Sustainable Education to Eliminate Disparities (SEED)

Institution: Stanford University
Investigator(s): Kim Rhoads, M.D., M.P.H. -
Award Cycle: 2013 (Cycle 19) Grant #: 19MB-0003 Award: $24,975
Award Type: Joining Forces Conference Award
Research Priorities
Community Impact of Breast Cancer>Disparities: eliminating the unequal burden of breast cancer

Initial Award Abstract (2013)

Non-technical overview of the event and relevance to breast cancer: The proposed collaborative project aims to sow the seeds of Sustainable Education to Eliminate Disparities (SEED) in breast cancer in Greater Bay Area African American (AA) communities. The initial event will be the 2nd Annual Breast Cancer and African Americans (BCAA) conference, a daylong breast cancer conference specifically designed to address cancer disparities in Greater Bay Area AA communities. Conference sessions will cover issues across the breast cancer continuum and focus, in particular, on those issues which are most relevant to AA women and families. Speakers, including AA advocates, clinicians, researchers, survivors, and other cancer experts, will share the most current information on breast cancer risk reduction, early detection, treatment, and survivorship. The BCAA conference will be followed by a series of workshops where Ambassadors for Change (volunteers from the BCAA conference) will collaborate with Community Advisory Committee (CAC) members and Stanford Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program (SCI-CPP) staff to develop a locally and culturally relevant breast cancer resource tool kit for Greater Bay Area AA communities. These workshops will provide the Ambassadors for Change with culturally tailored outreach, education, and advocacy training and engage them in identifying appropriate community-based dissemination strategies for the toolkit. The completed toolkit will be unveiled and distributed at the 3rd Annual BCAA conference in May 2014. Community-based distribution of the toolkit will continue beyond the scope of this project .

Description of event structure and intended audience: The proposed events will take place over the course of one year. The 2nd Annual BCAA conference is a culturally tailored daylong breast cancer conference serving AA breast cancer survivors, family members, advocates, lay community members, and health and social service providers from across the Greater Bay Area. During the conference, structured roundtable discussions with participants will gather information about breast cancer resource needs of Greater Bay Area AA communities. Findings from these discussions will drive the development of a resource toolkit, designed by and for Greater Bay Area AAs. A series of workshops will follow the conference and will gather feedback from multiple stakeholders, (breast cancer advocates, educators, and community members (Ambassadors for Change)), on the design, production, and dissemination of the toolkit. Workshops will increase breast cancer knowledge and advocacy skills through training in breast cancer biology, effective communication, and breast cancer and health advocacy. In producing this toolkit and developing local capacity to effectively utilize this resource, SEED aims to provide Greater Bay Area AAs with a valued and culturally relevant tool that they can use to fight breast cancer in their communities.

Innovative elements of the event and potential to generate new ideas/facilitate collaboration: Unlike many annual conferences which offer little or no follow up, SEED will facilitate community engagement to eliminate breast cancer disparities. SEED will strengthen and add new members to the already strong and diverse stakeholder group that makes up the BCAA CAC. By bring together advocates, researchers, and community members, SEED will not only enhance the depth and reach of the BCAA conference, but will also result in important co-learning and relationship building that will generate additional opportunities to better understand and reduce breast cancer disparities in Greater Bay Area AA communities. The conference will provide a platform for community members to learn potentially life-saving information across the breast cancer continuum and to share their breast cancer resource needs. Community members will be recruited and trained to serve as Ambassadors for Change over the course of the months following the conference. Building up the CAC and the group of Ambassadors will keep participants from the Greater Bay Area AA community engaged in the work to eliminate disparities year-round.

Advocacy involvement: Breast cancer advocates will oversee and actively participate in both planning and implementation of the SEED project. The BCAA CAC is largely composed of AA breast cancer advocates, including a breast cancer survivor, support from the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, the Womenís Cancer Resource Center, the Multi-Cultural Cancer Community, and career cancer educator and former senior manager of the NCIís Cancer Information Service, California Region. The Chair of the CAC brings more than a decade of experience in breast cancer advocacy to her leadership role. Expanding the CAC using the current members vast advocacy networks will strengthen our ability to build AA community capacity for self-efficacy and to sustain the education needed to eliminate disparities in breast cancer.

Final Report (2014)

African American (AA) women suffer a disproportionate number of deaths due to breast cancer (BC), surpassing rates for all other racial/ethnic groups. The reasons for persistent and worsening BC disparities include social, economic, structural, and environmental barriers. AA women are more often diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 40, before mammography screening guidelines apply. Given the complex and multi-factorial drivers of these disparities, education and community activation promise to generate sustainable solutions to these disparities.

The primary goal of our project was to develop a series of facilitated workshops to increase breast cancer knowledge; build community capacity for breast cancer advocacy and strengthen our growing academic-community partnerships to develop and disseminate culturally-tailored, place-based breast cancer education, information and resources. In order to achieve this, we planned to conduct Roundtable discussions (Kitchen Table Matters) at the Stanford Cancer Institute Breast Cancer and African Americans (BCAA) 2013 Conference. The information we collected revealed breast cancer informational needs and resource gaps of AA community members. A diverse group of AA community members were recruited to train as an Ambassador for Change. The Ambassadors participated in 3 workshops led by trainers representing key community gatekeepers, advocates and researchers with expertise in BC basics; media advocacy; and communication and outreach. The Ambassadors and community partners worked jointly to develop a breast health resource toolkit to address needs identified through the Roundtable discussions; and disseminate the tool kit at BCAA 2014, thus giving back to the community a tool kit which was designed by and for the African American community. The resulting toolkit will be directly responsive to community needs, leveraging an important opportunity for impact.

Our work on academic-community collaborations is important because it will identify the breast health informational needs for Bay Area AA groups. Using culturally-targeted educational workshops, we will activate 15 Ambassadors for Change. Over the remainder of the academic year (from January to July 2014), the Ambassadors will participate in local health fairs, marketing events. They will represent a core group in the development of the Stanford Cancer Institute multi-cultural clinical trials advisory and will eventually advance themselves as advocates and trainers of the next generation of Ambassadors for Change. Our approach will increase breast cancer and risk reduction awareness, while increasing community capacity for advocacy year round. Thus we will introduce a sustainable community engaged approach to reducing disparities in breast cancer by activating the Greater Bay Area AA community using education developed, tailored for and targeted to African Americans.