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Rogel Cancer Center funds 4 Michigan community groups to provide cancer screening, prevention programs

Date Visible: 
05/30/2024 - 1:15pm

Media contact: Nicole Fawcett, 734-764-2220 |  Patients may contact Cancer AnswerLine™ 800-865-1125

Funding will allow local organizations to implement programs and services aimed at reducing disparities in cancer

ANN ARBOR, Michigan — The University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center has awarded four Michigan community organizations a total of $200,000 in grants for projects designed to improve cancer screening and tobacco cessation among populations experiencing cancer disparities.

The grants will enable each organization to implement evidence-based interventions within the community they serve. Evidence-based interventions are efforts that have been shown through previous research to be effective at influencing public health. The funded projects focus on screening for breast, cervical and colon cancer in racial and ethnic groups with lower screening rates, and commercial tobacco cessation programs in the American Indian/Alaskan Native community.

About 60,000 Michiganders will be diagnosed with cancer this year and another 20,000 are expected to die from the disease. Since 1987, Michigan has seen a 10% decrease in cancer diagnoses and 25% decrease in cancer deaths.

“While we have seen a steady decline in cancer incidence and mortality in Michigan, the burden of cancer is not equally shared. There are significant racial and socioeconomic disparities across incidence, mortality, screening and early detection. These grants will help local community organizations across the state develop programs for the populations they serve and begin to address the cancer disparities we see in our state,” said Kenneth Resnicow, Ph.D., associate director for community outreach, engagement and health disparities at the Rogel Cancer Center.

As a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, Rogel is committed to supporting community health needs throughout the state of Michigan to reduce cancer disparities. Rogel’s Community Outreach and Engagement program provides public education, a community advisory board and support for innovative research. The team also works with community partners across the state to implement evidence-based interventions.

The grants will be funded over two years and include training and evaluation support from Rogel to ensure successful interventions.

Learn more about the four funded projects:

The Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS)
ACCESS is a nonprofit organization serving diverse populations in Metro Detroit and beyond. ACCESS’s project aims to increase breast and cervical cancer screening rates among Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) women in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Research shows that foreign-born MENA women are less likely to get screened for cervical cancer than U.S.-born white women. To address this, the project will use bilingual patient navigation services to assist women unfamiliar with the American health care system in getting screened. Additional barriers to screening will be addressed through community events, social media campaigns and marketing materials.

The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan (ITCM)
ITCM represents the 12 federally recognized tribes in Michigan and works to improve the quality of life for American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) populations. Due to a history of targeted marketing, adults from tribal communities in Michigan use commercial tobacco at significantly higher rates than the overall population. This results in an increased burden of lung cancer and other commercial tobacco-related cancers. The ITCM’s project will address this burden through a mass media campaign to increase awareness of smoking cessation resources, educate about the health risks of commercial tobacco, and ultimately reduce its use among AI/ANs in Michigan.

Taylor Street Primary Care Clinic
The Taylor Street Primary Care Clinic, established in 2020, is a nurse-managed, nonprofit primary care facility serving Detroit’s Virginia Park community and nearby Detroit neighborhoods. The clinic provides high-quality illness care, preventive services, and health and wellness programming. Their project will use motivational interviewing, a communication style for behavior change, to address patient concerns and barriers related to colorectal cancer screening. By enhancing patient motivation and lowering screening costs, the project seeks to reduce disparities in colorectal cancer diagnosis and deaths among African American people in the Virginia Park neighborhood and surrounding areas.

West Michigan Asian American Association (WMAAA)
WMAAA is a nonprofit organization advocating for the needs of Asian American people in Michigan, with a focus on education, health care and social justice. The goal of WMAAA’s project is to decrease disparities in breast and cervical cancer screening among Asian American women in West Michigan and Metro Detroit. Their project involves implementing a culturally appropriate program to educate women on breast and cervical health, supplemented by bilingual patient navigation to support Asian American women seeking screening. The project aims to reduce cancer deaths by addressing disparities, increasing access to quality and timely care, and improving outcomes through patient navigation.