See information on Cancer Prevention Programs by topic below:.
Our colorectal community outreach program targets medically underserved, minority residents of Harris County (specifically Hispanics, African Americans, and Vietnamese residents) living in medial underserved areas. We developed culturally- and linguistically-targeted, patient friendly tools to educate patients about colorectal cancer screening into a busy clinical environment, the hallmark of which our point-of-care videos. Within the Harris Health System, the videos are integrated into the clinic flow through the Health Maintenance Module function in the electronic medical record. The point-of care videos are available for single-collection FIT, multiple collection FIT, fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and colonoscopy prep. We also have low-literacy printed materials available for clinic patients that include a FIT kit (with a distribution bag and instruction guide) and a colonoscopy prep guide.
We provide culturally-targeted colorectal cancer screening education to medically underserved Harris County residents through our innovative Community Theater Outreach Program. This is achieved by expanding the reach of the performances through televised performances, social media, and by developing a video-taped version of the performances in partnership with community partners.
To improve the continuum of cancer care, we developed a patient navigation program focused on tracking and navigating patients with an abnormal colorectal cancer screening test through diagnostic follow up. In 2014, we added the Community Access Navigation that occurs at the Theater Outreach events in which patient navigators assist audience members in applying to Harris Health financial assistance program.
Our cervical cancer outreach program targets medically underserved, minority women of Harris County. We developed a patient friendly pap test video and a poster to be used by nursing staff at Harris Health and other collaborating community clinics and to be shown to women 21-65 years or older who have not received a Pap test in the past 3-5 years (depending on their age and whether they had HPV co-testing). The pap test video also addresses HPV and HPV co-testing to educate women about the causative role of HPV in the development of cervical cancer and the screening guidelines with HPB co-testing.
In additional, we developed a patient navigation component that actively populates, maintains, and manages a registry of all patients within Harris Health who had an abnormal cervical cancer screening test. In this program, the patient navigators also receive referrals from collaborating institutions and other community clinics for Harris Health eligible patients for cervical cancer diagnostic follow up.
To promote cervical cancer screening among medically underserved Harris County residents, an innovative evidence-based community theater outreach component was also developed to educate community members about cervical cancer risks factors, current screening guidelines, and available resources. The cervical cancer performances include A Fine-Tuned English (African American monologue), “Mi Decisión" (Hispanic monologue), and “My Friends’ Health is My Business” (Vietnamese monologue).
HPV Vaccination among Pediatric Patients in a Safety Net Healthcare Setting
The Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Office of Outreach and Health Disparities was awarded a three-year, $1.2 million expansion grant from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas. The goal of the program is to increase HPV vaccination and tobacco prevention among pediatric patients at Harris County’s safety-net healthcare system, Harris Health System and collaborating charitable clinics, using the Community Network for Cancer Prevention model.
This project aims to increase the proportion of pediatric patients at Harris Health System and partnering community clinics that initiate and complete the HPV vaccine series, promote continuous performance improvement through ongoing process evaluation and reporting, and evidence-based tobacco prevention interventions by a healthcare provider. These goals will be accomplished by training pediatric providers to give strong HPV vaccine recommendations; developing and implementing linguistically- and culturally-appropriate patient/parent education videos; deployment of tiered tracking, patient reminder/recall, and patient navigation services; and utilization of evaluation strategies.
We are working to defragment HPV vaccine delivery by expanding the role of our patient navigation team. Navigators enter vaccination data for the Harris Health Troubleshooters Mobile Vaccine Unit. Through this collaboration between patient navigators and mobile unit staff, we expect to increase HPV vaccine documentation, leading to increased initiation and completion rates.
A strong provider recommendation is the primary factor influencing parents’/caregivers’ decision to vaccinate their children against human papillomavirus (HPV), which can lead to up to six types of cancers, including cervical and head and neck cancer.
View our videos in English and Spanish which were developed to prepare parents/caregivers of vaccine-age children eligible to receive a strong HPV vaccination recommendation from their provider.
Learn more about HPV and the HPV vaccine.
This program was expanded in 2019 to include e-cigarette screening, prevention and treatment. Since e-cigarettes are the most common tobacco product used among youth, the goal of our e-cigarette project is to increase the proportion of pediatric patients who receive comprehensive tobacco prevention clinical services. In order to reach this goal, we will make structural changes to the electronic medical records at Harris Health to ensure that providers are screening adolescents for e-cigarette use and that those patients who use e-cigarettes are referred to the Texas Quitline and followed up with. We provide pediatrician-led educational sessions and patient/parent information on the history, dangers, screening, prevention and treatment of e-cigarette use. We have updated our education sessions to include the increased risks of COVID-19 complications among e-cigarette users. In addition to Harris Health System, we have partnered with TOMAGWA Healthcare Ministries, Hope Clinic and San Jose Clinic on this project.
Learn more about e-cigarettes.
The PREVENT hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) through Screening, Vaccination, and Treatment of hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) program is led by Dr. Aaron Thrift, a member of the Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences Program, Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Implementation of the PREVENT program is focused on The Harris Health System, a safety-net healthcare system in Harris County, Texas. The goals are to:
- Provide education for high-risk residents of Harris County (both in the community and patients at the Harris Health System about the risk of HCC
- Offer HCC prevention through screening and diagnosis of chronic viral hepatitis (HBV & HCV), prevention and treatment of these infections
- To provide education to healthcare professionals at Harris Health System as well as community clinic partners about hepatitis (HBV and HCV) and HCC prevention and management; and
- To implement point of care United States Preventive Services Taskforce (USPSTF)-recommended hepatitis (HBV and HCV) screening and prevention services (HBV vaccination, education) among high-risk patients at the Harris Health System.
The PREVENT HCC Program has several innovative components:
- First program in state of Texas to combine high-risk and baby boomer screening to cover all conditions specified by USPSTF recommendations for hepatitis screening
- Culturally and linguistically appropriate multi-media HBV and HCV education materials
- Didactic and interactive multimedia education of a network primary care providers
- A point of care automated provider alerts for HBV and HCV screening, reflex diagnostic confirmation, and linkage to preventive services
- A coordinated Harris Health System referral process by navigators to address patient-specific and system barriers.
The successful implementation of the proposed project has resulted in a considerable increase in the number of patients screened, diagnosed, educated, vaccinated, treated and controlled or cured for HBV and HCV and ultimately result in a reduction in the morbidity and mortality related to chronic liver disease and HCC in Texas.