Working with Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia, Lazarex Cancer Foundation is committed to building healthy communities, giving voice to the voiceless and hope to the hopeless through the Community IMPACT program.
Goals of Community iMPACT
- Improve understanding and awareness of the burden of cancer on patients and their families
- Create opportunities for the prevention and treatment of cancer for residents in minority and disadvantaged communities in Philadelphia, as well as health practitioners and policy makers, in order to inform the development and implementation of strategies to prevent cancer, treat it more effectively and create equitable access to cancer resources.
- Make this program replicable in other markets
The project will combine exemplary public health qualitative and quantitative assessment and research methods with a grassroots community engagement effort in communities that are often not invited to lead their own health futures. The impact of the initiative will be to transform both the way we think about cancer prevention and the actions we implement to reduce cancer burden and disparities.
The Community Impact project will be build around a place based, community-led model of engagement, developing an approach and team of community advocates at the Drexel Center for Neighborhood Partnerships in West Philadelphia, and then extending this model out to other neighborhoods, medical, and academic centers in Philadelphia through peer-to-peer community leadership and direction.
Lazarex Cancer Wellness HUBs
At the core of this collaboration is the Cancer Wellness HUB, a “safe space” for community members to talk about their health concerns in relation to cancer and explore their options from prevention through treatment and clinical trials. They will have the opportunity to develop personal relationships with Cancer Care Companions to overcome historical and cultural barriers for better health outcomes and help them feel welcome in an unfamiliar environment.
The Philadelphia HUB is a bricks and mortar facility providing a local and culturally appropriate resource to answer questions, navigate historical fears, misperceptions, and cultural barriers, understand the implications of family cancer history and the importance of screenings (hereditary predisposition to cancer), explore options for prevention through lifestyle choices, and support patients from treatment to clinical trials. The HUB is not just an information source – it functions as an actual hub within the community, bringing together the many resources and services required to manage the cancer journey and provide the greatest opportunity for a successful result.
However, this approach is cost prohibitive and limits our opportunities for expansion. Therefore, we are developing a more cost effective and contemporary “pop-up” version of the Cancer Wellness HUB in the greater Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area, through a continued affiliation with Drexel University, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and their associated medical networks and community organizations.
Rather than having a dedicated facility, the pop-up concept utilizes existing facilities (churches, schools, YMCA, community centers, health clinics, etc.) within the community while providing continuous, place-based, and culturally appropriate community engagement on a consistent basis. We will replicate the HUB strategy and develop culturally and linguistically appropriate messaging and materials to deploy the HUB pop-up model in other diverse health-underserved communities. We offer the same programming and engage across the continuum of cancer care to improve cancer health outcomes and address health disparities for all.
News & Milestones:
- Cancer patients often need this one basic thing to participate in clinical trials (2019): The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Marie McCollough interviews Lazarex Cancer Foundation Founder Dana Dornsife about the foundation’s initiatives in Philadelphia.
- The Drexel School of Public Health (DSPH) completed a comprehensive survey (2020), “The State of Cancer in Philadelphia,” of the incidence, prevalence and risk factors of a broad range of cancers in Philadelphia and the West Philadelphia Promise Zone. This report, sponsored by Lazarex, provides the data and science side of the equation that shapes our outreach and engagement efforts and establishes a baseline against which we can measure our results.
- Lazarex Cancer Foundation Created a Program to Include More People of Color in Human Trials (podcast 2021) with Dr. Marya Shegog, Health Equity and Diversity Coordinator for Lazarex Cancer Foundation
- USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center to establish the Cancer Wellness HUBs with Lazarex Cancer Foundation grant (press release 2021)
- Philadelphia Pilot Program to Bridge Gap Between Patient and Provider (video newscast 2021): Great piece about Lazarex Cancer Foundation’s Community Impact Program at the Dornsife Center at Drexel University.