening, and prevention services to underserved communities. To provide these services, it is critical to not only understand community residents' cancer perceptions, but also how the social and economic context of their community can affect health-seeking behaviors. To this end and bolstered by The Affordable Care Act's community health needs assessment (CHNA) mandate, non-profit cancer centers have an opportunity to examine community assets and needs around cancer and identify how these needs can be addressed within a social determinants of health framework.

Using this framework, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute undertook a CHNA focusing on traditionally underserved neighborhoods in Boston. A mixed-methods approach was used to gather qualitative and quantitative data, including analyzing epidemiological data across the cancer continuum, conducting focus groups with community residents, completing in-depth interviews with leaders from a range of community-based organizations, and engaging a community advisory committee throughout the process (total n=86). The goals of this presentation are to 1) discuss the process and lessons learned of conducting a CHNA for a comprehensive cancer center, and 2) share findings regarding perceptions of cancer and related services in underserved communities.

Data revealed significant social and economic patterns in prevention behaviors, incidence, and mortality. Furthermore, cancer was considered a low priority for residents compared to other chronic conditions and concerns of meeting basic needs. Engaging residents and leaders throughout the CHNA helped ensure methods were salient and findings could be translated into actionable strategies to address community needs.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
-Identify steps and lessons learned of how a comprehensive cancer center can undertake a successful community health needs assessment -Explain how quantitative data on cancer can be complemented by qualitative data from focus groups and interviews to provide a rich portrait of a community within a social determinants of health framework -Describe how residents from traditionally underserved communities perceive cancer and cancer prevention

Keywords: Cancer, Community Benefits

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I lead the Research and Evaluation Department at a large non-profit public health organization. I have served as the principal investigator on numerous community health assessment and evaluation studies in public health, particularly focusing on the social determinants of health.
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.