Community Network Program Center

A collaboration between UAB and University of Southern Mississippi. In 2010, the DSN was funded by the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Health Disparities and named one of 23 CNPC’s. CNPC’s were funded to: increase knowledge and use of biomedical and behavioral procedures to reduce cancer disparities, develop and perform evidence-based interventions to increase the use of these procedures, and to train and promote the careers of new and early stage investigators. There are four core components of the CNPC DSN that made the efforts possible:

  1. The Administrative Core effectively engaged its Steering Committee and Community

Advisory Group members, particularly regarding guidance on publications and plans for future projects. The Administrative Core integrated all cores to ensure that all specific aims were completed. The major source of community dissemination continued with the quarterly publication of the DSN Connections Newsletter. DSN successfully hosted 3 DSN Institutes:

-DSN Institute 2012 – Mobile, AL (June 2012)

-DSN Institute 2014 – Birmingham, AL (November 2014)

-DSN Institute 2016 – Shreveport, LA (June 2016)

  1. Training Core allowed junior investigators to participate in all areas of the Health Disparity

Research Training Program and continued to work on their individual projects.

-Total Number of Trainees 2012-2016 was six, with two each in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

-Total Number of Mentors was six.

-Types of training received through the HDRTP included many aspects of research including manuscript and grant preparation, CBPR, clinical, behavioral, basic science research and more, provided by CNPC and other partners.

  1. The Outreach Core completed the implementation of its Community Action Plan (CAP) that targeted those rarely/never screened for breast, cervix and colorectal cancer. Post Community Awareness Screening surveys and on-going cancer awareness activities were done in the final months of year 5. Data entry and analysis for both programs are on-going with plans in the close-out year to do a series of dissemination activities based on guidance from the Community Advisory Group. (CAG)

-Conducted 119 cancer awareness and educational workshops to increase mammography, pap smears, and colorectal cancer screening among those who are rarely or never screened in our new targeted areas.

-Because of these programs and other campaigns implemented by DSN, we were able to make 10,273 contacts and refer 29 individuals for breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer screening.

-The Barber/Beauty Shop campaign provided a broader scope and access to individuals who are rarely or never screened. We maintained 32 resource kits across 5 counties to bring awareness to and help refer individuals for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening.

  1. Research Core: the full research project completed the 2 year weight loss intervention called Journey to Better Health. This intervention is a culturally tailored adaptation of evidence-based programs that impact screening outcomes as well obesity and its role in cancer prevention among African American women living in rural Deep South.
Baseline Enrollment 6-month Retention 12-month Retention 24-month Retention
409 99.5% 98.5% 75%

Pilot projects 1 & 2 along with the Diversity Supplement were completed on time during years 1-4

Other collaborating partners:

  • Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation provided generous gift of $75,000 annually for 3 years to support DSN Institutes
  • National African American Tobacco Prevention Coalition (NAATPN) – awarded DSN a 5 year collaborating grant at $25,000 Years 1-3; $20,000 Year 4
  • Susan G. Komen North Central Alabama Affiliate – provided community grants at approximately $18,000 annually for breast cancer awareness and education for Komen Community Health Advisors (K-CHAs) for 5 DSN counties
  • Alabama Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection provided funds for Alabama DSN counties to assess mammogram screening practices in the 12 county area. In 2016, funding provided ($250,000) to build a community-based navigators program for screening.
  • American Cancer Society provided on-going support and collaboration through its adaptation of a CHA Training Program