Online Program

A sustainable community health worker model for training at-risk, disadvantaged populations in cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Katharine Nimmons, MSc, MPH, Center for Community Health Development - National CHW Training Center, TX A&M School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Julie Ann St. John, MA, MPH, DrPH, Center for Community Health Development, School of Rural Public Health, TAMHSC, San Benito, TX
Chris Beaudoin, PhD, Department of Communication, College of Liberal Arts, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Denise Adame, Center for Community Health Development, TX A&M School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
The EPICO (Education to Promote Improved Cancer Outcomes) cancer education intervention aims to increase delivery of cancer education through a replicable, sustainable training program for community health workers (CHWs) living and working among at-risk populations in Texas. Bicultural, bilingual CHW instructors used tailored strategies in English and Spanish to increase cancer prevention, treatment, and healthy survivorship behaviors among residents in two ways: 1) by delivering education modules directly to the residents; and 2) strengthening capacity of CHWs by delivering cancer education CEUs to certified community health workers. EPICO advocates a train-the-trainer methodology to strengthen the sustainability and scalability of the breast, cervical, and colorrectal cancer education program. Best practices included in the EPICO intervention were: utilization of CHWs; tailored messaging; and community based participatory research (CBPR) strategies. Challenges included: balancing the amount and level of cancer education for both promotores and residents and encouraging CHWs to incorporate the information within their daily outreach activities. Achievements included the delivery of 3,400 CEUs to CHWs between May 2012 and April 2013—who, in turn, then educated over 5000 residents. The EPICO intervention represents an effective model for disseminating health education and behavior change in culturally diverse settings. EPICO instructors integrate cancer expertise and community knowledge to develop culturally appropriate cancer education for CHWs they train. This training, using message tailoring and CBPR strategies, allows CHWs to adapt their training to characteristics of he individual residents they serve, ensuring the social acceptability of the outreach across the state.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the role of community health workers in this cancer prevention/early detection education intervention. Define and discuss message tailoring in the context of community health worker-delivered cancer education. Evaluate the sustainability and replicability of utilizing message tailoring and community health workers in delivering a cancer education, prevention, and training program to at risk, vulnerable populations.

Keyword(s): Community Health Promoters, Cancer Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a project specialist managing several components of the evaluation process for the community health worker project described. I have experience working with community health workers in Central America and Texas, and I have conducted public health research in Jamaica, Guatemala, and Texas.
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.