Formulating sound cancer control policies depends on a variety of scientific, economic, social, and political forces.
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The personal and economic costs of cancer health disparities are incalculable. The medically underserved are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage diseases that might have been treated more effectively or even cured if diagnosed earlier. To effectively improve the health of our communities we need to understand and address these disparities. Yet, before we address them systematically, we first must measure and then continue to monitor them.
It can be challenging to implement national or state goals and objectives, such as State Cancer Plans, at the local level and incorporate the evidence into programs in the community. The Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC) National Partnership helps to bridge this divide by supporting CCC coalitions in the development and implementation of comprehensive cancer control plans at the state, tribe, territory, U.S. Pacific Island Jurisdictions and local levels.
Positive public health outcomes can only be achieved if effective programs are sustained over time. However, sustainability is an ongoing challenge for public health programs, and for practitioners and researchers alike. This challenge is compounded by the fact that many things affect sustainability, including financial and political climates, factors in the organizational setting, and elements of project design and implementation.
So many programs designed to improve the health of individuals, communities and populations are categorical. This focus on specific diseases or risk factors can be very helpful in focusing efforts on specific actionable initiatives. But an over-focus on disease and risk factors also risks alienating individuals and organizations that are not motivated by this deficiency focus. What if, in addition, the functional health, and the social, environmental, behavioral and health care determinants of a community were measured and reported?
Developing, tailoring, and promoting health materials for your community and audience is often not an easy process. Effective and sustainable promotion strategies are needed to assure that all Americans benefit from important cancer information across the continuum. MIYO (Make It Your Own), created in 2008 by the Health Communication Research Lab at the Washington University in St. Louis, is a web-based system that gives community partners the tools to create customized, culturally appropriate health materials targeted to their audience without having to develop them from scratch.
A major challenge facing public health researchers and practitioners today is how to partner with other organizations, agencies, and groups to collaboratively address public health goals while effectively leveraging resources. The process by which organizations have engaged partners in collaboration has varied, with few ways to measure the success of these partnerships. Public leaders are eager to understand how to analyze these collaborations to determine whether the time and resources spent building these partnerships are worth the investment.
The demand for quality, patient-centered care is growing throughout the country. As more people are living with cancer, it is increasingly clear that the responsibility for such care extends beyond cancer centers and into communities and the home. Central to this challenge are the Commission on Cancer and the comprehensive cancer control coalitions.
Public health researchers and practitioners often work to solve complex population and health issues, such as obesity and chronic disease, which are deeply embedded within the fabric of society. As such, the solutions often require intervention and engagement with key stakeholders and organizations across many levels ranging from local entities (schools, churches, and work environments) to regional systems (health departments and hospital networks) to entire countries (national agencies). This multi-level, multi-participant view is at the heart of systems thinking, a proce
In recent years, the expansion of mobile health (mHealth) technologies, including health text messaging, mobile phone apps, remote monitoring and portable sensors, have changed the way healthcare is being delivered in the U.S.
The burden of cancer is often greater for the poor, ethnic minorities, and the uninsured than for the general population. To overcome these disparities, there is a need to identify and understand the contributing factors to develop and disseminate culturally appropriate interventions. During October's NCI Research to Reality cyber-seminar, Dr. Patricia Miranda, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Administration at Penn State University, will discuss her research on cancer disparities among Latinos and the need for targeted communications and intervention. Dr.