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The Cancer Prevention and Control Program

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Health Communication

We know that members of our communities rely on their doctors to inform them about what makes up a healthy lifestyle, as well as tell them about their risks for certain diseases and what they can do to either avoid or detect these diseases as early as possible. That's why it's so important that effective lines of communication are open between doctors, nurses and patients. We work hard here at the Cancer Prevention and Control Program to ensure everyone is able to get the information they need to make good decisions about their health.

Ongoing and Completed Studies

Multi-Level, Community-Clinical Cancer Prevention and Control Interventions

Principal Investigator: Daniela Friedman; Co-Principal Investigator: James Hébert; Co-Investigator: Swann A Adams; Co-Investigator: Heather Brandt; Co-Investigator: Thomas G HurleyProject Director: James Lyndon McCracken

Funding Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network Collaborating Center) 

Study Period: 9/30/149/29/19

This study aims to disseminate, implement and evaluate the impact of efficacious, multilevel and multi-site public health interventions to address cancer-related health disparities; engage community partners and stakeholders locally, regionally and nationally in research, training and technical assistance to broaden the evidence base and increase the impact of the cancer prevention and control D&I research in SC and translate effective interventions into practice both here and nationally; and increase participation in cancer prevention and control behaviors, such as cancer screening, physical activity and access to and consumption of healthful foods among high-risk and disparate populations.

Implementing Road Map Actions Through a New Healthy Brain Initiative Network

Principal Investigator: Daniela Friedman

Funding Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Healthy Brain Initiative Network Collaborating Center)

Study Period: 9/30/149/29/19

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death among US adults, although a recent report suggests that Alzheimer’s-related deaths are vastly underreported and the death rate may be more comparable to that of cardiovascular disease and cancer. With the increasing age of our population, death rates from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) will continue to rise. In response to this, national and international organizations have identified dementia, including ADRD, as a public health priority. USC was selected to serve in the role of Collaborating Center in the CDC Prevention Research Centers’ (PRC) Healthy Brain Research Network (HBRN). The SC-HBRN has three specific aims: (1) establish a research agenda concerning cognitive health and healthy aging, (2) advance research in the areas of cognitive health and healthy aging, and (3) support fellowship training of doctoral candidates. We share the funder’s goal of advancing the public health and aging agenda by making a major contribution to CDC’s Healthy Brain Research and working with other HBRN Centers and public health partners to increase their capacity to implement actions in The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013–2018. The work of the SC-HBRN is aligned with the Healthy People 2020 topic area, “Dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease,” The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, and The Public Health Road Map for State and National Partnerships, 2013–2018.

DIDACTIC: Dissemination and Implementation of a Diet and Activity Community Trial in Churches

Co-Principal Investigators: Heather Brandt and James Hébert

Funding Source: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health

Study Period: 5/1/143/31/18

This dissemination and implementation research is based on our previous efficacious intervention trial that which focused on diet, physical activity and stress reduction in collaboration with the African-American (AA) faith community to reduce inflammation (the HEALS intervention). Extraordinary success in engaging the AA faith and greater AA community through community-based participatory research now allows us to disseminate and implement this intervention. We will ensure that this research contributes to achieving our overall goal of reducing health disparities among AAs through the following specific aims: (1) disseminate and implement the successful HEALS intervention in the AA faith community; (2) evaluate and monitor the dissemination process for adoption, recruitment, retention and fidelity to the HEALS intervention; (3) conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis of intervention dissemination and implementation to reduce health disparities in parameters associated with inflammation; and (4) enhance the capacity of the target community to sustain the delivery of the evidence-based intervention and engage in future research to address health disparities through cultivation of a network of active church and community educators and leadership development activities.

