The Maryland Regional Community Network Program To Eliminate Cancer Health Disparities (MRCN)
The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) will establish the Maryland Regional Community Network (MRCN). This Community Network builds upon and expands two existing Networks in Maryland: the NCI-supported Maryland Special Populations Network (CA 86249-04) and the state tobacco settlement supported Statewide Health Network. The MRCN will serve as the principal infrastructure in the state with the mission ". to reduce and eventually eliminate cancer health disparities in Maryland's rural and urban underserved communities." This Community Network Program (CNP) comprises a headquarters organization, the UMSOM; six formal community regional subcontractor partners; and one academic partner, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and Minority-Serving Institution. Regional partners will focus on five geographic regions of the state, UMES, and a statewide Native American contract for Maryland indigenous tribes and tribes that have immigrated to the state. There are two overall goals that guide the research, outreach and education, policy analysis, and training for this Network.
The overall goals are:
Goal A: To significantly improve access and utilization of beneficial cancer control interventions in Maryland communities that experience cancer health disparities.
Goal B: To develop a cadre of well-trained researchers.
Specific aims of MRCN support cross-cutting, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary community-based participatory research; community education, and outreach and training activities. Five broad aims guide the methods and activities of this Network:
- Specific Aim 1. To develop a robust and sustainable community-based regional infrastructure that fosters enhanced community capacity in Maryland focused on reducing and eventually eliminating cancer health disparities.
- Specific Aim 2. To foster, conduct, and apply results of culturally relevant and appropriate community-based participatory research and evidence-based community education and outreach on cancer health disparities.
- Specific Aim 3. To develop and implement training programs consistent with the overall goals of this CNP, which will result in an increased cadre of well-trained and culturally sensitive cancer health disparities researchers.
- Specific Aim 4. To foster sustainability and credibility of this CNP.
- Specific Aim 5. To leverage additional resources to support CNP research, education and outreach, and policy formulation. This infrastructure will support community participation and sustainability of efforts to eliminate cancer health disparities as well as foster greater adherence to cancer prevention, screening, detection, and treatment guidelines for Maryland's underserved communities. Fostering increased availability of clinical trials is a major focus.