I currently serve as the principal investigator for Cervical Cancer Free-Kentucky Initiative and a Professor in the Departments of Health Behavior, Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, and Health Services Management at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health. I also have a joint appointment in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Kentucky College of Medicine. My current research activities focus on cancer and chronic disease prevention and I am especially interested in education and policy change as it relates to the reduction of cervical cancer. I also serve on a number of graduate medical education related boards and committees, such as the National Resident Matching Program, American Medical Association Council on Medical Education, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and National Rural Health Association Rural Medical Educators. I received the National Rural Health Association’s Louis Gorin Award for Outstanding Achievement in 2008 and have been a University of Kentucky Charles T. Wethington Research Award recipient for the past five years.
Questions and Answers
Cervical Cancer-Free Kentucky recently hosted our annual conference for stakeholders, community members and cervical cancer survivors and family members in Bowling Green, KY on May 15, 2012. Mrs. Madeline Abramson, wife of Kentucky’s Lt. Governor provided the keynote address and endorsed the work that local agencies (such as state health departments) are doing in promoting adolescent HPV vaccination, cervical and breast cancer screenings. Two 2011 CCFKY mini-award project director’s presented on the outcomes of their projects.
·CCFKY's 2011-2012 mini-award projects (twelve awarded) were completed June 30, 2012, and final reports are due August 15, 2012.
·Contingent upon funding, we are gearing up to award funding for 8 mini-award projects to help impact cervical cancer disparities in Kentucky for the FY2013 year. Project proposals must be specific to at least one of the four project areas and at least one of the four strategies listed below. Examples of previously funded projects are located on our website.
1.Cervical cancer prevention, screening and diagnosis
2.Access to cervical cancer follow-up care and treatment
3.Changes in cervical cancer-related health policy
4.Cervical cancer survivorship
1.Dissemination and/or replication of successful Kentucky models of cervical cancer prevention
2.Policy and/or systems change
·On January 3, 2012, CCFKY launched “Cause the Movement,” a personalized cervical cancer awareness campaign that is ongoing. Through this campaign, we hope to reduce Kentucky’s cervical cancer rate, which is eighth highest in the country, through three steps:
1.Educating Kentuckians about cervical cancer, prevention and treatment;
2.Increasing the number of women who get cervical cancer prevention screenings, and who get follow up testing and/or treatment when the screenings yield abnormal results; and
3.Encouraging both males (ages 11-26) and females (ages 9-26) to get the HPV vaccination series.
When users visit www.causethemovement.org, they are taken to an application that connects with their Facebook account and pulls from their friends' profile photos to demonstrate the potential impact of cervical cancer on their social circle. Hundreds of women in Kentucky develop cervical cancer every year, and many of those women die. The application randomly selects from users’ friends to illustrate these facts, dramatically darkening the profile photos of those representing the percentage that likely would die from cervical cancer.
The application then offers viewers the chance to share the Cause the Movement campaign link with their Facebook friends. The campaign also includes speaking engagements, news announcements, posters and creation of a new website.
Please visit www.causethemovement.org
·In conjunction with the launch of the Cause the Movement campaign, we also launched our January Cervical Cancer Awareness project titled: “Community Partnerships: Raising Cervical Cancer Awareness, in which health providers across the state were invited to participate. This project involved collaboration between a healthcare provider and a local radio or television station to develop and deliver a cervical cancer awareness campaign during January (Cervical Cancer Awareness Month) 2012. The Cervical Cancer Free Kentucky Initiative accepted eight partner agencies from across the state in a geographical distribution to participate in this project. Public Service Announcements (PSAs) have been developed for Cervical Cancer Awareness Month and was available for use by selected partners. The first thing selected partners were responsible for was developing a relationship with a local radio or television station to get PSAs on the air during the month of January. Secondly, selected partners worked with the radio or television station to have a remote broadcast at the partner’s office, a store, or community location. At the remote broadcast, facts about cervical cancer was provided on the air and individuals wishing to interact on air were eligible to win a sweatshirt that was picked up at the office of the partner where a referral for applicable HPV related services including Pap testing or HPV Vaccination was given. The final responsibility of the partner was to collect and report data on how many people showed up to collect their sweatshirt, and of those who showed up how many accepted the referral for Pap or vaccination and how many actually received services. A 6 month follow-up was required to allow time for completeion of the recommended HPV vaccination 3 dose series and for referrals for any abnormal Pap tests. Data will be reported on the number of patients who request Pap or vaccination as a result of the campaign and collection of data will continue through August 31, 2012. Data collection tools were provided by CCFKY. Data analysis and presentations of findings including dissemination of the tool kit will occur throughout the fall and winter of 2012-2013.