Deficiencies and Determinants of Patient Knowledge about Adjuvant Breast Radiation Therapy

Principal Investigator: Jan Marie Eberth

Funding Source: University of South Carolina Office of the Vice President for Research

Study Period: 5/16/149/15/15

The purpose of this study is to explore racial/ethnic differences in knowledge and myths regarding radiation therapy for breast cancer among a sample of women diagnosed with breast cancer in South Carolina. This collaborative effort with 21st Century Oncology in Myrtle Beach, SC will inform the development of a radiation therapy education series to be delivered to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

From Health Coverage to Care: Developing an Evidence-Based Affordable Care Act Education and Health Literacy Program Tailored to Richland County Residents

Co-Principal Investigator: Daniela Friedman

Funding Source: Central Carolina Community Foundation, Knight Foundation

Study Period: 9/1/148/31/15

Administrative Supplement to Expand NCI-Supported Community Outreach Capacity Through Community Health Educators (CHEs) of the National Outreach Network (NON)

Co-Principal Investigators: Heather Brandt and James Hébert

Funding Source: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

Study Period: 9/1/148/31/15

The goal of the administrative supplement program is to expand the community outreach capacity of the NCI through collaborating institutions, such that cancer information is relevantly disseminated to diverse communities. This supplement will help our researchers in interacting with diverse communities (e.g., engaging study participants to foster recruitment and retention) to use optimal, culturally-sensitive approaches, as well as gain insights to adapt research strategies to enhance inclusion of underrepresented groups.

A Dissemination Project to Advance Lung Cancer Screening in South Carolina

Principal Investigator: Jan Marie Eberth

Funding Source: South Carolina Cancer Alliance

Study Period: 7/15/146/15/15

The overall goals of our study fall into three main categories: (i) an investigation into current attitudes, opinions and practices regarding LDCT screening for lung cancer among primary care physicians (in particular, gaining insight into what possible barriers may exist that stand in the way of physician recommendation of such screening); (ii) dissemination of accurate and up-to-date information regarding the risks and benefits of LDCT screening to primary care physicians, patients, policymakers and stakeholders across South Carolina; and (iii) using the results of the survey to design a shared decision-making aid for physicians to use together with their patients when deciding whether to undergo LDCT screening for lung cancer. Ultimately, we aim to increase utilization of screening with the end goal of reducing lung cancer mortality and related disparities in South Carolina.

South Carolina Cancer Disparities Community Network

Principal Investigator: James Hébert; Co-Investigator and Community Outreach Core Leader: Heather Brandt; Co-Investigator and Research Core Leader: Swann Adams; Co-Investigator and Training Core Co-Leader: Cheryl A Armstead; Co-Investigator and Pilot Project Leader: Daniela B Friedman

Funding Source: National Cancer Institute

Study Period: 7/106/15

The overall goal is to continue to address cancer disparities through research, education, and training. The focus of the SCCDCN-II is on addressing cancer disparities among African Americans in South Carolina through partnerships with community-based organizations, specifically the State Baptist Young Woman’s Auxiliary of the Woman’s Baptist Education and Missionary Convention.

Improving Knowledge and Communication of the Affordable Care Act: A Focus on South Carolina Adults in Richland County

Co-Principal Investigator: Daniela Friedman

Funding Source: Central Carolina Community Foundation, Knight Foundation

Study Period: 9/1/138/31/14

Expanding Mentoring Capacity in High-Risk Populations

Principal Investigator: James Hébert

Funding Source: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

Study Period: 9/1/138/31/14

We have built the Cancer Prevention and Control Program around addressing racial disparities in cancer rates in South Carolina that are among the largest of any set of chronic diseases in the world. In so doing, we have developed a program of research and broad-based mentoring that is a model nationally. This Award allowed Dr. Hébert to take this to the next level, both scientifically and in terms of educational opportunities for our junior faculty, students and other trainees.


