Community Outreach and Engagement

Community Outreach and Engagement

The Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) shared resource provides services, education and consultation to foster culturally sensitive research that measurably and efficiently reduces cancer burden among vulnerable populations in Penn State Cancer Institute's catchment area.

We work closely with cancer investigators and their teams on all aspects of observational and experimental studies that involve patient questionnaires and surveys, social media, biological sample collection and secondary data analysis.

Established in 2010, the COE shared resource provides support to federally funded, peer-reviewed research, as well as pilot and proof-of-concept research. We worked closely with members of each of the three Penn State Cancer Institute research programs: Cancer Control, Experimental Therapeutics and Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis.

In addition, we collaborate with other research institutes at Penn State, including:

Key Community Sciences and Health Outcomes Projects

Cancer Navigation and Survivorship Network (CaNSuN)

The Cancer Navigation and Survivorship Network (CaNSuN) facilitates patient-centered navigation across the cancer control continuum, from cancer prevention to survivorship, by providing resources to those serving as patient navigators. Learn more about CaNSuN.

The Story of Cancer in Central Pennsylvania

Penn State Cancer Institute worked to create an interactive story map showing how patient navigation can reduce the burden of cancer on Central Pennsylvania's most at-risk populations. Explore the project.

Epidemiologic assessments of cancer cases

The COE shared resource analyzes cancer incidence data collected by the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry for the Pennsylvania Department of Health. It currently has access to data on Pennsylvania cancer cases diagnosed from 2010 through 2015. COE works with the investigator to define cancer type, stage, grade, histology, and related tumor characteristics. Learn more about epidemiologic assessments.

Community Health Worker program

The Community Health Worker program equips trusted members of medically underserved communities to educate women about the importance of regular breast exams and mammography. The program has expanded to include cervical and colorectal cancer screening, as well as physical activity and balanced nutrition. Learn more about the Community Health Worker program.

Northern Appalachia Cancer Network collaboration

Northern Appalachia Cancer Network (NACN) is a community/academic partnership that seeks to measurably reduce the cancer burden among rural residents of Pennsylvania and New York through community-based participatory education, training, and engaged cancer research. Learn more about Northern Appalachia Cancer Network.

Pennsylvania Cancer Control Plan Stakeholder Leadership Team

The Stakeholder Leadership Team is a committee of the Pennsylvania Cancer Control Prevention and Research Advisory Board that was established to implement initiatives of the Pennsylvania Cancer Control Plan. The Community Science Health Outcomes shared resource donates staff and faculty expertise to the SLT serving in leadership, advisory and engaged scholarship capacities. Learn more about the Pennsylvania Cancer Control Plan.

Mapping data about health risks and cancer in Pennsylvania (LionVu)

In collaboration with Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute, the Community Sciences and Health Outcomes shared resource collects, analyzes, maps, and disseminates data on the demographics, behaviors, health care, and cancer in Pennsylvania, including the Penn State Cancer Institute 28-county catchment area. Learn more about LionVu.

Recruitment and retention for cancer-related studies involving human participants

The challenge of recruiting and retaining humans to cancer-related research is a national problem. The CEO shared resource offers assistance with recruitment and retention to Penn State Cancer Institute and its investigators, as well as to the larger scientific community. Learn more about recruitment and retention.

COE Capabilities

  • Proposal development and submission
  • Human subjects protection
  • Community engagement
  • Recruitment and retention of study participants
  • Study management
  • Results dissemination

COE Services

  • Networks with three specific populations in central Pennsylvania:
  • Access to health care providers and affiliate hospitals
    • Participant recruitment and retention
    • Protocol development and approval
  • Comprehensive information on the 28-county catchment area
    • Mapping and spatial analysis
  • Analysis of secondary data sets
    • Pennsylvania data sets
    • Unique national data sets
    • Other national data sets
  • Consultation on:
    • Community-based research
    • Recruitment and retention of diverse participants to cancer control studies
    • Cultural sensitivity
    • Qualitative study design and data analysis
    • Strategies for dissemination and implementation

COE Training and Education

The COE shared resource provides training and education to the following groups:

Penn State Cancer Institute investigators:

  • Strategies for recruitment and retention
    • Institution-level strategies
    • Protocol-level strategies
    • Investigator-level strategies
  • Measurement of health disparities
    • Spatial
    • Rural (contextual)

Penn State Cancer Institute catchment area population:

  • Community (lay) health worker training and education
  • Evidence-based interventions
  • Cancer summits and symposium

Undergraduate and graduate students:

  • Research opportunities
  • Internships and practicum

Contact Us

For details on the Community Outreach and Engagement shared resource, contact:

Clinical Trials Search

Children (age < 18 years)
Adults (age >= 18 years)