Community Outreach

The mission of UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center is to generate knowledge relating to cancer, and to create new and more effective approaches to prevention, diagnosis and therapy, while delivering medical advances with compassion and respect to patients throughout our region.

While treating patients is our main focus, a large part of our mission is cancer prevention and screening so patients can be diagnosed earlier and have better outcomes. UofL Brown Cancer Center does outreach throughout the community in the form of prevention and screening events to reach populations that have low screening rates, high cancer health disparities, or other high risk factors for cancer. 

These events are also part of the UofL Brown Cancer Center’s Cancer Committee standards (1.8) for monitoring community outreach, which helps the cancer center meet national quality standards with the Commission on Cancer. It helps us address discrepancies in cancer care and treatment throughout the United States, with a focus on those in our community.

Many of our screening and prevention events are performed in conjunction with the Kentucky Cancer Program and our mobile screening unit.
 

Educating Smoketown residents about the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption to prevent cancer Smoketown residents

Identified Areas of Community Need

  • High cancer rates among African-Americans
  • Low consumption of fruits and vegetables

Prevention Activity:
UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center sponsored a fruit and vegetable festival to educate about cancer prevention in the Smoketown neighborhood of Louisville, July 8, 2017. The neighborhood is considered a “food desert,” an area that lacks fresh fruit, vegetables and other healthful whole foods due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets and healthy food providers.

Partnering with Bates Memorial Baptist Church, a prominent African-American church in the neighborhood, UofL Brown Cancer Center educated residents about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables for cancer prevention. 

Men from the church outreach team were trained to conduct pre- and post-surveys assessing knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding fruit and vegetable consumption. They presented an educational intervention, and free fruits and vegetables were given to residents. The training also addressed lifestyle behaviors for cancer prevention and recommended screening guidelines.

Effectiveness:

The pre-test results indicated a majority of participants were aware fruit and vegetable consumption can reduce your risk of cancer; however, less than 50 percent knew the recommended level of consumption.

After the intervention, 52 percent reported they plan to eat 3-4 cups a day, and 26 percent planned to eat more than 4 cups a day.

This event is the beginning of a partnership with Bates Memorial Baptist Church for future cancer control initiatives in this at-risk neighborhood. Engaging men from the community for peer-to-peer intervention proved to be a successful model to educate and encourage behavior change.
 

Lung cancer prevention education at Fayette County horse farmsLung Cancer prevention

Identified Areas of Community Need

  • High rate of tobacco use
  • High rate of lung cancer

Prevention Activity:
UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center and the mobile screening unit went to two Fayette County horse farms May 31 and June 2, 2017 to deliver a lung cancer prevention program.

The intervention targeted tobacco users along with individuals exposed to secondhand smoke. Tobacco users received treatment counseling including an assessment of readiness to quit. They were engaged using a Smokerlyzer which non-invasively measures the amount of carbon monoxide on a smoker’s breath, helping to biochemically establish smoking status. They also received information about tobacco use and nicotine dependance, and given available cessation resource along with referrals to resources if interested.

Individuals meeting eligibility for a low dose CT screening were referred to a patient navigator for further evaluation and follow-up.

The eCO monitor was also used as an educational tool with non-tobacco users regarding the harmful effects of secondhand smoke.

Many of the farm workers were Hispanic so bilingual staff provided interpretation.

Effectiveness:
Of the 32 identified tobacco users, the cessation specialist enrolled 5 in Kentucky’s 1-800-QUIT-NOW service. Two were referred to a patient navigator for further assessment and scheduling of a lung cancer screening.

The farm workers and owners were pleased to have the mobile screening unit visit their farms to provide services and have asked UofL Brown Cancer Center to return since tobacco use is high among this population.
 

Mammography screening among Hispanic women in Southwest Louisville St. Rita Church

Identified Areas of Community Need:

  • High cancer disparities rate
  • High rate of uninsured population
  • Low mammography screening rates

Screening Activity:
UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center brought the mobile screening unit to St. Rita Catholic Church in the underserved Southwest area of Louisville, July 14, 2017, to perform mammography screening among Hispanic women.

Bilingual trained staff from Cultivanda la Salud (a science-based Hispanic outreach program developed by the National Center for Farmworker Health, Inc., and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) promoted the screening in advance through one-on-one contacts with women at community locations and events, distributing flyers and scheduling appointments. They also provided interpretation services at the event.

Effectiveness:
Twenty-four Hispanic women received services, all of whom received screening mammograms and nine also received clinical breast exams. Two were referred for follow-up diagnostic mammograms and ultrasounds. Patients were also counseled about cervical and colon cancer screenings.

The program coordinator of the Hispanic ministry at St. Rita Catholic Church feels annual visits with the mobile screening unit has helped increase access to services and build trust among the Hispanic members of the congregation.
 

Mammography screening among African-American women in Newburg

Identified Areas of Community Need:

  • High cancer disparities rate
  • High rate of uninsured population
  • Low mammography screening rates

Specific Screening Activity:
Partnering with Kentucky African-Americans Against Cancer and Forest Tabernacle Church, UofL James Graham Brown Cancer Center brought the mobile screening unit to the church to focus on mammography screening in African-American women in the community of Newburg in metro Louisville, March 18, 2017.

The event was promoted through outreach workers, church volunteers, and members of the Kentucky African-Americans Against Cancer (a community coalition that started in 1990 in affiliation with the National Cancer Institute’s National Black Leadership Initiative on Cancer). The outreach workers also scheduled appointments and assisted with registration and navigation of the event.

Effectiveness:
Twelve women received screening mammograms, and two also received clinical breast exams. One was referred for follow-up. All patients were counseled regarding cervical and colon cancer screening.

Health ministry teams within African-American churches have learned the importance of early detection and are eager to host the mobile screening unit for their congregations. Building these relationships with church leadership increases participation, and the support of Kentucky African-Americans Against Cancer lends vital credibility.