Evaluation, Implementation and Dissemination of an Established Community-based Prostate Cancer Education Program for African-American Men and Women in South Carolina

Principal Investigator: Daniela Friedman

Funding Source: South Carolina Cancer Alliance

Study Period: 12/1/136/30/14

Leveraging Best Practices in Mentoring from the Collective Experience of Community Networks Program Centers

Principal Investigator: James Hébert

Funding Source: University of Minnesota, National Institutes of Health

Study Period: 11/22/133/31/14

The long term goal of the proposed program is to establish a dynamic nationwide mentoring infrastructure that will leverage existing resources and consortium of scientific leaders and professional organizations across a wide range of biomedical and biobehavioral disciplines to provide mentoring support to trainees from diverse backgrounds. Our proposal will be building on the innovation, scientific expertise, and diversity in racial/ethnic population served, and reach that already exist within two successful NIH-funded national research networks—the Community Networks Program Centers (CNPCs; 23 centers) and the Geographical/Biospecimen Management of Cancer Health Disparities Program (G/BMaP; 6 regions) networks. The CNPC and G/BMaP programs are designed to reach communities and populations that experience a disproportionate share of the cancer burden among racial/ethnic minorities and underserved populations through research, training, and community engagement. In addition, a number of CNPCs and G/BmaP centers have expertise in innovative and "best practices" mentoring practices that are scalable for national use; and several of these mentoring programs are proven for career advancement of individuals underrepresented in biomedical professions. The delivery of our mentoring programs will be organized around five regional hubs defined by geography and expertise with specific racial/ethnic minority groups to: 1) normalize and solidify collaborative relationships; 2) identify and engage academic institutions, student and professional organizations ;3) map and fully assess existing mentoring capacity of institutions and/or organizations; 4) develop strategies to adapt locally-successful mentoring models and activities for use at a national scale; and 5) Identify and/or develop the infrastructure necessary to conduct or coordinate mentorship activities, including but not limited to mentor/mentee databases, websites and virtual meeting capabilities.

A Comprehensive Assessment of the Knowledge, Perceptions, and Communication Needs about Clinical Trials among Adults in Rural South Carolina

Co-Principal Investigator: Daniela Friedman

Funding Source: Health Sciences South Carolina

Study Period: 1/15/1112/15/13

This research addresses the important question of how to promote awareness of and participation in clinical trials among rural residents in South Carolina (SC). The state of SC remains largely rural, with 39.5% of the population living in rural areas, compared to 21% nationally (US Census Bureau, 2000). It has long been demonstrated that rural citizens experience significant health disparities, with factors such as limited access to health care services, lower rates of health insurance, lower socioeconomic and educational status, and cultural and social differences contributing to these disparities. The specific aims of this study are 1) to examine the current state of clinical trials in SC and to determine to what degree rural residents are represented in state clinical trials; 2) to assess rural SC adults’ current knowledge and beliefs about clinical trials; 3) analyze current communication messages and channels being used to recruit and educate SC residents about clinical trials; and 4) to provide recommendations for innovative strategies for communicating about clinical trials with SC rural populations.

An In-Depth Look at Informed Decision Making for Prostate Cancer Screening and Treatment in South Carolina 

Principal Investigator: Daniela Friedman

Funding Source: South Carolina Cancer Alliance

Study Period: 7/21/116/29-12

A Documentary Film about the Implementation of the Right Choice, Healthy Start Farmers Market

Principal Investigator: Heather Brandt

Funding Source: University of South Carolina Science and Health Communication Research Group

Study Period: 3/1/112/29/12

Health communication strategies encompassing the use of media can have a profound influence on the success of public health initiatives. There has been increased use of documentary films, theater, and the arts to inform and motivate high-risk communities and to measure changes in health behavior and health outcome. These efforts have resulted in increased awareness and knowledge, improved communication about cancer with family and friends, intention to change behaviors, and behavior change. This documentary film features the process of forming and implementing the Right Choice, Health Start (RCHS) Farmers Market intervention. To produce the documentary film, the coalition model of filmmaking, consistent with a CBPR approach, was used. Interactive filming, producing and editing strategies were used to produce the final version. The result was an 18-minute documentary film that captured the complexities of CBPR specifically applied to implementing an innovative farmers market. The film served as a form of process evaluation of the implementation of the farmers market and as a tool to promote and celebrate the farmers market in the community.