Massachusetts Community Networks to Eliminate Cancer Disparities Through Education, Research, and Training
The Massachusetts Community Networks to Eliminate Cancer Disparities through Education, Research, and Training (MASS CONECT) is a comprehensive program initiative that will uniquely unite the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) with multiple community partners in three urban Massachusetts communities of low socioeconomic position (SEP). MASS CONECT will advance cancer education, community-based participatory research (CBPR), training (for junior faculty, grassroots leaders, and the media), and services for low-SEP populations in Massachusetts. The three communities are Boston, Worcester (the two largest cities in Massachusetts), and Lawrence (the city with the lowest per capita income in New England). In these communities, MASS CONECT will unite key partners, including major policy makers, to develop effective ways to reduce cancer disparities. Our specific aims are to intervene in each of these low-SEP Massachusetts communities to improve data on community-level cancer disparities; provide leadership, cancer education, and training through respected community coalitions; educate and train local media to increase their coverage of stories on cancer disparities; promote access to key cancer control and treatment services through a prevention and clinical services core; provide needs assessments that will lead to a community-specific plan to address gaps (including identifying policy opportunities to overcome barriers to optimal cancer control and treatment); evaluate outcomes related to cancer disparities in the three target communities (including outcomes relevant to prevention and screening, disparities research, and coverage of cancer disparities in the media); and establish relationships with NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Populations Sciences and the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities.