Who better to identify health issues and concerns among various ethnic groups than leaders in their respective communities?
They speak the same language, understand the culture and are trusted members of their neighborhoods.
That is why DH-CHEER staff has created a Community Advisory Board (CAB) and a Houston-Area Leadership Network of organizations and individuals. These partners are a critical link between DH-CHEER and the community and are a vital part of the effort to eliminate health disparities among ethnic minorities and underserved populations.
The Community Advisory Board assists DH-CHEER in many ways, including:
- Assessing community needs, which provides valuable information for research
- Developing and implementing a variety of community-based cancer control and prevention activities
- Facilitating collaborative efforts among academic institutions, cancer research centers, clinical cooperative groups and the community by fostering partnerships
Since its inception in 2000, DH-CHEER has depended on the guidance and input of the members of its Community Advisory Board. With DH-CHEER developing a new strategic plan for the next five years starting in 2006, the CAB is being reconstituted as we take on new projects in response to the changing needs of our community.
Racial and ethnic minorities are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population. That distinction brings continued challenges to bridge the gaps that exist in patient care, research, education and prevention among those who are at higher risk of contracting cancer.
The need for an aggressive strategy to improve the health and outlook for these populations, therefore, cannot be overstated. Through applied research and the development of effective education and prevention programs, the DH-CHEER team—along with its partners in the community—is leading this effort in Houston. Their resolve to make a difference is strong. Their goal is straightforward—to reduce the burden of cancer not only for Houstonians, but for all Americans.
Current Community Relations Projects
- The Houston Breast Cancer Task Force (HBCTF) was formed by DH-CHEER with funding from the Avon Foundation. This community participatory study’s goal is to look at the utilization and accessibility of breast health preventive services for Hispanic and African women in Harris County region of Houston, Texas. Twenty-four (24) community agencies are represented in the task force, ranging from FQHCs, acute care hospitals to for-profit medical providers. Community subcommittees were formulated from the 24 community agencies and given the tasks of examining in depth issues surrounding survivorship; accessibility, capacity and treatment options; accessible and accurate data sources; educational avenues for professionals for available resources for patients; patient screening, education, early detection options and infrastructure. The study will provide stakeholders, policy makers, community leaders and service providers with information to bridge the gap between patient and services. For more information, please contact Angel Tate at email@example.com / (713) 563-2752.
- Community outreach/education initiatives are being implemented in the community by partnerships with agencies such as the Houston Area Urban League, the Hispanic Health Coalition and faith-based organizations. The areas of focus are diabetes (adult and child), cancer (cervical, prostate and breast), heart disease/hypertension and survivorship. The outreach initiative's goal is to educate individuals about prevention, early detection, treatment options, available community resources (e.g., affordable clinics, FQHCs, insurance options), healthy nutritional options and to provide onsite screening. DH-CHEER’s Community Relations Core partners with all agencies interested in implementing the outreach initiative in their community. For more information, please contact Angel Tate at firstname.lastname@example.org / (713) 563-2752.
- CAN DO Houston (Children and Neighbors Defeating Obesity) was granted a $360,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's "Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities" (HKHC) to expand its community-based efforts. CAN DO Houston is a holistic community-based initiative that aims to prevent and diminish childhood obesity in Houston and surrounding communities. CAN DO Houston is housed at DH-CHEER with some in-kind support from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The efforts focus on five Houston neighborhoods: Magnolia Park, Sunnyside, Greater 5th Ward, Near Northside, and Independence Heights. The grant focus of the HKHC is policy and environmental change. For more information, please contact Dr. Beverly Gor at email@example.com / (713) 563-2750 or Niiobli Armah at firstname.lastname@example.org / (713) 563-2736.
- Asian-American Health Needs Assessment (AsANA) - In June 2004, DH-CHEER researchers and its Community Relations Core launched the first-ever comprehensive health assessment of Chinese and Vietnamese Americans in the State of Texas. Findings from this projects opened doors for researchers and academics to beginning to understand the baseline health needs and risks of these populations. These findings were also reported back to the community so that they too can benefit from this knowledge, to apply for grants and to develop programs that could effectively address areas of needs in their own community.
- The Sister Study - DH-CHEER’s community relations core also joined forces with the National Institute of Environmental Health Science to assist in the Sister Study, a longitudinal breast cancer research project that recruited over 50,000 minority women ages 35 - 74 who have had a sister or sisters who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The purpose of the study is to determine the role of gene environmental interaction in breast cancer. The role of DH-CHEER was to aid in increasing the number of minorities in the Sister Study. Approximately 800 women were recruited from the Houston area.