Cancer doesn't care if you are black, white or Hispanic. It doesn't care how much money you make, or how old you are. Cancer can affect anyone, at any time. We believe that everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, financial status or location deserves the best cancer care possible.
To advance community engagement, clinical care and research focused on improving outcomes for everyone in our community. The Office of Cancer Health Equity (OCHE) is passionate about:
- Community outreach engagement and education
- Removing barriers to care across the cancer continuum
- Providing cancer navigation that is appropriate to both language and culture
- Helping patients enroll in clinical trials
- Supporting research focused on eliminating disparities
- Training staff and faculty about unconscious bias and cultural humility
- Building community capacity to improve health and well-being
We Are Committed to Conquering Cancer
Let us know how we can partner. We offer:
- Health fairs
- Cancer education sessions
- Staff/faculty training
- Research support
- Cancer clinical trials
Our Programs & Initiatives
The Office of Cancer Health Equity strives to reduce the burden of cancer on the community. The programs listed here are ongoing initiatives to help address gaps in cancer awareness, knowledge and outcomes with a focus on underserved populations.
The Advocates for Research in Medicine (ARM) Program was designed to ensure ongoing patient-focused research at the WFBCCC and is the first formal research advocate program at Wake Forest Baptist Health. Advocates are volunteers who have a personal experience with cancer, as a survivor, caregiver, or high-risk individual. Volunteers are trained to work with researchers to advise, review, and implement cancer research projects and disseminate information about these research efforts.
ARM consists of an initial training with additional online instruction and pre/post-work; all participants receive CITI training and certification and are eligible for ongoing continued education opportunities. The ARM Program not only promotes the improvement of research to meet the needs and demands of those living with cancer, but also enhances community trust in the ethics and efficacy of WFBCCC research programs. Multidisciplinary training topics include: Cancer 101, Research 101, The Role of the Advocate, Clinical Trials, Health Equity, among others.
The Office of Cancer Health Equity is committed to educating the public about cancer. We offer free community outreach programs to educate community members about cancer prevention, risk reduction, screening and more!
Our health care professionals and cancer experts are available to speak on a variety of topics, and each presentation is tailored to the specific audience. These sessions are made possible in part to the philanthropic support of the Jane Walker Perkinson Memorial Fund, an endowed fund dedicated to the Office of Cancer Health Equity at Wake Forest Baptist - Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The Rural Community Cancer Outreach Program (RCCOP) addresses cancer-related rural health disparities in our catchment area, with particular attention to Northwest North Carolina. RCCOP focuses on 1) Reducing tobacco exposure via prevention and cessation resources and policy advocacy; 2) Increasing access to care by addressing the supportive care needs of cancer patients and survivors and; 3) Capacity building with primary care providers to increase care coordination closer to home. RCCOP activities include:
- Tobacco education and cessation groups
- Community health education across the cancer control continuum
- Navigation for WFBCCC patients
- Continuing medical education
- Community engagement activities
A Stakeholder Advisory Committee composed of local health departments, non-profits, and other community organizations guides the work of RCCOP. They provide feedback and insight on program activities.
The Office of Cancer Healthy Equity plays a vital role in addressing the inequities that underserved populations can face during their cancer experience by offering non-clinical navigation services to our African American and Hispanic cancer patients, including support to individuals coming from rural areas.
Our population health navigators provide culturally and linguistically competent navigation services to cancer patients, families, and caregivers to help them overcome health care system and social barriers, facilitating timely access to quality medical and supportive care from diagnosis through their cancer treatment. In addition, research support is delivered through patient education, providing our underserved cancer patients with general information about the role of research in cancer care.
The tobacco program in the Office of Cancer Health Equity focuses on expanding outreach efforts to underserved areas in our community that have higher tobacco use rates by addressing regional tobacco cessation capacity. Tobacco use is the leading modifiable risk factor for cancer and 70% of our priority counties have elevated smoking rates, most having a tobacco use percentage above the national average of 17.1%. The purpose of this program is to reduce the prevalence of smoking and improve cancer incidence and mortality rates.
The program serves our communities by:
- Educating public about the health risks of tobacco and resources to help quit
- Developing partnerships to help guide program planning, implementation, and evaluation
- Building capacity in clinical settings to help improve internal tobacco cessation processes
- Facilitating tobacco cessation groups:
This evidence-based group program provides support and resources to those motivated to quit. Weekly sessions led by a certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist are discussion-based, including subjects such as health risks, cravings/triggers, stress management, nutrition, and exercise. To join this program, complete an interest form.