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Health E NC Projects to Improve Cancer Prevention, Outcomes

by Mary Ruth last modified Feb 07, 2012 11:17 AM
University Cancer Research Fund Enables Innovative Solutions to Complex Problems

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - How can stores help communities get healthier? How can we improve access to supportive care, pain management and other services for African Americans with advanced cancer? Can community colleges across North Carolina be hubs for learning about healthy behaviors that we know prevent cancer? Does providing a medical home for Medicaid patients improve cancer care? How can we increase rates of colorectal cancer screening among Medicaid beneficiaries? Where do African American and Latino citizens prefer to learn about cancer screening and prevention in their communities?

These are the types of public health questions that defy a quick fix and the answers being sought by the first six projects funded under the Health E NC (Health for Everyone in North Carolina) grants program. The program provides pilot funding in support of the University Cancer Research Fund’s strategic goal of optimizing cancer outcomes in North Carolina.

Projects were selected through a competitive review process that included a national group of experts. Projects were prioritized for funding that emphasize breakthrough innovation and excellence in behavioral research; collaborative, cross-disciplinary approaches; potential for generating additional external funding from peer-reviewed sources; and real and tangible impact on the health of North Carolinians. The projects focus on areas of the state where cancers, and in particular breast, lung and colorectal cancers, are common and place a burden on the health of North Carolinians.

“We challenged UNC Lineberger members from both the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the School of Medicine to design forward-looking projects focused on the state’s biggest needs. We then asked a group of national experts in the field to select the best. The result will be to put outstanding ideas to the test in North Carolina communities,” said Shelley Earp, MD, UNC Lineberger’s director.

Current projects include:

  • Healthy Stores, Healthy Communities
  • Circles of Care: Supporting African Americans with Cancer
  • Partnering with N.C. Community Colleges to Prevent Cancer Among Students, Employees and Community Residents
  • Meeting the Needs of Cancer Survivors in North Carolina: Assessing and Improving the Medicaid Medical Home Model
  • Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening in N.C. Medicaid Beneficiaries
  • Addressing Cancer Disparities by Studying Issues of Coverage, Convergence & Cost in Multiple Settings

About Health-E-NC

Health-E-NC is a statewide effort to improve cancer outcomes for the diseases that hit North Carolina’s citizens the hardest. Sponsored by UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the University Cancer Research fund, Health-E-NC is aimed at finding out what really works in the areas of cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship and helping to spread the latest and best evidence-based cancer information to health care providers and advocacy groups as well as cancer patients, their families and survivors. For more information, visit: www.health-e-nc.org/home.do

About the University Cancer Research Fund:

The University Cancer Research Fund was created by the N.C. General Assembly with the mission to ensure that future generations of North Carolinians will develop cancer less often and live longer and better when they do. Research creates new knowledge, turns that knowledge into innovative treatment, screening, and prevention, and then assures delivery of innovations across the state – that research is the key unlocking the doors to a new and better future. The UCRF is helping make that research possible.