Our work could not be more timely or important:
·Hundreds of women in Kentucky develop cervical cancer every year, and many of those women die. The Facebook application randomly selects from users’ friends to illustrate these facts, dramatically darkening the profile photos of those representing the percentage that likely would die from cervical cancer. The Facebook application then offers viewers the chance to share the Cause the Movement campaign link with their circle of friends. The cause the movement app is also linked to our website, www.causethemovement.org and our twitter page.
·The public relations component of the campaign kicked off with issuing a news release on January 3, followed by an op-ed from me. Coverage included WGTK Radio, The Courier-Journal online, The Lexington Herald-Leader, Elizabethtown News-Enterprise, Henderson Gleaner, Kentucky Forward, WLEX TV, WTVQ TV, WKYT TV, WHAS TV, and Business Lexington, Medical News 4 U, and a feature in The Courier-Journal and some health blogs. Press focus was originally centered on the Louisville and Lexington markets, with more outreach planned to outlying areas in future months as the campaign moves forward. Survivors were located throughout the state and were contacted for help spreading the word about CCFKY, through social media as well as traditional media. Some high-profile people were contacted to spread the word through social media, further helping the cause. University of Kentucky women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell assisted by going online and posting about cervical cancer awareness on face book and on twitter.
·Although CCFKY was not involved or responsible, we feel that our grass-roots efforts over the last two year may have contributed to the Resolution the Kentucky House passed, in an 87-4 vote, that encourages vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) for males ages 11-26 and females ages 9-26. Although this resolution does not have the force of law, it sends a message to Kentuckians that young adults in these ages ranges should be vaccinated against HPV, which is responsible for greater than 70% of cervical cancer cases. The resolution further asks that all Kentuckians become more knowledgeable about the benefits of HPV vaccination.
One of the lessons learned over the last two years is the extreme importance of grassroots coalition building to effectiveness of advocacy and policy change. The voice of those personally affected by cervical cancer and families affected by cervical cancer are your strongest advocates.
We are looking forward to continuing to expand our efforts across Kentucky by:
1.Building a statewide network of cervical cancer survivors; developing a database and set of instructional resources featuring cervical cancer survivor narratives to motivate screening behavior and vaccination.
2.Enhancing communication in public health clinics by educating people thorough the dissemination of the comprehensive intervention tool called, “1-2-3 Pap,” a video-based instructional program for patients that can be viewed in health care settings.
3.Creating culturally-appropriate, targeted messages for Kentucky’s multi-ethnic urban populations to enhance the demand for HPV vaccination and screening in urban areas by building on existing pilot award relationships with local lead agencies (i.e., health departments) and private foundations (i.e., Norton HealthCare)
4.Furthering the “Cause the Movement” Campaign through a Facebook survey and media sources: earned (free), social media and bought media to enhance the statewide push for policy change and enhanced vaccination and screening opportunities that culminate in a January rally when lawmakers are in session during 2013.
5.Partnering with the commonwealth public health agency to work toward developing a database of statewide HPV vaccination, cervical cancer screening, and treatment resources.
6.Creating a cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccination mobile application for iPhone and other wireless devices to connect individuals to appropriate care and treatment resources.
7.Offering another round of mini-awards to other groups throughout Kentucky who are working on cervical cancer issues, but lack resources to focus on raising prevention awareness.
Cervical Cancer-Free Kentucky and Cervical Cancer-Free America’s websites provide resources related to cervical cancer prevention. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute’s website provide fact sheets and information for providers and the public. And of course, "like" us on Facebook and share in our work.