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 communities. 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 appropriate to both language and culture
- Helping diversify enrollment in clinical trials
- Supporting research focused on eliminating disparities
- Training staff and faculty about implicit 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 communities. 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 Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC) and is the first formal research advocate program at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist (AHWFB). Advocates are volunteers who have personal experience with cancer, as a survivor, caregiver or previvor (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.
The training is online instruction. Multidisciplinary training topics include, Cancer 101, Research and Clinical Trials 101 and The Role of the Advocate. All participants receive training and certification from the Collaborate Institutional Training Initiative and are eligible for ongoing continuing education opportunities. The ARM Program not only promotes improvement of research to meet the needs of those living with cancer, but also aims to enhance community trust in the ethics and efficacy of AHWFB CCC research programs.
Interested in becoming a cancer research advocate? Complete this form.
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 by the philanthropic support of the Jane Walker Perkinson Memorial Fund, an endowed fund dedicated to OCHE.
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:
- Reducing tobacco exposure via prevention and cessation resources and policy advocacy
- Increasing access to care by addressing the supportive care needs of cancer patients and survivors
- 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 AHWFB CCC 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, providing insight and feedback for 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. We offer non-clinical navigation services to our African American, Hispanic, rural and adolescent/young cancer patients.
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 across the cancer continuum. 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 with 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 with 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 the 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 tobacco use. Weekly sessions led by a certified tobacco treatment specialist are discussion-based, including subjects such as health risks, cravings and triggers, stress management, nutrition and exercise. To join this program, complete an interest form.