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Community Outreach and Engagement


The University of Colorado Cancer Center has a long-standing history of commitment to advocacy, education, outreach and engagement throughout the state of Colorado. Our community partnerships and programs identify and address barriers to cancer health equity and improve outcomes in underserved areas of Colorado, including urban and rural areas across the state. Working together with new and existing organizations, we: 

  • Identify needs and emerging concerns regarding cancer incidence and survival throughout the state 
  • Expand awareness and improve access to cancer services, treatment and clinical trials 
  • Provide up-to-date information and community-based screening programs to reduce cancer risk and increase early detection 
  • Identify the social and economic challenges in underserved areas of the state that limit access to state-of-the-art cancer care 
  • Develop educational resources to improve health decision making to decrease cancer risk 
  • Advocate for public policy changes to ease the burden of cancer 
  • Support healthy lifestyle changes to reduce cancer risk 


 

 COE

 

 Cancer in Colorado

* Cancer is the leading cause of death in Colorado. 

* 25,874 new cases diagnosed in 2015. 

* Approximately 50% of men and 40% of women in Colorado will experience cancer at least once in their lifetime. 

* The 5-year survival rate for all cancers combined for low poverty areas is 70% compared to 55% in high poverty areas. 

* The 5 most prevalent sites are breast, prostate, colon, rectal, and lung. 

* Colorado has among the highest rates of melanoma in the U.S. and cervical cancer is prevalent among rural and Latina populations relative to the general population. 

References: Colorado Central Cancer Registry https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/cancerregistry​ Accessed August 14, 2018.​

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 Partnerships

Colorado Central Cancer Registry: Our researchers work in partnership with colleagues at the Colorado Central Cancer Registry to identify cancer health disparities and emerging cancer trends in Colorado. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE): Several of the University of Colorado Cancer Center members hold contracts with CDPHE to increase statewide colorectal cancer screening. 

Palliative Care Research Cooperative: The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus received an $8 million, five-year continuation grant from the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR) to refine and expand the Palliative Care Research Cooperative (PCRC) Group. PCRC was formed in 2010 and now includes nearly 450 members. Jean Kutner, MD, MSPH, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine is co-chair of the PCRC, the nation's first research cooperative group focused on end-of-life and palliative care research. 

Latino Research and Policy Center (LRPC): The Latino Research and Policy Center administers education programs to reduce disparities in Latino health. In addition, the LRPC assists in research by developing culturally-appropriate, evidence-based interventions, including those related to cancer. 

UCHealth: UCHealth offers a variety of programs that assist cancer patients. These include the Monfort Family Foundation Cancer Resource Center, has information and services, including: books, brochures, and other printed materials, as well as web-based resources on specific cancer types; information on diverse cancer topics such as nutrition, side effects, and clinical trials; lending library with resources on physical, emotional, and practical aspects of the cancer journey; audio/visual materials for use during treatment at UCHealth on topics such as stress release, guided imagery, and relaxation techniques; support groups and educational classes at UCHealth facilities and in surrounding communities; information about lodging and transportation services near UCHealth facilities; tours of the University of Colorado Cancer Center for new patients and caregivers, with special “Lemonade Tours” for children of cancer patients; and computers with Internet access. For more information, call 720-848-0316. 

American Cancer Society Patient Navigator: Through support from the American Cancer Society, UCHealth offer an ACS patient navigator to help patients and caregivers access services and the extensive information available on all aspects of cancer, care, and treatment. Navigators can: connect patients and caregivers with programs and services to help improve access to resources and support; help with the day-to-day challenges of living with cancer, such as transportation, lodging, and financial concerns; refer to other providers within the Cancer Center who may provide specialized assistance. For more information, call 720-848-0316.​

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 Research Programs

BFitBWell 

BfitBwell is a 3-month long individualized exercise program for individuals diagnosed with cancer who are currently going through treatment at University of Colorado Cancer Center, or no more than post 6 months treatment. An extensive pre- and post-assessment is conducted providing insight into diet and nutrition, sleep, stress, fatigue and depression, quality of life, self-efficacy, muscular strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance. Participants will be working one-on-one and in semi-private settings completing an exercise program designed by a Cancer Exercise Specialist. 

SunSmart 

This study aims to demonstrate that learning about sun exposure using a more classroom-based intervention will motivate classroom students to reduce exposure at a critical life period and will create lifetime learned sun exposure behaviors. Students' sun exposure behaviors will be assessed prior to the educational intervention. The educational intervention consists of three educational sessions and one lab lesson. At the conclusion of the intervention, students' sun exposure behaviors will be assessed again via a post-intervention questionnaire. 

Identifying Environmental Triggers of Smoking Behaviors 

Dr. Zhou is conducting a pilot study funded by ACS IRG to determine factors that get in the way of people trying to quit smoking in our local community—North Aurora, Colorado. The research project identifies and locates the different types of environmental cues to cigarette smoking through guided tours accompanied by smokers living in low-income communities in Aurora, CO. It also assesses smokers’ psychological and behavioral reactions to the different types of environmental triggers. This research provides us a better understanding of the types and prevalence of environmental triggers of smoking in low-income communities, helps reduce the disparity in tobacco use, and can inform tobacco regulation. Based on findings from this pilot work, Dr. Zhou will use virtual reality (VR) as the tool to measure smokers’ reactions to smoking cues and develop an innovative mobile-based intervention integrating EMA and GIS methods to facilitate tobacco cessation. 

Smoking Cessation Supplement 

Smoking is responsible for nearly one-third of all cancer deaths, but quitting can take great effort, and it can be even harder for smokers who get a cancer diagnosis. UCCC is establishing a tobacco cessation treatment program specifically for cancer patients, with development funds from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The program will use electronic health records to automatically identify new cancer patients who use tobacco and refer them for initial consultation with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. Those who choose to try quitting will receive cessation support and medications recommended by national guidelines. Midway through the two-year NCI award, the program is being pilot-tested in a single cancer clinic and will be rolled out to all AMC cancer clinics during the next year. 

Physical Activity (Heather Leach): https://chhs.source.colostate.edu/csu-researcher-studying-the-impact-of-exercise-on-colorectal-cancer-survivors/​​

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Meet our People



Jose Barron - Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator

José is a Colorado native that studied Psychology as an undergraduate at the University of Colorado Boulder. He has 6 years of clinical research experience working in several different fields, including working with Spanish speaking participants in the Denver Metro area.  ​

Contact Jose: 303-724-5439​