Rural Disparities Reduction ProjectGeorgia Cancer Coalition Healthcare Georgia Foundation Grantee Report February 16, 2006
Purpose of the Grant • The purpose of the grant was (and is) to invest resources to enhance two rural regions' (West Central and Southwest Georgia) community outreach efforts for cancer prevention, early detection and treatment to reduce cancer disparities.
Disparities Reduction This is a disparities reduction project. • Cancer disparity is defined as differences in incidence, prevalence, mortality and relatedmorbidity that exist among specific populations.
Disparities Reduction • The HCGF project was designed to reduce differences in cancer screening and detection in: • Rural populations • Minority populations • African American • Latino
Focus • The primary focus of the CHWs and CNs is to connect with communities, and individuals, where disparities in cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment exist.
CHW and CN Duties • Raising awareness about cancer. • Providing education and information about cancer prevention, screening, follow-up and treatment. .
CHW and CN Duties • Assisting patients and their families overcome barriers to screening and care. • Assisting other staff members in developing specific community activities to influence cancer screening, prevention and treatment.
Southwest Georgia Cancer Coalition (SWGCC) Baker Early Grady West Central Georgia Cancer Coalition (WCGCC) Muscogee Chattahoochee Harris Marion Talbot Schley Webster Counties Covered by RPE
Data Forms • The project staff realized that data collection is important. • Did not want to reinvent forms, instructions and a process.
Data Forms • The tracking forms and client daily logs used by the project were modeled on the Georgia Division of Public Health, Client Navigation Data and Tracking forms for the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, and were altered and adapted with permission.
Steps • Both RPEs identified potential staff and hired them • Planned and hosted a successful 2 day CHW and CN training session in Columbus in August 2004 • WCGCC is currently conducting an updated training session.
Steps • Adapted data collection forms used by the Division of Public Health. • Trained staff to use the forms in August 2004 • Data collection began in September 2004
Progress • Uniform data collection tools were adapted and implemented. • CHWs worked in their communities finding people who have not been appropriately screened for cancer and providing education about risk, screening recommendations, how to overcome barriers and facilitating screening and diagnosis.
Progress • WCGCC is committed to retaining CHAs as their services are invaluable in reaching hard to reach populations. • WCGCC considers CHAs to be integral to meeting their mission to reduce cancer disparities and decrease the toll of cancer on the population of the area.
Progress • GCC is committed to assisting other RPEs develop CHW or CN services.
Progress • The Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition, in collaboration with the Blue Ridge AHEC are currently training CHWs and are using the same data forms as the GCC group. • The GCC and RPEs are poised to capture federal, state or other philanthropic resources for reducing disparities in cancer care because of this work.
Findings • The WCGCC CHAs report how valuable they think the work is working with and in their communities. • They demonstrate an eagerness to be engaged, to learn and to develop more resources.
Findings • They are concerned about people in their own families and communities that do not know enough about cancer, screening, early detection, clinical trials, available resources, effectiveness of treatment. • They are clear about barriers and have strong suggestions on what needs to be changed to improve screening rates, prevention, awareness and early treatment.
Findings • Leadership, guidance, discipline and persistence make a significant difference in implementing a new program. • Budget reductions make the CHA and CN outreach program more important – not less.
WCGCC – Lessons Learned • The CHAs have already been institutionalized in a way, as natural helpers were identified and trained to do the work. • Women hired and trained as CHAs will continue their work as what they have learned is now ingrained and is a part of who they are. • CHAs were selected, in part, because they were already providing assistance in their community.
WCGCC – Lessons Learned • Focused cancer awareness education, training and resource identification added to the knowledge of these natural helpers. • The model helped WCGCC reach important outreach and client navigation objectives. .
WCGCC – Lessons Learned • WCGCC will keep the program going in some way. • If continuation funding is not found, will attempt to use a volunteer model • A volunteer model will be more difficult to manage and effectively use.
GCC – Lessons Learned and Reflections • The need for outreach and education in rural South Georgia is compelling. • Rural health resources are scant. • Barriers to health access have to be identified and overcome – barrier by barrier.
GCC – Lessons Learned and Reflections • CHA and CN are good change and action agents in the war on cancer. • All program components require attention and focus. • What gets measured and attended to - gets done. • The compendium of resources developed as a result of this project will be useful to other RPEs.