University of Oklahoma Community Networks Project (OUCNP)
The burden of cancer in Oklahoma is significant, especially among Native Americans and African Americans. In general, these two groups have disproportionately higher incidence and mortality rates for many cancers, and they experience higher risks for cancer because of lifestyle choices and barriers to appropriate cancer interventions. Using a model of community participatory planning and research, the Oklahoma Community Networks Program (CNP) seeks to reduce cancer health disparities through the following aims: (1) establish a collaborative network involving the University of Oklahoma Cancer Center, the Oklahoma State Health Department, the Cherokee Nation, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Conference of Black Mayors; (2) develop and increase capacity building among these partners to support community-based participatory education, research, and training to reduce cancer health disparities; (3) develop community-based participatory research and training programs involving these partners to reduce cancer health disparities; and (4) establish credibility and sustainability for CNP activities that reduce cancer health disparities.
Local Community Outreach Specialists and Advisory Committees will evaluate cancer health disparities and assess needs within each community. Culturally competent cancer prevention and control activities will be planned and delivered. Research and training initiatives will also be generated from the communities. Evaluation of the CNP will include three levels that will be executed consecutively: process, first- and second-level goals, and project impact. The CNP anticipates providing evidence-based information for reducing cancer disparities to decision and policy makers at the local, state and national levels.