Nine Organizations Receive Funding from OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to Address Local Cancer Needs


Community Partnership Program funds will be used to improve patient engagement strategies in healthcare, including providing bilingual materials, follow-up training, and more. (Getty Images)

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program provided funding for community projects designed to address cancer-related needs throughout the state. This round of funding is supporting six new projects and continuing to fund three others. Since 2014, the Community Partnership Program has invested more than $4.6 million in 179 projects across the state.

A new project, designed by Good Shepherd Health Care System (GSHCS) in Hermiston, aims to increase colorectal cancer screening rates by distributing fecal occult blood test kits for adults aged 50 to 75 to use home. Because more than a quarter of Hermiston’s community includes people of Hispanic or Latino descent, Good Shepherd’s screening efforts will place a strong emphasis on engaging the Spanish-speaking community.

Catherine Wisniewski, MPH, CHES, community health educator at Good Shepherd, says the organization has attempted to increase colorectal cancer screening rates in the past, and this newly funded effort will enhance previous strategies to increase engagement, including offering bilingual materials, using the established relationship between patients and their providers, and provide follow-up training to patients who return full kits.

“To ensure that the approach is socially and culturally appropriate, GSHCS the partner clinics have bilingual and bicultural staff available to help with this initiative,” she says. “The project plan is based on referral programs developed in similar rural populations across the United States. We can’t wait to start this new community improvement initiative and improve the health of our community! »

Another project designed to reach Oregon’s Spanish-speaking population was submitted by Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice, the only end-of-life program outside of hospice in the Rogue Valley. The organization operates Celia’s House, a residential end-of-life care facility.

Dwight Wilsonexecutive director of Southern Oregon Friends of Hospice and a trained nurse, said her team would use grant funds to explore new ways to engage with the Latinx community.

“We’ve learned that important end-of-life discussions don’t always happen in Latinx families,” he said. “We want to involve the community in a meaningful way – palliative care includes the management of chronic and ongoing age-related challenges. Palliative care does not always mean the end of life; having these discussions earlier can be incredibly empowering for patients and their families. We want to engage the Latinx community in this conversation.

Jackie Shannon, Ph.D., is Co-Director of the Community Partnership Program and Associate Director of Community Outreach and Engagement at OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. She says she is proud that Community Partnership Program grantees are prioritizing efforts to reach non-English speakers.

“The Community Partnership Program has always been about getting communities to know their needs better,” she says. “I am particularly pleased to see so many projects focusing on non-English speaking communities in their outreach efforts. We want Oregonians to have equitable access to important cancer-related resources and educational materials.

Organizations receiving funding in this grant cycle include:

  • Samaritan Health Services, Inc. — Disparities in colorectal cancer screening among members of the Intercommunity Health Network (RIH)-CCO.
  • Best Health Consult LLC — Know Your Prostate (Knowledge and Burden of Prostate Cancer) in Klamath Falls.
  • Adventist Health Portland Foundation — Assessment and solutions of the cancer needs of the Slavic community.
  • Friends of Southern Oregon Hospice — Survey of patients with active cancer to find out their interests, needs and for end-of-life education and counselling.
  • Komac — Measure the impacts and results of Komak’s financial support process during cancer treatment.
  • Good Shepherd Health System — Screening and prevention of colorectal cancer.
  • Oregon School Health Alliance*— Latinx Youth Peer Education for Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Prevention.
  • St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church* — Community Symposium on Cancer Awareness and Healthy Living – Implementing the Body & Soul program.
  • At Thadd* — Thadd’s Place Cancer Group.

Learn more about funded projects.

* Project continuation


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