Rural health disparities are common in the US. Rural Appalachia is widely recognized as a geographic region that is vastly overburdened by chronic disease, including cancers. This health disparity is concentrated in Southeastern, KY. The mission of the UK RCPC is to reduce cancer incidence and mortality rates among under served rural residents of an eight-county health district located in the heart of SE, KY. The strength and commitment of our existing community advisory board coupled with an enduring investment in the PRC by the University of Kentucky provides an important opportunity to achieve this mission using community-based participatory research. Previous accomplishments by the RCPC have laid a solid foundation for the proposed activities that occur in the next funding cycle. The PRC will be strategically located in the center of the Kentucky River Area Development District (KR-ADD). Guided by the distinct advisory boards, the director (Dr. Crosby) and deputy director (Dr. Vanderpool) will oversee plans designed to enhance community engagement in cancer prevention activities and research throughout the KR-ADD. Augmented by the state and local health departments, planned engagements will provide a model for rural Appalachian communities to use in their efforts to prevent invasive cancers. The UK RCPC will continue to expand its sponsorship of cancer prevention research. Drs. Crosby and Vanderpool will direct local, state, and national dissemination efforts relative to the community-based activities and research of the RCPC. Local dissemination will promote cancer-protective behaviors of KR-ADD residents. Drs. Crosby and Vanderpool will also direct ongoing training efforts for capacity building in the KR-ADD. Working closely with the College of Public Health at UK, the RCPC-sponsored training efforts will provide foundational and advanced experiences to local professionals, public health graduate students, and preventive medicine residents. Ongoing process evaluation of these coordinated activities will occur through periodic assessment of 33 indicators. Evaluation feedback will inform subsequent refinements in RCPC activities. Ultimately, the outcomes of the combined PRC activities will be increased cancer screening in the KR-ADD and population-level increases in cancer protective behaviors.
Mission − The Rural Cancer Prevention Center (RCPC) is a planned collaboration of community members, public health professionals, and researchers designed to reduce the health disparities associated with cervical cancer, breast cancer, and colo-rectal cancer among residents of the Kentucky River Health District.